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New federal-provincial grant program opens doors for employers with training needs
Winners announced for Okanagan College’s Three-Hour Short Story Contest
College business student receives $10,000 Irving K. Barber Scholarship
Roy Daykin joins Okanagan College as Vice President Finance and Administration 
Take a walk in space with Quirks & Quarks host Bob McDonald
Students test their entrepreneurial skills to make the Okanagan a better place
Students test their entrepreneurial skills to make the Okanagan a better place
Students test their entrepreneurial skills to make the Okanagan a better place
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New federal-provincial grant program opens doors for employers with training needs
Okanagan College Media Release

Area businesses should take note of the new Canada Job Grant program, if they have employees with training requirements or need to train prospective employees, suggests Dennis Silvestrone, Okanagan College’s Director of Continuing Studies and Corporate Development.

“Under the new program, employers can access a subsidy of up to two-thirds of the cost (to a maximum of $10,000 per employee) for training that will help them in their work,” notes Silvestrone. (The training can be extended to both current and future employees but has to be provided by a third-party trainer.) 

The Canada Job Grant is part of the $65 million Canada-British Columbia Job Fund Agreement provided by the Government of Canada. While the grant will help employers and employees get the skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow, the fund will also ensure training programs exist to give vulnerable workers the skills to enter or progress in the job market.

Silvestrone is hoping employers will consider Okanagan College as a source of that training and expertise as they contemplate applying for the program.

“We have a variety of training opportunities that employers can access as they consider their needs,” he says. “From trades to health care, from project management to leadership to occupation-specific programs there is a great deal that Okanagan College has to offer.”

The training identified as eligible for the Canada Job Grant program includes, but is not limited to: 
  • Essential skills training
  • Technical training
  • Business training
  • Management and leadership training
  • Short-term certificate training

The training grant is available to private and not for profit sector employers. Participants need be Canadian citizens, permanent residents or designated as people entitled to work in Canada by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

The training has to be completed within 52 weeks of receiving grant approval. The grant covers tuition fees or trainer-charged fees, mandatory student fees, fees for textbooks, software and other materials as well as examination fees.

Employers interested in the program can visit www.workbc.ca/canadabcjobgrant for further information.

To find out how Okanagan College can help and for more about its programs and opportunities to meet employer needs, contact:

Employers can also visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/jobsgrant or www.workbc.ca/canadabcjobgrant for more information.

Winners announced for Okanagan College’s Three-Hour Short Story Contest
Okanagan College Media Release

Jesse Frechette Nov 2014A high-speed story of loss by Penticton campus Associate of Arts student Jesse Frechette took the top prize at Okanagan College’s Three-Hour Short Story Contest.

“The judges loved ‘Lost Control’ for its confident and original narrative voice, which kept us fully engaged in the story to the very end,” said Okanagan College English professor and contest judge and organizer Corinna Chong. 

“The writer created an impressively complex conflict; the story artfully develops the narrator’s struggle to come to terms with the loss of his father, which rises to the surface as he drives his father’s old Camaro faster and faster down the highway. We were also impressed by the story’s ending, which has a powerful impact but also resists wrapping the conflict up too neatly or artificially,” she says.

The judging panel, which consisted of Chong and fellow Okanagan College professors and writers Kerry Gilbert, Jeremy Lanaway, Hannah Calder, and Francie Greenslade, felt this year’s entries were very strong and exceptionally creative. 

“The competition was fierce, which made the job of judging difficult but exciting,” says Chong. “Many students came out of the contest with excellent stories that we hope they will continue to work on.” 

The Three-Hour Short Story competition is an annual event held at each of the College’s four campuses and is open to students in Grade 11 and 12, and those attending Okanagan College. 

Writers have three hours to create a story using College computers and are not able to access any pre-written material or anything online. Students also have to incorporate a mystery phrase – this year’s phrase was “soggy bread” – into each of their stories. 

Four prizes of a $250 tuition credit were handed out to a winner at each campus. The regional winners were: 

Kelowna – “Run-Run-Run” by Sarina Bouvier (Kelowna Secondary School)

Vernon – “Time Moves Quickly” by Daniel Reich (Okanagan College)

Penticton – “Lost Control” by Jesse Frechette (Okanagan College)

Salmon Arm – “A Small Victory” by Kyle Phillips (Okanagan College)

As the grand prizewinner, Frechette also received an additional $250 tuition credit, which made the total of his prize $500 to use toward his College fees. 

Originally from Edmonton, Frechette currently lives in Summerland and is pursuing his Associate of Arts degree at the Penticton campus. He plans to finish his Bachelor of Arts degree and ultimately hopes to go to film school back east.

Read all the winners’ stories at www.okanagan.bc.ca/3hourwriting.
College business student receives $10,000 Irving K. Barber Scholarship
Okanagan College Media Release

mckayOkanagan College Bachelor of Business Administration student Lauren McKay has received the Premier’s International Scholarship for Study Abroad from the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society.

The Winfield resident is one of only 16 students in the province to receive the prestigious annual award.

McKay, who received $10,000, is currently taking two semesters at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland in Olten, Switzerland, and all courses will count toward her business degree at Okanagan College.

“I am so happy and honoured to receive the award,” says McKay. “Being in a new country and studying with people from different countries and cultures is such a wonderful experience, and will be so beneficial for my career in the future.”

She chose to go to Switzerland, in large part, because of the country’s linguistic diversity (French, German, and Italian are all official languages).

“Engaging in the international exchange program is transformational for our students,” says Dr. Heather Banham, Dean of Okanagan College’s School of Business. “We have an exceptional group of institutional partners and this type of experience builds students’ multicultural communication skills. The Ike Barber scholarship program broadens the opportunity for participation and we are thrilled that Lauren has received this support.”

When she graduates, McKay plans to work in the family business and help her parents expand their pharmacy operations. Afterwards, she hopes to return to school to study consumer behaviour.

“By going to Okanagan College, I feel I've gained practical knowledge in different areas of business (including accounting, management, and marketing) and when I graduate I know I will be prepared for actual work situations and scenarios, not just theoretical ones,” says McKay.

Hugh Gordon, Chair of the Irving K. Barber B. C. Scholarship Society, noted that this year brought forward a record number of applications for the Premier’s Scholarship program.

The Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society has awarded just over $2 million in international scholarships since 2008, when the program began.

Roy Daykin joins Okanagan College as Vice President Finance and Administration 
Okanagan College Media Release

DaykinOkanagan College will welcome one of the sector’s leaders to its executive team when Roy Daykin joins the institution as its new Vice President Finance and Administration on Dec. 15.
 
Daykin brings nearly three decades of leadership experience in post-secondary; he was most recently Vice President, Administration and Community Engagement at Langara College.
 
Prior to that role, Daykin spent three years in senior executive roles at Langara, serving terms as the institution’s Vice President of Administration and Finance, Associate Vice President of Administration and Finance, and Langara’s interim President and CEO.
 
“Roy is a highly respected leader in our sector and his experience will be a valuable asset to our College,” said Jim Hamilton, president of Okanagan College. “He has provided outstanding service to other post-secondary institutions and a school district and will bring a wealth of relevant experience to our institution and our region.”
 
In addition to senior executive roles at Langara, Daykin spent nine years at Kwantlen University College as Associate Vice President of Finance.
 
Prior to that appointment, he was with Douglas College for 16 years where he progressed from a position in accounts payable to Manager of Accounting Information and Internal Audit, and eventually to Director of Finance.
 
Daykin also spent two years as Secretary Treasurer with Mission Public Schools.
 
“Okanagan College has a great reputation and there are so many reasons I am looking forward to joining the team,” said Daykin. “There is such a strong sense of community in the Okanagan and the College is deeply engaged with the community and that is very important to me.
 
“I’m also excited about the depth and breadth of programming the College offers. From trades to university studies to applied programs, it’s a great variety of programming that supports students and their learning.”
 
Daykin holds a master of arts in leadership and training from Royal Roads University. In addition, he is a Certified General Accountant.
 
He is currently the chair of the BC Post-Secondary Employers Association Board, chair of the BC Consortium for Skills Development, member of the BC Task Force on Reengineering, and chair of the Senior Finance and Administration Officers for BC Post-Secondary Institutions.
 
Daykin replaces Robert Eby, who will retire on Dec. 18 after serving seven years as the College’s Vice President of Finance and Administration.
 
