It’s being billed as the “TurboTax for law,” and Red River College students are helping to bring it to the web.
Students from the College’s Business Administration program and Applied Computer Education (ACE) department have partnered with Winnipeg’s Evans Family Law Corporation, to develop an interview-based web application that allows users to access and fill out basic family law documents themselves.
In the works since last year, the app is slated to be built and brought online by RRC students sometime in 2018.
“Access to justice, particularly in family law, has been recognized as a serious issue with the legal community for some time,” says Business instructor George Allen. “It is believed the kind of technology this project is looking to implement could play an important role in addressing some of the access issues inherent in the current system.”
Allen says the project would be designed to provide Manitobans with access to court forms using intelligent documents, and to use an interview-style dialogue process for gathering client data — much like TurboTax does to complete federal and provincial tax forms.
The prospect of saving thousands of dollars in legal fees could be particularly attractive to the large number of working Canadians for whom the ability to retain a lawyer is out of reach due to costs.
“If you’re working and you’re making a certain level of income, and you have a divorce proceeding or a wills and estate issue, you won’t qualify for Legal Aid because you make too much money or you own property,” says Allen (shown above, fourth from right). “You may also be in a situation where paying $300 an hour for a lawyer is really a hardship, or even out of the question.”
“An uncontested divorce or separation is really a straightforward process that most paralegals would normally be doing under the guidance and underwriting of a lawyer. So we’re looking at taking those forms and that process and providing it at a low cost to this particular population that otherwise likely wouldn’t have access to it.”
Greg Evans, principal at Evans Family Law, says the idea is to provide some of the same services already offered at Winnipeg’s Legal Help Centre, only for an online audience.
“People are much more used to having services provided online or through online websites and applications,” says Evans (shown above, second from right). “It’s an idea that takes a look at what potentially might be the wave of the future, particularly with simple legal documents.” Read More →
A pair of Red River College Nursing students have returned home from an international skills competition with some well-deserved hardware and a greater sense of pride in their work.
Second-year student Elyse Griffith (shown above, third from left) and third-year student Rachel Rubin (holding flag) took first place amongst international student competitors, and earned a silver medal overall, at the seventh annual International Nursing Skills Competition in Shanghai, China, earlier this month.
“Being able to participate in this competition was an incredible experience, and I know I will be a better nurse for having participated,” says Rubin. “I was proud of how we represented RRC on an international level and showed what our students are capable of. It was a great opportunity to learn more about nursing in other countries and see the strengths of the participating students from all around the world.”
This year marked the first time RRC sent a team to the competition, which is hosted by the Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences (SUMHS) in cooperation with the Shanghai Nursing Education Group. To earn their medal, Griffith and Rubin faced off against 15 student teams from around the world— all testing their abilities to assess and react and perform various medical procedures in a series of simulated medical situations. Read More →
Red River College has launched two programs that move education outside of the traditional post-secondary setting and into remote Manitoba communities — helping Indigenous learners gain the tools they need to enter careers in carpentry, plumbing and other skilled trades.
One of the programs — the first to be delivered by RRC at Lake Manitoba First Nation — has allowed 15 students to work on completing their Level One Carpentry Apprenticeship training while at the same time helping to renovate local infrastructure in their community. The other program, delivered at Sagkeeng First Nation, provided an introduction to trades and plumbing skills via RRC’s mobile training labs (MTLs).
“These community-based training programs are an important example of how the College is helping create more pathways to post-secondary education for Indigenous learners in Manitoba,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director of Indigenous Strategy.
“Classes like the one in Lake Manitoba First Nation provide learning opportunities to students who might not be able to access education otherwise. They allow students to remain in their homes and stay connected to family and other support systems, while receiving vital training and doing hands-on work in their community and the surrounding areas.”
Delivered in partnership with Apprenticeship Manitoba, the Lake Manitoba First Nation initiative is a 12-week program that combines theory, safety training and practical learning. It’s delivered in the industrial arts and shops space at the community’s own middle school. The College provides tools and equipment, and students are taught by an RRC instructor and journeyman carpenter. Read More →
A pair of future nurses will soon take their training to the next level by having their skills and knowledge tested on an international stage.
