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As home builders, home buyers and community developers lean more deeply into realizing the possibilities of sustainable construction practices, those tasked with turning ideas into reality are in need of a new skill set to help meet the expectations of building green in the 21st Century.
Okanagan College has developed a new program to train construction professionals in this field and is hosting an information session at its Penticton campus on Tuesday, April 30 at 4 p.m. to shed light on the Sustainable Construction Management Technology (SCMT) diploma program and the opportunities that exist for graduates.
Beginning this fall, Penticton’s Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation will be home to the new three-year program, which is the first of its kind in the region.
“We are really excited about this program and we know there is a lot of interest in finding out more about the program and careers in this emerging field,” said Trevor Butler, the College’s lead faculty member for the program. “The information session will provide a great opportunity for those who are interested in finding out about admission requirements, the program’s content and the possibilities that exist for those who complete it.”
The information session gets underway at 4 p.m. in room PC 204 at the Penticton campus. The session will also be webcast, for anyone who is unable to make it to Penticton – http://klo-media-1.okanagan.bc.ca.
(From left) Contractor Rudy Heyde, Rob McKibbon from Shuswap Rotary Club, student Devon Larson, Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton, Salmon Arm Mayor Nancy Cooper, School District 83 Superintendent Dave Witt, and School District 83 Chair Bobbi Johnson.
The College has launched POOCHES (Pawsitive Options at OC Helping Exam Stress) at its Kelowna and Penticton campuses, which welcomes volunteer therapy dogs from St. John Ambulance on campus so students can take a break, and rejuvenate.
Various dogs, ranging in size from a small Maltese all the way up to a Burmese Mountain Dog, are taking part in the program all week.
First-year Penticton student Frankie Reinbolt, who is enrolled in the Associate of Science program, didn’t waste any time getting to know Murphy, a seven-year-old Burmese Mountain dog and his handler Karen Christensen.
“Having therapy dogs on campus helps me feel more relaxed studying for my exam,” she said.
Even staff members, like Physics Professor Ryan Ranson, were taking time to get some pets in.
Recruiting and Events coordinator Jill Smith, who organized getting the dogs on the Penticton campus, isn’t surprised by the enthusiasm.
“When I attended university there was a small dog from St. John Ambulance who came around our campus during exam period,” she said. “We’d hear Oscar had arrived, and everyone would go looking for him. Just knowing he was campus brightened our spirits, and I wanted to give our students the same chance to relax while studying for their finals.”
South Okanagan Regional Dean Donna Lomas said she’s been impressed with how quickly students have embraced the program.
“You don’t really think about what a difference a dog can make, until you see the students’ faces light up. They really appreciate this. It’s a welcome break at a time when the pressures are mounting.”
For more information about the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Services, visit www.sja.ca and look under Community Services.