What began as a Red River College research project to bridge the knowledge gap in early child development — and to create educational resources to support frontline workers — has received a prestigious national award recognizing its global impact.
It was announced this week the College’s Science of Early Child Development resource is the inaugural recipient of the Canadian Association of Research Administrators’ (CARA) Public Engagement and Advocacy Award, which recognizes an individual, institution, team or project that established and maintained public engagement with research though an innovative approach.
“This award is particularly exciting as our primary goal in developing SECD is to make the rapidly expanding science engaging and accessible to those who make a real difference in children’s lives,” says Jan Sanderson, research chair at RRC’s School of Health Sciences and Community Services.
“Our team has had the opportunity to work with many amazing committed partners around the world who are now using SECD to develop the next generation of champions for young children.”
As part of their work, RRC researchers were able to point to significant and emerging scientific evidence that spoke to the benefits of creating experiences that would support brain development in children, starting in prenatal and carrying on into the first years of a child’s life.
Prior to the work undertaken at the College, this emerging knowledge was not being widely disseminated to caregivers and frontline workers, especially in remote and low-income regions around the world.
It’s this evidence — and lack of resources — that was the driving force behind SECD, which CARA selected for the award because of its tailor-made approach to addressing critical issues around early childhood development. Read More →
Students interested in the technical aspects of building design will soon be able to bring their ideas to life through a new full-time program at Red River College.
Beginning in September 2018, the College will offer a revamped Architectural Technology diploma program that prepares students for career success in the fields of architecture, engineering and construction.
The skills acquired through these programs are in high demand in sectors across the province. According to recent surveys, 98 per cent of RRC grads choose to stay and work in Manitoba, a trend that helps meet the needs of our province’s economy.
“As industry evolves in Manitoba, it’s important that we continue to redesign and create new programs that not only anticipate the changes that are emerging in industry, but allow our students to adapt to those changes as they enter into meaningful and rewarding careers,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.
“Staying ahead of the curve — and engaging with industry — ensures we can be agile in program development, while continuing to provide relevant training that ensures the success of our students and the many industries we support.”
The new program replaces the current Building Design Technology program, and was developed in consultation with representatives from a wide range of industry employers and partners. A new curriculum was created to address the current and future needs of the architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) sectors. Read More →
Would a text message from a local coffee shop offering a free espresso get you back in the door? With some help from Red River College students working out of the ACE Project Space in the Exchange District, a new Winnipeg-based service provider believes the answer is yes.
Chekkit Wifi Marketing and Analytics is the brainchild of Daniel Fayle, Myles Hiebert, Lee Klimpke and Emily Franz-Lien, whose aim is to help businesses build loyalty programs through Wi-Fi login pages and text messages.
The team members are currently Entrepreneurs in Residence at RRC’s new project space on McDermot Avenue, where they’ve been working with Business Information Technology students to develop their product.
“The knowledge and resources available at ACE and in the Exchange District is immense,” says Fayle. “When we started, we had nothing — and through ACE we have office space, networking opportunities, a boardroom to host meetings and demonstrations, and a lot of support.
“The students we worked with were a big asset and we’re grateful to have been able to provide them with an opportunity to share their skills.”
The Chekkit team’s goal is to create optimal first experiences for customers, and to generate repeat traffic for businesses that offer free Wi-Fi.
“In creating this product our question was, ‘If someone walks in the door, how do you get them back in?’ Most people, their eyes are on their phone, and they’re going to log in to Wi-Fi,” Fayle explains.
“When they log in or when they leave, they can opt in to receive great deals from the business they visited and the brand they love, so the business can send them an offer that will make them want to come back.” Read More →
A networking event that linked Red River College students with leaders in the business and technology sectors is drawing strong notices from participants and organizers, thanks largely to the connections made with local organizations who now have access to a new pool of innovators.