Next week, a team of Red River College students will travel to Shanghai, China, to compete in the seventh International Nursing Skills Competition, hosted by the Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences. There, they’ll face off against teams from more than 40 colleges and universities from around the world, in a series of intense nursing scenarios.
Elyse Griffith, a second-year student, and Rachel Rubin, who’s in her third year, will represent Red River College — and Manitoba — in the competition. This year marks the first time a Manitoba school has competed, and only the second year teams from Canada have taken part.
“I’m looking forward to engaging with students from other countries and learning about their experiences,” says Rubin. “There will be different procedures for the same scenario, and I think you can always learn from the way other people find solutions. It will be interesting to share knowledge and find common ground.”
Rubin and Griffith have been meeting weekly with Nursing instructors Myrna Davis and Sandy Alguire — and with Chris Hofer, a second-year student selected as the team’s alternate — to prepare for the competition.
“Most of the learning happens in the scenarios,” says Griffith. “A lot of the skills we’re learning are things I haven’t done in clinical [training)] yet. It’s really helpful, knowing what we might be walking into.” Read More →
Red River College has launched a number of new bursaries and awards aimed at supporting Indigenous learners, those committed to social justice, and those pursuing studies that support the environment.
Last year, a total of 2,300 financial awards — worth more than $1.5 million — were distributed to students enrolled at RRC.
“Many of our students benefit from access to the awards, bursaries and scholarships made available through the support of local businesses, industry partners, and community organizations and individuals who have made an investment in our students,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.
“This type of an investment not only benefits our students, it helps continue to support the province’s economy, as Manitobans are able to access the skills and training they need to join the workforce.”
In addition to support from donors and industry partners, student awards are also made possible through investments from the province, including matched funding amounts provided to participating post-secondary institutions.
“Manitoba’s economy relies on the success of our students — as about 98 per cent of our alumni live and work here after graduation — and financial awards help alleviate the pressures that many students face,” says Vogt. “This is one of the ways we support student success, which is a key strategic priority at the College.”
Students who are considering applying for a financial award are encouraged to explore the full list, which includes eligibility requirements and application deadlines.
New scholarships and bursaries available this year include: Read More →
Today, students in Red River College’s Pathway Program to Construction Skills provided a helping — and skilled — set of hands during a Habitat for Humanity build that doubled as their introduction to practical training.
The students are refugee newcomers to Manitoba who enrolled in the program to enhance their English skills and gain practical experience, with an eye on securing full-time employment in the construction sector once they’ve completed their training.
Many participants took up residence in Manitoba after being forced to flee their homes in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan. Though some had to leave almost everything behind, they brought with them their experience in construction and the skilled trades. Now they’re hoping to put those skills to good use as they begin their new lives in Canada.
“Most of us can’t even begin to imagine moving across the world to a new place where we speak a different language, and not being able to pursue employment in a career or industry we’ve spent our lives working towards,” says Stuart Schwartz, Program Manager at RRC’s Language Training Centre. “But this is a reality for many.”
“Other students may not have previous experience, but [they] have the desire to learn. This program aims to bridge the gap and remove the language barrier by providing students with the essential language training, technical skills and experience they need to gain employment working in Manitoba’s construction sector.” Read More →
You’ve heard the phrase ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’? Well, for one day next month, the more cooks, the better.
On Tue., Nov. 7, the College’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts will host its first Homecoming Dinner for graduates of the Culinary Arts, Professional Baking and Patisserie, and Hospitality and Tourism Management programs.
The event will celebrate the achievements of the school’s alumni, while raising money for the Student Travel Opportunity Fund, which helps Baking and Culinary Arts students compete in national and international competitions, and provides Hospitality and Tourism Management students with opportunities to enhance their skills through travel.
Recently, the Fund allowed two Baking students to attend a four-week-long course in Germany, and six Culinary Arts students to participate in the Cook the Books competition in Toronto.