 

Take a walk in space with Quirks & Quarks host Bob McDonald
Okanagan College Media Release

mcdonald3There are astronauts and there are spacewalkers. Astronauts leave the earth’s atmosphere in a spaceship. Spacewalkers don pressure suits and step outside into the universe—a physically demanding, mentally rigorous endeavour. It’s so difficult, in fact, only three Canadians have ever succeeded: Chris Hadfield, Steve MacLean and Dave Williams.

Bob McDonald, award-winning science journalist and host of CBC’s Quirks & Quarks, takes us into the world of spacewalking and explores the fascinating and important contributions made by Canadian astronauts during his presentation Canadian Spacewalkers: What’s it Like to Step into the Abyss? at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus lecture theatre on Monday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m.
 
McDonald interviewed Hadfield, MacLean and Williams, as well as drew on his own experiences with simulators and zero-g aircraft, for his new book Canadian Spacewalkers (Douglas & McIntyre).
 
In addition to Quirks & Quarks, McDonald is a regular science commentator for the CBC. His book, Measuring the Earth with a Stick: Science As I’ve Seen It, was shortlisted for the Canadian Science Writers Association Book Award. McDonald has received the Triple Crown of Canadian science medals: Michael Smith Medal for Science Communication from the National Research Council, Sir Sanford Fleming Medal for Science Promotion from the Royal Canadian Institute, and McNeil Medal for Public Awareness of Science from the Royal Society of Canada. In November 2011, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
 
McDonald’s talk is part of the Science in Society Speaker Series (a joint project by Okanagan Science Centre and the Okanagan College), which is sponsored by the Best Western Vernon Lodge, Cooper’s Foods, Starbucks Coffee, and the Vernon Morning Star. Clark Robinson and Hollis Wealth also provided special supporting sponsorship for this event.
 
Admission is $15 in advance or $20 at the door. For tickets, call the Okanagan Science Centre at 250-545-3644 or visit www.okscience.ca. To subscribe or obtain more information about the Science in Society Speaker Series, visit okanagansisss.wordpress.com.
 

Students test their entrepreneurial skills to make the Okanagan a better place

Post-secondary students from Okanagan College, the Centre of Arts andTechnology, and UBC Okanagan will have the opportunity to participatein a unique case competition designed to find innovative solutions topressing social problems. The event, Unleash Okanagan, is taking placeNov. 21 from 4 to 6 p.m., and Nov. 22 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. atAccelerate Okanagan, and is being organized by Enactus Okanagan College.
 
“Thisis a different approach to find ways to improve society and encourageinnovation and entrepreneurship in youth aged 18 to 24,” says KarenVandergaag a student with Enactus Okanagan College.
 
InSeptember, Enactus teams from across Canada were invited to submit aproposal to receive funding for an entrepreneurship event they wouldhost during Global Entrepreneurship Week, which runs Nov. 17 to 23.
 
EnactusOkanagan College was selected as a winning team for their event, asocial innovation case competition open to all post-secondary studentsin all disciplines.
 
During the event, participants will bebroken into teams of four. Each team, which will be comprised ofrepresentatives from all participating schools, will have 24 hours todesign a project that provides a solution to a problem focusing onsocial, environmental, and economic impacts. At the end of the event,the teams will pitch their ideas to a panel of business professionalsand alumni judges, and more than $1,000 in prizes and awards will bepresented to the teams with the most viable and innovative solutions.
 
It’sonly $20 to take part and registrants will receive lunch andrefreshments. Sign up at www.unleashokanagan.eventbrite.com until Nov.18.
 
Members of the general public are encouraged to attend the presentations on Nov. 21 from 4 to 6 p.m.
 
Thisinitiative is supported by the RBC Foundation and presented byFuturpreneur Canada, Enactus Canada and the Foundation for anEntrepreneurial Canada.
 
For more information on the Unleash Your Inner Entrepreneur program, visit www.futurpreneur.ca/unleashentrepreneurs.
 
For more information about Enactus Okanagan College, visit: www.enactusoc.ca.
 

Students test their entrepreneurial skills to make the Okanagan a better place

Post-secondary students from Okanagan College, the Centre of Arts and Technology, and UBC Okanagan will have the opportunity to participate in a unique case competition designed to find innovative solutions to pressing social problems. The event, Unleash Okanagan, is taking place Nov. 21 from 4 to 6 p.m., and Nov. 22 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Accelerate Okanagan, and is being organized by Enactus Okanagan College.
 