The province’s first-ever BTM (Business Technology Management) TalentMash, presented by RRC and the Information Technology Association of Canada, provided a day-long forum in which industry reps met with students and instructors from the College’s new BTM program, to discuss how future graduates can help bridge the gap between organizations’ business and technology functions.
“It went exceptionally well,” says program coordinator David Jones of the event.
“The feedback from both students and the industry people who attended was positive on both sides. The industry reps appreciated being able to find out what we were up to with the BTM program — because they’ve heard of it, but didn’t know really know what it was.
“And [the event] introduced students to business and to business contacts, which they found particularly helpful — being able to talk to potential employers about what they’re looking for, and what they’d be doing.”
Held Oct. 28 at the Exchange District Campus, the event also gave students a chance to showcase their career competencies to potential employers, in particular the communication, interpersonal and analytical skills now considered critical for industry success. Read More →
Local entrepreneurs, developers and tech-curious laypeople will have the opportunity to learn from one of Silicon Valley’s top User Experience (UX) designers next month.
Red River College and North Forge Technology Exchange are proud to host Willy Lai — an industry leader with over 20 years experience at top tech companies including Apple, Samsung and eBay — for a two-day workshop at RRC’s ACE Project Space on Jan. 18 and 19, 2018.
Lai will lead hands-on exercises, lectures and discussions focused on developing a strong UX across multiple platforms. The visit will mark Lai’s first time hosting a workshop in Canada and is currently the only Canadian stop on his world tour.
“It’s a little known fact that I was born in Canada (in Halifax, Nova Scotia), so I’m excited to have the opportunity to share my expertise and what I’ve learned in Silicon Valley with Canadian businesses, entrepreneurs and developers for the first time,” says Lai, who currently serves as Chief Design Officer for e-commerce site Haggleland.
“I’m looking forward to meeting with the tech and business community in Winnipeg, and to help facilitate connections that could continue to grow long after the workshop ends.”
UX design is the process of creating products that provide meaningful and personally relevant experiences across different platforms. This involves the design of both a product’s usability and the pleasure consumers will derive from using it. Lai’s workshop will cover: Read More →
Business students from Red River College let their creative concepts take flight this afternoon, at the first-ever Dragonfly Den event showcasing social innovation in entrepreneurship.
Held as part of the College’s annual Social Innovation and Applied Business Research Competition, the Dragonfly Den session saw student teams making presentations informed by research they’d conducted on successful business concepts from around the world.
Appearing before a panel of six industry judges, students were asked to pitch out-of-the-box solutions to existing social problems — starting with a budget of just $500 — and to demonstrate how they’d adapted the models to make them sustainable here in Canada.
Judges then provided feedback and advice, and selected a winner who best exemplified principles of social innovation.
"Today we celebrate these young entrepreneurs and problem solvers who are using their global connections, experience and passion to address social issues here at home and around the world," says Christine Watson, RRC's Vice-President, Academic. "This event is an example of how industry, education ad community are working together to prepare and inspire our future leaders."
The concepts pitched by students included: Read More →
The first-ever 16-week Science of Early Child Development (SECD) International Course, co-facilitated by Red River College and Aga Khan University in Nairobi, recently came to an end this fall.
The course was a key component of the year-long World Bank Africa Early Years Fellowship, created for the purpose of assembling a select group of African professionals to work at capacity-building in their home countries, in support of governments and World Bank teams as they ramp up investments in early years resources.
Currently, 80% of children under five in sub-Saharan Africa are not enrolled in pre-primary programs and malnutrition is a persistent reality.
A bit of background
The SECD resource, developed by a small team at Red River College, began 16 years ago as a local initiative to create an accessible resource that could mobilize the possibilities of early brain development science to better equip early child educators in Canada.
Today, it’s a comprehensive, continually updated collection of on- and offline multi-media educational tools that incorporate research from around the world, providing cutting-edge resources to more than 40 countries. Readings, questions and interactive activities bring concepts to life, while captioned videos showcase the latest research, highlighting real-life examples.
The initiative wouldn’t have been possible without funding and collaboration from several key partners, including the World Bank, the University of Toronto, the Lawson Foundation, and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), which works to improve living conditions and create opportunities in Asia and Africa. The World Bank and the AKDN took notice of SECD in 2007, effectively setting the wheels in motion to make it international.
A decade later, the World Bank Early Learning Partnership selected the SECD International resource as a foundation for the course that would become a key component of their Fellowship.
The Africa Early Years Fellowship
The 2017 Fellowship, now in its third year, began in January, and offers fellows the option of applying to extend their fellowship for a second year. A total of 20 fellows were drawn from a wide range of backgrounds, including economics, education, ECD, medicine/health, and international development. High-priority countries include Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi and Mali, among others.
Featured Fellows Read More →
Red River College will again operate on restricted holiday hours, effective 4:00 p.m., Friday, Dec. 22, 2017.
During the break, general access to the Notre Dame and Exchange District Campuses will be limited to the following hours:
- Dec. 23, 2017: Regular hours until 4:00 p.m.
- Dec. 24-26, 2017: Closed (no access)
- Dec. 27-31, 2017: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Jan. 1, 2018: Closed (no access)
- Jan. 2, 2018: Resume regular hours, effective 7:00 a.m.
Lab access at the Notre Dame and Exchange District Campuses during the above hours will be limited to the classroom labs listed below. Students who are in one of the designated labs prior to closure will be given a four-hour grace period (until 8:00 p.m.) to complete their studies or project before being asked to leave. Read More →
A trio of Red River College initiatives focused on staff positivity have helped land RRC on Manitoba’s Top Employer list for the eighth year in a row.
Those initiatives include the College-wide wellness strategy known as Healthy Minds, Healthy College; Cheers for Peers, an ongoing peer-to-peer recognition program; and a day-long professional development event called RED Forum.
“These are the kinds of programs that can engage staff, help them interact with each other and dedicate time to growing themselves. It’s important for us to provide these types of resources on top of things like a solid health benefits plan, pension, and vacation to ensure staff are motivated and feel proud to work at the College,” says Lindsay Allen, Acting Director, Human Resource Services at RRC.
“These initiatives are positive incentives for self-improvement and peer recognition.”
Over the past year, major investments in the wellness and mental health of RRC employees have resulted in the hiring of a new, full-time Mental Health Coordinator responsible for the Healthy Minds, Healthy College Initiative, and for ensuring that RRC is a mentally healthy place to work and learn. Read More →
Today, Red River College opened registration for two new Anishinaabemowin language and culture courses, created to support Indigenous language revitalization in Manitoba schools.
“As a College, we are taking the lead to provide more opportunities for educators to gain a deeper understanding of Indigenous language and identity, and to continue to strengthen partnerships with Indigenous learners in our community,” says Rebecca Chartrand, RRC’s Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy.
The new courses are the first of their kind to be offered by RRC, and will be delivered through a partnership between its Schools of Indigenous Education and Continuing Education.
As a key signatory to the Manitoba Collaborative Indigenous Education Blueprint, RRC has responded to an identified need to fill the gap in opportunities for educators to learn to speak, read and write in traditional Anishinaabemowin languages. In doing so, the College will also help support and enhance Indigenous academic success.
“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has called for action to protect the right to Indigenous languages, including the teaching of Aboriginal languages as credit courses,” says Chartrand. “As a learning institution, it is critical for RRC to incorporate Indigenous knowledge, perspective and content to create innovative and relevant programming in order to achieve this.”
Curriculum was developed by a working group comprised of representatives from RRC and the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre, as well as the Winnipeg, Seven Oaks, and Louis Riel School Divisions. The group’s priority was to ensure RRC could create programming that provides students with a deeper knowledge and understanding of Indigenous culture and language history. Read More →