“Participating in competitions motivates students to strengthen their technical skills, learn new techniques and practice at elevated skill levels,” says Karen McDonald, Chair of Hospitality and Culinary Arts at RRC.
“Our programs are strengthened when students can participate in high-level competitions, and bring back new skills they’re eager to share in the culinary labs. Similarly, students in Hospitality and Tourism programs benefit from educational travel by experiencing local cultures.”
Read More →
A rush of electricity will race through Red River College’s Notre Dame Campus this winter.
For nearly two years, a team of students from the College’s Electrical Engineering Technology and Mechanical Engineering Technology programs have been meeting every Wednesday to design and build a battery-electric race car.
This April, the vehicle will make its raceway debut at the Shell Eco-Marathon in Sonoma, California, where it’ll compete against more than 100 student-made cars from high schools, colleges and universities across North and South America.
The RRC team’s goal? To build the car that can go the furthest distance while using the least amount of energy.
This morning, students offered a sneak peek of their work to RRC President Paul Vogt, while officially announcing the car’s name: SpaRRCky.
“This is one of the best examples of applied learning,” says Vogt. “When you combine industry-led training with highly motivated students and faculty expertise, you can achieve great things. I am very proud that our College is a place where we can turn vision into reality, and I can’t wait to see how our racer performs in California.”
Students can enter the competition in one of two vehicle categories: Prototype, which challenges teams to enter futuristic-looking vehicles with maximized efficiency, or UrbanConcept, which focuses on practical road designs.
For both categories, teams can use any of seven official energy sources, including conventional fuels such as gasoline and diesel, or alternative fuels such as hydrogen, ethanol, gas-to-liquid (GTL), compressed natural gas (CNG), and battery electric technologies. Read More →
Red River College will play host to an exhibition from Artbeat Studio this week, providing staff and students with opportunities to see and understand the realities of mental illness.
Running Tue., Oct. 3 at the Notre Dame Campus, and Thu., Oct. 5, at the Roblin Centre downtown, the exhibit is one of several events planned to mark Mental Illness Awareness Week, the aim of which is to raise awareness of — and reduce the stigma surrounding — mental health-related issues.
“As a post-secondary institution focused on the health and well-being of staff and students, the College believes Mental Illness Awareness Week is an important initiative to be engaged in,” says Breanna Sawatzky, Mental Health Coordinator at RRC.
“Our priority is to create opportunities for the entire College community to learn more about mental health through education, and to foster a safe, responsive and supportive environment in which to talk about mental illness and how it impacts those we study and work with.”
Other events taking place this week include a presentation on strategies for coping with anxiety (delivered by the Anxiety Disorders Association of Manitoba), and another on schizophrenia and psychosis, delivered by the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society.
This year’s programming expands on previous efforts to raise awareness of the many community supports available to staff and students, among them Artbeat Studio, a peer-directed, recovery-oriented program providing studio space and mentorship to artists living with mental illnesses. Read More →
Red River College is now accepting applications for its new Nurse Prescriber program, which will prepare nurses for advanced career opportunities while helping practicing registered nurses meet new provincially mandated requirements.
Last month, the province announced it would bring the registered nursing profession into the Regulated Health Profession Act (RHPA) effective May 31, 2018. It will also create a new designation – the Registered Nurse Authorized Prescriber, or RN (AP) — the goal of which is to increase access to safe and effective health care in Manitoba.
RRC’s new advanced certificate program meets the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba’s educational requirement for the RN (AP) role as set out in legislation. An RN (AP) will have the competencies and authority to prescribe certain medications, and to order screening and diagnostic tests in a defined area of practice.
“Red River College had to move quickly to help nurses and their employers adapt to the new requirements of provincial legislation, particularly those RNs who are currently working as prescribers and will now need to meet the new requirements,” says Christine Watson, RRC’s Vice-President, Academic.
“Our Nursing department worked closely with the province, Manitoba nurses, the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba, and health-care facilities to have this new program in place for the current academic year, and well in advance of the changes coming into effect. I want to commend our Nursing department for its responsiveness and for its leadership in ensuring Manitoba nurses have the training options they need in order to meet the new requirements.” Read More →