“This is a different approach to find ways to improve society and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in youth aged 18 to 24,” says Karen Vandergaag a student with Enactus Okanagan College.
 
In September, Enactus teams from across Canada were invited to submit a proposal to receive funding for an entrepreneurship event they would host during Global Entrepreneurship Week, which runs Nov. 17 to 23.
 
Enactus Okanagan College was selected as a winning team for their event, a social innovation case competition open to all post-secondary students in all disciplines.
 
During the event, participants will be broken into teams of four. Each team, which will be comprised of representatives from all participating schools, will have 24 hours to design a project that provides a solution to a problem focusing on social, environmental, and economic impacts. At the end of the event, the teams will pitch their ideas to a panel of business professionals and alumni judges, and more than $1,000 in prizes and awards will be presented to the teams with the most viable and innovative solutions.
 
It’s only $20 to take part and registrants will receive lunch and refreshments. Sign up at www.unleashokanagan.eventbrite.com until Nov. 18.
 
Members of the general public are encouraged to attend the presentations on Nov. 21 from 4 to 6 p.m.
 
This initiative is supported by the RBC Foundation and presented by Futurpreneur Canada, Enactus Canada and the Foundation for an Entrepreneurial Canada.
 
For more information on the Unleash Your Inner Entrepreneur program, visit www.futurpreneur.ca/unleashentrepreneurs.
 
For more information about Enactus Okanagan College, visit: www.enactusoc.ca.
 
 
 

Students test their entrepreneurial skills to make the Okanagan a better place

Post-secondary students from Okanagan College, the Centre of Arts and Technology, and UBC Okanagan will have the opportunity to participate in a unique case competition designed to find innovative solutions to pressing social problems. The event, Unleash Okanagan, is taking place Nov. 21 from 4 to 6 p.m., and Nov. 22 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Accelerate Okanagan, and is being organized by Enactus Okanagan College.
 
“This is a different approach to find ways to improve society and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in youth aged 18 to 24,” says Karen Vandergaag a student with Enactus Okanagan College.
 
In September, Enactus teams from across Canada were invited to submit a proposal to receive funding for an entrepreneurship event they would host during Global Entrepreneurship Week, which runs Nov. 17 to 23.
 
Enactus Okanagan College was selected as a winning team for their event, a social innovation case competition open to all post-secondary students in all disciplines.
 
During the event, participants will be broken into teams of four. Each team, which will be comprised of representatives from all participating schools, will have 24 hours to design a project that provides a solution to a problem focusing on social, environmental, and economic impacts. At the end of the event, the teams will pitch their ideas to a panel of business professionals and alumni judges, and more than $1,000 in prizes and awards will be presented to the teams with the most viable and innovative solutions.
 
It’s only $20 to take part and registrants will receive lunch and refreshments. Sign up at www.unleashokanagan.eventbrite.com until Nov. 18.
 
Members of the general public are encouraged to attend the presentations on Nov. 21 from 4 to 6 p.m.
 
This initiative is supported by the RBC Foundation and presented by Futurpreneur Canada, Enactus Canada and the Foundation for an Entrepreneurial Canada.
 
For more information on the Unleash Your Inner Entrepreneur program, visit www.futurpreneur.ca/unleashentrepreneurs.
 
For more information about Enactus Okanagan College, visit: www.enactusoc.ca.
 
 
 

Open house on Nov. 4 offers prospective students sneak peak at College life
Okanagan College Media Release

Okanagan College is throwing open the doors of its Penticton campus and offering an information session and open house to prospective students on Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 5 p.m. 

Secondary students and their parents, along with adult learners, are invited to attend the event to find out about program offerings, fees, and admission requirements for Okanagan College.  

“The best way to really understand what’s available at the College is to talk to students who come here,” says South Okanagan’s Regional Dean Donna Lomas. “Come and meet the instructors and learn first-hand all the benefits the College has to offer.”

Instructors and current students will be on site to answer questions and help students learn about the realities of studying at the College, which include benefiting from small class sizes and a low student-instructor ratio. 

“Coming to the information night, meeting with instructors and speaking with students definitely helped me feel more comfortable about starting post-secondary,” says Robert Lalonde, a first-year Associate of Science student who attended last year’s event at the Penticton campus.

In addition, everyone attending will have the opportunity to enter a draw for a $500 tuition credit.

At 7 p.m., College Prep 101 is taking place in the Lecture Theatre. This session will go into detail about the application process, accessing scholarship and bursaries, applying for student loans, and transferring credits to B.C. universities.

Events get underway at 5 p.m. in the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence.

For more information, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/infosessions.
Students boast benefits of College at open house events
Okanagan College Media Release

Devon and Brandon Oct 2014Okanagan College is throwing open the doors of its Vernon campus and offering an information session and open house to prospective students on Wednesday, Nov. 5 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. 

Secondary students and their parents are invited to attend the event to find out about program offerings, fees, and admission requirements for Okanagan College.  

Instructors and current students will be on site to answer questions and help students learn about the realities of studying at the College, which includes benefiting from small class sizes and a low student-instructor ratio. 

One student speaking at the event is second-year Associate of Arts student Devon Weston. 

“I'm going to the information night to help people learn more about the benefits of the College from a student's perspective,” he says.

“I chose Okanagan College because it’s affordable, easily accessible on transit, and offers the same educational quality you’d find at other colleges and universities.” 

Another benefit attendees will learn about is the College’s small class sizes and low student-instructor ratio.

“I have been able to befriend professors and create valuable connections within the college that is helping me get real work experience,” says Brandon Moeller, a second-year associate of science student.

I’ve gotten a job at the College as a research assistant for the chair of the Biology department and as a gardener for the community garden on campus,” he says.

Participants will also be able to find out more about the application process, how to access scholarships and bursaries, applying for student loans, and transfer credits to B.C. universities. Everyone attending the event will also have the opportunity to enter a draw for a $500 tuition credit. 

In addition to the information night on Nov. 5, Okanagan College’s Vernon campus is also hosting an Adult Learning Seminar on Nov. 12 at 5 p.m. Mature students can learn about course and program options, short-term programs, and receive information on financial aid. 

For more information, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/infosessions.
Salmon Arm campus throws open its doors Nov. 4 and 6
Okanagan College Media Release

Everything you need to know about starting College, you can find at the information session and open house events taking place at Okanagan College’s Salmon Arm campus on Nov. 4 and 6.

Secondary students and their parents, along with adult learners, are invited to attend these events to find out about program offerings, fees, and admission requirements for Okanagan College.  

“These events offer prospective students the perfect opportunity to find out answers to every question they could have—from financing their education to transferring credits to what pre-requisites are required—all in one place,” says Jim Barmby, Regional Dean Shuswap-Revelstoke.

College staff, current students and faculty will all be in attendance,” he says.

The first event, College Prep 101, takes place on Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. This session goes into detail about the application process, accessing scholarships and bursaries, applying for student loans, and transferring credits to B.C. universities.

The Open House takes place on Nov. 6 starting at 6 p.m. Instructors and current students will be on site to answer questions and help students learn about the realities of studying at the College, which includes benefiting from small class sizes and a low student-instructor ratio. Apply for any program during the either event and the application fee will be waived. In addition, everyone attending the Open House will have the opportunity to enter a draw for a $500 tuition credit. 

For more information, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/infosessions.
Info session on Nov. 2 shines spotlight on education and careers
Okanagan College Media Release

Okanagan College is throwing open the doors of its Kelowna campus and offering an information session and open house for prospective students on Sunday, Nov. 2 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Secondary students and their parents, along with adult learners, are invited to attend the event—which is being held in conjunction with the College’s Career Fair—to find out about program offerings, fees, and admission requirements for Okanagan College.  

“The information sessions help interested students gain an understanding of the benefits of Okanagan College’s learning environment, which is characterized by small class sizes and a low student-instructor ratio. They will also learn how the College sets them up for success when they enter the workforce or transfer to university,” says Heather Schneider, Regional Dean of the Central Okanagan. 

Instructors and current students will also be on site to answer questions and help students learn about the realities of studying at the College.  

At 1 p.m., College Prep 101 is taking place in the Lecture Theatre (S104). This session will go into detail about the application process, accessing scholarships and bursaries, applying for student loans, and transferring credits to B.C. universities.

Students who put their name on a list at the Registrar’s Office during the day’s events to apply for a program when applications open on Nov. 3 will have the $30 application fee waived, if they actually apply for the program before Nov. 7.

In addition, everyone attending the campus’s Career Fair will have the opportunity to enter a draw for a $500 tuition credit.

For more information, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/infosessions.