Strong turnout for 8th annual Powwow
More than 350 elementary and secondary students, 75 dancers, 30 vendors and hundreds of OC and community attendees filled the courtyard of the Kelowna campus on Sept. 15 to celebrate and honour Aboriginal culture at the 8th annual Okanagan College Youth Exhibition Powwow.
“Overall this has been one of the best powwow’s that we have hosted,” says Aboriginal Services Coordinator Anthony Isaac, one of the event’s organizers. “I’m thoroughly satisfied with the level of OC engagement witnessed at the powwow. We had employees and members of the leadership team involved in the grand entry. I saw some staff and students dancing in intertribal songs, and of course numerous volunteers helping make this event the success it was. To me, that’s a prime example of how OC embodies cultural inclusion.”
Every September dancers and drummers from across the B.C. interior converge on the Kelowna campus to participate and share their artistry, skills, and knowledge. It is a visual celebration of Aboriginal culture that continues to generate growing interest and community participation each year. It’s also an event that benefits students—from creating awareness and opportunities to engage in cultural activities on campus, to the generation of support for student awards.
“We raised over $500 in raffle proceeds for another Aboriginal scholarship,” explains Isaac. “Thank you to Chef Bernard, Linda Dyck, Richard McAdam, Katerina Hay, Heather Carson, Carlyn Young, all of our volunteers, corporate sponsors, and community donors.”
Click here to view a video produced by Castanet.
New HRMA accreditation a boost for business students
After graduating from the College’s Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program this June, Ryan Lazauskas wasted no time stepping out into a career in Human Resources. And thanks to the announcement of a new accreditation for the College’s School of Business, BBA graduates like Lazauskas will be able to fast track their professional designation.
Baldev Gill, Chief Operating Officer of the Human Resources Management Association (HRMA) of BC and the Yukon, visited the Kelowna campus on Sept. 15 to recognize Okanagan College as an HRMA accredited institution. The distinction means graduates of the Human Resources Management program are now exempt from writing the National Knowledge Exam: the first step in obtaining the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation, a valuable credential for HR professionals.
“This agreement represents a tangible outcome ensuring that BBA graduates are well equipped to take on professional roles in organizations of all types and sizes,” explains Dr. Heather Banham, Dean of the Okanagan College School of Business. “Employers can be confident that these students have developed competency in the nine required practice areas and are on their way to attaining certification as a Certified Human Resources Professional.”
The agreement will be retroactive for three years, meaning students who graduated with a BBA and human resources management specialty dating back to May of 2013 will receive an exemption from writing the exam, providing they achieved a minimum 70 per cent grade point average.
Read more about the accreditation and benefits for students in the press release.
Okanagan College has a new sexual violence and misconduct policy
All Okanagan College students and employees have the right to study, learn, and work in an environment free of sexual violence. Simply put, sexual violence and misconduct is not tolerated at Okanagan College.
Funding support from the B.C. Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor-General has also allowed the College to research best practices for training in sexual assault/misconduct and offer a series of different workshops. Starting this fall, trained OC facilitators will be presenting workshops on Being More Than a Bystander. Workshops will be offered over the year to students on every campus and to different employee groups.
Coding course to help students tap into tech sector jobs
A high-tech collaboration between Okanagan College and Lighthouse Labs - one of Canada’s fastest-growing computer coding trainers – has yielded an introductory course that will set students on the path to a career in coding this fall.
The Coding Fundamentals course begins Oct. 11 in Kelowna and will provide students with some of the most in-demand skills in the high-tech marketplace. Over the course of 60 hours, students will boost coding abilities and learn the basics of web development from experienced developers. Students will create apps using a variety of coding languages including Ruby, Sinatra and Swift.
“Coding is garnering a lot of interest from educators and employers,” observes Dr. Dennis Silvestrone, Director of Okanagan College’s Continuing Studies and Corporate Training department. “Lighthouse Labs is a recognized leader in this field. We are excited to collaborate with them on this leading edge course.”
More information is available in the press release.
Derickson new Vice Chair of OC Board of Governors
Chris Derickson, a councillor from the Westbank First Nation, is the new Vice Chair of Okanagan College’s Board of Governors.
Honorary Fellow and Distinguished Service Award nominations
Nominations are now being accepted for the Okanagan College Honorary Fellow and Distinguished Service awards.
The Honorary Fellow award is recognition by Okanagan College of distinguished achievement or outstanding service. The criteria for the award are mentorship, excellence, eminence and accomplishment.
