Building on the honour of being named one of Canada's Greenest Employers for 2011, Red River College (RRC) is the first post-secondary institution in Manitoba to join a new program to measure sustainability in all aspects of higher education across North America.
The Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) is administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). To date, over 230 higher education institutions have registered as STARS participants, including 22 in Canada.
"We’re participating in STARS to give us a measure of our sustainability performance in all areas of the College – from the courses we deliver, to the way we operate our campus, and the way we plan for the future," explained Sara MacArthur, Manager of Sustainability for RRC.
AASHE’s STARS program is the only one of its kind that involves publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in three overall areas: 1) education & research, 2) operations, and 3) planning, administration & engagement.
“The advantage of STARS is that institutions can earn credits for all of their contributions to sustainability,” said AASHE Executive Director, Paul Rowland. “From providing sustainability coursework, to using green cleaning products, to energy efficiency in campus buildings, there are lots of opportunities for a school to identify and track its sustainability progress.”
STARS is open to all institutions of higher education in the U.S. and Canada, and the program criteria and ratings are transparent and accessible to anyone. Because it provides a common standard of measurement, STARS allows colleges and universities to compare their sustainability performance against peers across North America.
"We're looking forward to engaging the College community in this process, and watching our sustainability efforts grow across all our campuses through our participation in STARS,” said MacArthur.
For more information about the STARS program, visit www.aashe.org/stars.
Manitoba’s public college and university presidents have signed an historic memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will make it easier for students to transfer credits between post-secondary institutions and receive credit for prior learning as they work toward careers in today’s provincial economy.
“Today’s historic event is about system-wide collaboration and co-ordination between our institutions. This new agreement focuses on the needs of Manitoba students who want to receive a high-quality, post-secondary education and develop the marketable skills they need to succeed,” said Premier Greg Selinger. “The colleges and universities partnering in this MOU will aim to at least double the opportunities for student mobility in the next four years.”
A task group of key stakeholders will develop a plan for appropriate articulation agreements and credit-transfer arrangements between universities, colleges and post-secondary institutions to ensure students receive maximum benefit from prior learning. Options may include articulation and credit‑transfer agreements, dual-credit courses, co-op programs and priority areas where prior learning will be assessed.
“On behalf of Manitoba’s post-secondary institutions, I am pleased to say we are forging ahead to create clearly defined education pathways that will help students move from technical and vocational schooling to certificate, diploma and degree programming,” said Stephanie Forsyth, President of Red River College. “It will be a pleasure to work with my colleagues to make Manitoba’s post-secondary education system as seamless and student-friendly as possible.”
The memorandum of understanding will guide the planning process and an interim report will be provided to the minister of advanced education and literacy later this fall with a final plan to be developed by no later than Feb. 15, 2012.
The Canadian Animal Blood Bank (CABB) will celebrate 15 years of giving the gift of life to animals at a special reception to be held on Thursday, June 23rd at Red River College's Exchange District Campus.
Established in 1996 by Red River College and the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association, the CABB collects blood from hundreds of donors each year to assist dogs that need transfusion therapy to recover from illness or injury. It is the primary national supplier of animal blood products in Canada, providing over 1,800 units annually to veterinarians in every province.
The CABB is headquartered at Red River College's Notre Dame Campus, with a satellite collection site at NAIT in Edmonton, Alberta.
Canadian Animal Blood Bank 15-Year Celebration
Thursday June 23rd
4:30 – 6:30 pm
Red River College, Exchange District Campus, 160 Princess Street
This event will be attended by representatives from the Canadian Animal Blood Bank, Red River College and the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association. Several canine donors will also be recognized for their years of service to CABB.
Red River College welcomed more new faces than ever before this fall, as the number of full-time students at its eight Manitoba campuses jumped by 5.5%, setting a new enrolment record.
Growth took place across the college, including big jumps in Advanced Diploma (+15.1%) and Fast Track (+45.7%) enrolments.
The introduction of RRC’s first two degree programs, in Construction Management and Nursing, has also proven popular with new students.
"Degree programs allow students to obtain a more advanced level of technical training than is available in a traditional two-year diploma program," explained Ken Webb, RRC’s Vice-President of Academic & Research. "These programs have been developed in direct response to industry demand for more highly skilled graduates in certain occupational areas."
Full-time enrolment is also up 17.6% at RRC’s five regional campuses, located in Steinbach, Portage la Prairie, Gimli, Winkler and Peguis/Fisher River.
Those figures should continue to increase in the years ahead, as a new campus under development in Portage la Prairie — located in the historic former Victoria School building — will allow the College to expand training opportunities in the Central Plains region.
While students are increasingly seeing the advantages of a college education — including hands-on learning, instructors with real-world experience and work placement opportunities — RRC officials say finding somewhere to put them all is a growing challenge.
"Red River College has been operating at close to full capacity for several years," said Webb. "We’ve been very creative in making use of our existing space, but to continue our critical role in supporting the growth of Manitoba industry, we are going to have to grow ourselves."
Webb said the development of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute in the Exchange District — a new home for RRC’s culinary and hospitality programs and site of the College’ first student residence — will provide some much-needed new teaching space. However, he stresses the college must continue to work closely with industry and government to ensure the facilities are in place to meet the labour demands of the province.