PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS - Red Deer College President Joel Ward presented his State of the College Address on Feb. 12th. Todd Colin Vaughan/Red Deer Express

WATCH: Red Deer College degree-granting announcement status ‘imminent’

State of College Address presents successes of previous year

Red Deer College (RDC) President Joel Ward recently gave the keynote address at the annual State of the College Address.

Ward spoke about several highlights of the past year including the growth of three capital projects, the economic impact of RDC on the community and the growing number of programs, however, the looming Government of Alberta decision regarding RDC receiving degree-granting status as a polytechnic university was the main theme of the evening.

The Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt made his recommendation to cabinet before the New Year and Ward said a decision is imminent.

“I am sure the Government has made their decision and the timing is up to them as it always is,” Ward said. “It is a great story if it is a positive answer and if it is a positive answer, of course they will want to be here to make that announcement.”

Much of Ward’s speech focused on the economic impact RDC has on the Central Alberta community, which is currently $533 million according to a RDC press release.

Ward said degree-granting would only further benefit Central Alberta economically.

“There is an economic argument, there is an argument for keeping kids closer to home and it is about opportunities for people to start businesses in our region and also to attract business,” he said.

Ward said the unique polytechnic university model would allow RDC to build a skilled and educated workforce.

“If you come back in 10 years, you will see a vibrant, new modelled post-secondary institution offering a variety of programs that are making a tremendous difference in students’ lives and the businesses, industries and social agencies in Central Alberta,” he said.

Ward was positive RDC will receive good news very soon.

“Our Minister has done a stellar job of presenting our case to cabinet,” he said. “He is a great supporter of who we are and what we are trying to do. He has met every deadline that we have asked and we are very optimistic that he advocated for us. We anxiously await the answer. It could happen as soon as tomorrow.”

Aside from the potential impending changes, the State of the College Address presented some very positive statistics.

“The State of the College Address provides a special opportunity for us to connect with our community members,” RDC Board Chair Morris Flewwelling said in a press release.

Part of that connection was highlighting the 100,000 people who use the RDC campus every year; the 7,500 full or part-time students in 2016/17; the 1,415 people currently employed by the College and the 100 different programs offered through RDC.

The College is also in the process of seeing three new capital projects which will open in 2018 including the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, the new residence building and the new Alternative Energy Lab.

“Providing the best opportunities and facilities possible for our learners is at the heart of what we do,” Ward said in a release. “We will continue to work with government, business, industry and community partners to build on our solid foundation and to achieve even greater possibilities for the future of our communities.”

todd.vaughan@reddeerexpress.com

Like us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RedDeerExpress/ and follow us on twitter at https://twitter.com/RedDeerExpress.

Just Posted

Council highlights

Council to fund Rimbey Boys and Girls Club for $15,000

CAUTION ADVISED: River valley trail systems closed – Updated with photos

High water levels, overflowing the banks in places, see Ponoka issue warning to public

Reflections: Celebrating the long history of the Ponoka Fire Department

The department served Ponoka for 112 years protecting area residents

WCPS to set meeting with Alberta Education

Wolf Creek Public Schools wants to see some clarification on student funding

UCP leader uses Ponoka fundraiser to prep party for spring election

Jason Kenney focused on policy convention and need for united front in order to win in 2019

WATCH: Central Albertan receives award for aiding RCMP officer in arrest

Lonnie Amundson, rugby player, tackled a fleeing suspect to help ailing officer

Speed Skating Canada fires coach Michael Crowe after investigation

Crowe was a coach on the American team from 1983 to 1991 and again from 1999 to 2006

5 things to know about the ongoing influx of asylum seekers in Canada

Number of illegal border crossings are up this year – as RCMP, military, politicians try to combat

WATCH: ‘Battle of the Badges’ event raises money for Humboldt Broncos

Red Deerians get together at charity hockey tournament April 20th at Servus Arena

Producer, DJ Avicii found dead at 28

Swedish-born artist Tim Bergling, was found in Muscat, Oman

Trudeau ends 3-country tour with global reputation, alliances intact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finds footing on the world stage after China and India controversies

Leafs’ Matthews has top-selling jersey, edging Crosby, McDavid: NHL

Austin Matthews jersey sales top Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby, Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid

Victims grant may miss needy parents due to eligibility rules: report

Only 29 of 50 applicants between 2013 and 2017 received the grant across Canada, a federal report says

Three suspects charged with 38 crimes after Wetaskiwin carjacking

RCMP Rural Crime Reduction Project starts strong in Wetaskiwin

Most Read