The Distinguished Service award recognizes a former Okanagan College employee who has given outstanding service to the College, who shares and supports the College’s mission, vision and values, and is active within and outside the College community. This award is not given as a matter of routine.
Full criteria, nomination forms, and a list of previous honorees can be found here. Deadline for nominations is Nov. 10.
New funding fuels adult literacy program in Salmon Arm
A grant from the Shuswap Community Foundation is helping instructors of Okanagan College’s Adult Literacy program explore new ways of connecting students with language.
The Foundation’s generous support, a grant of $1,118 this year, allowed for the purchase of several class sets of adult literacy novels with an Indigenous theme. In addition to the novels, an Aboriginal Literacy workbook series, an active reader workbook series and a class set of magnetic poetry kits were also purchased. The poetry kits will be used to explore different ways of connecting to language.
“Thanks to the generosity of the Shuswap Community Foundation, Salmon Arm’s Adult Literacy program will be able to continue to utilize unique teaching tools to help students with varied learning needs,” said Joyce Smith, Volunteer Literacy Tutor Coordinator.
Enactus students lend their business savvy
September 20, 2016, Vol. 11, Issue 13
IT Services scheduled outage
OC has scheduled an important upgrade to the Storage Area Network (SAN) that hosts the production servers and which will affect services on Saturday, Sept. 24. It is anticipated that several services will be down from 6 p.m. to approximately 11 p.m.
Vehicles for sale, proceeds support students
OC Foundation and Supply Management Services, in conjunction with the Collision Repair Department is presently offering for sale two vehicles that have been repaired and restored by Okanagan College automotive trades students (under the watchful eye of Okanagan College instructors). Click on the following links to learn more about the two vehicles currently available: a 2010 Toyota Corolla CE 4 door sedan and a 2014 Mazda 3 GS-Sky 4 Door Hatchback. Consideration will be given only to those Sealed Bids received no later than: 2 p.m. PST, Friday, Sept. 23, 2016. Proceeds benefit OC Collision Repair students.
New faces in the library this fall
Library Services invites students and employees to come in and say hello to the helpful and friendly faces at each campus library this semester. Click here to read the latest blog to learn who's who at your local campus library.
Feedback sought on Learner Centred Instructor Certificate
Learning and Teaching is currently reviewing the Learner-Centered Instructor Certificate Program (LCIC) offered through the College’s Continuing Studies department. This blended online program, available to Okanagan College employees, is designed to support participants in gaining a combination of theory and practical skills for planning and delivering learner-centred instruction. Okanagan College Therapist Assistant Diploma program instructor Darrell Skinner has been seconded to review the content and resources used in the Learner-Centred Instructor Certificate Program. If you are a graduate of the program, or are interested in providing feedback, please contact Darrell Skinner to help the College continue to enhance this program.
Learning and Teaching Operational Model draft report released
Over the past several months a working group has examined a number of operational models for learning and teaching. The draft report on Moving Forward: A New Operational Model for Learning and Teaching at Okanagan College is available here. Please feel free to email any feedback you have on the proposed model to Laura Eagen or Beverlie Dietze by Oct. 1. Feedback received will be reviewed by the working group and will help to guide next steps in the continued enhancement of operational for learning and teaching at the College.
Group benefits card goes digital
Employees can now access a digital version of their benefits card through Group Benefits Mobile, with a number of benefits: employees can use the digital card at their pharmacy and can also use the digital card as a replacement if their wallet card is lost.
This means everything needed to use the benefits plan is now conveniently available via mobile devices. Some of the features that were already available to employees through the app include the ability to submit claims, access to explanation of benefits statements and claims payment details, the ability to view important messages from Manulife, and access to information and resources related to drug coverage through My Drug Plan.
Flowers for upcoming events
Okanagan College Floral Design students will be back in the classroom on Sept. 27. If you have an event that would be enhanced by a burst of floral creativity, please contact Chrissy Rombs in Continuing Studies to coordinate arrangements.
Celebrate Science Literacy Week
Sept. 19 - 25 – Discover the world of science with a display of science books, periodicals, databases, and DVDs which will be on display at each of the four Okanagan College Campus Libraries from Sept. 19 - 25. As part of national Science Literary Week, this event promotes public awareness of science and highlights resources available. Visit the Library webpage or your campus Library for more information about displays and events at each campus Library.
Science in Society Speaker series: