College’s enrolment growth continues

Okanagan College’s record of growing enrolments continued to climb in 2009 - 5,663 students signed up for fall classes throughout the region.

The 5.6 per cent increase over last year can be attributed to a number of factors, noted President Jim Hamilton. “The economic situation is driving many people to return to school to upgrade their skills and education, but I also think that a broader selection of courses and programs is also partially responsible for the growth.”

Enrolment at each of the College’s four campuses grew: Kelowna’s enrolment grew by 141 students, Vernon’s grew by 76, the Penticton campus welcomed an additional 66 more students this year and in Salmon Arm, enrolment grew by 13 students.

“The growth in student numbers tells only part of the story,” said Hamilton. “We’re also seeing an increase in the number of credits students are taking – 8.9 per cent more credits this year than last fall. That means more of our students are taking more courses than they did in 2008.”

There are several areas of significant growth for the College this fall:

• 21.2 per cent more students enrolled in foundational programs (adult academic career preparation, adult special education and English as a second language) than in 2008.
• university transfer arts student numbers grew by 5.7 per cent growth over 2008.
• engineering technologies student numbers are up 10.6 per cent over last year.
• health programs increased by 13.5 per cent.
• 5.6 per cent more students registered for first year business programs in 2009 over fall 2008.

September enrolment numbers tell only part of the picture for Okanagan College – the fall statistics don’t capture courses that start after September 15, and don’t count all the Continuing Studies courses that people register for. The complete picture for Okanagan College enrolments comes in the spring when a calculation of full-time equivalent students is complete, drawing in all the data from the fall and winter semesters and Continuing Studies registrations.

Hamilton drops first puck for Crusaders

hamiltonpuckPresident Hamilton attended the Okanagan College Crusaders Hockey Team’s first home game of the season on Friday, Oct. 2 in Winfield. The team rolled out the red carpet for the president, whose skillful puck-drop set the team up for an exciting series against the University of Victoria. At their home opener, the Crusaders lost 1-2 to UVic but battled back on Saturday night to tie the team 5-5. The team’s website has up-to-date game schedules, scores and information about the league:

Calendar moves to Registrar’s Office

The Okanagan College calendar will now be published out of the Registrar’s Office in Kelowna. Faculty with changes to Calendar content can email Inga Wheeler, Student Information Coordinator, or call her at: 250-762-5445 ext. 4847. The Calendar can be viewed online at:

Successful Alumni Event held in Centre for Learning

 Dr. Jayne Brooks and Alumni Association President Kara Kazimer preapre to cut the cake to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Bachelor of Business Administration degree
Scores of Okanagan Collegeand OUC alumni - some who could trace their roots back to 1968 - took advantage of an invitation to visit the College's new Centre for Learning on Thursday, Oct. 8. They were treated to tours of the new facility as well as appetizers, music supplied by two high school jazz bands, and a great cake prepared by Okanagan College's Culinary Arts department to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Bachelor of Business Administration degree program.

The event followed two other recent gatherings in the Centre for Learning, making it one of Kelowna's social hotspots in October. An event Sept. 29 brought Board of Governors members together with members of the Regional Advisory Committee, Central Okanagan VIPS, School Board representatives, and a host of others. An event on October 7 brought a host of guests from the construction and development community to the building to learn more about the green side of the Centre for Learning.

nicole.jpg  john.jpg
Okanagan College alumna Nicole Parent was the lucky recipient of a weekend package at Big White, presented by Nicola Theberge
Alumni John Perrott (Downtown Kelowna Association) and Shelley Gilmore (from MLA Norm Letnick's constituency office) were among the alumni who turned out Thursday at the Centre for Learning.


Tyner named Director of Library Services

After a nation-wide search to find Laura Neame’s successor (Laura will be retiring in the near future), Okanagan College has selected Ross Tyner as Director of Library Services.

 Ross Tyner
Ross brings a great deal of experience to his new position, including valuable knowledge of the College’s systems, a passion for the institution, and a formidable work ethic. He has had an extensive career at OUC and Okanagan College. Over a 17 year period, Ross has undertaken a variety of roles in the library system, most recently as Web Services Librarian.

In addition to his direct responsibilities in the Library, Ross served the College and OUC as a member or chair of a wide variety of committees and professional bodies. He has held several leadership roles within the Okanagan College Faculty Association, volunteers extensively in his community, and has also been involved, as an editor and contributor, in several Kalamalka Press publications.

Ross will join the Leadership Team on Dec. 7 and will work in tandem with Laura through the month of December.

Catherine Williams retires

 Catherine and granddaughter
Described as "one of those people who knows almost everyone" at Okanagan College, Health and Safety officer Catherine Williams marked her retirement on Oct. 7 and shared the moment with many staff and friends. One of the most important guests, though, was Catherine's granddaughter, with whom she and husband Keith spend a growing amount of time. Catherine started work at Okanagan College in 1975 and held a variety of positions with the institution.

Klassen and van der Veen ride for tots & teens

Kal Klassen, instructor in the Construction Trades & Apprenticeship program and Wilma van der Veen, professor in Sociology, both participated in the 24th annual Toy Ride on Sunday, Sept. 27 in Kelowna. The event, which is organized by the Salvation Army, gives motorcycle riders an opportunity to ride together (there were hundreds of bikers) and donate a gift for tots & teens in the area to be distributed during the holiday season.

October 13, 2009 Vol. 3 Issue 13


2009 Employee Survey online now

This month, Human Resources (with the assistance of Institutional Research) is conducting the second Okanagan College Employee Survey. It will yield valuable feedback and will help guide College plans. The 2007 survey, for example, led to improvements and refinements in the College's approach to orientation.
Gauging staff satisfaction is important as Okanagan College continues its growth and development. Survey responses will assist in setting organizational priorities.  
The survey will be online until midnight Oct. 26. Results will be shared through Inside Okanagan College.  
The feedback employees provide through the survey is confidential.  While the survey instrument asks for basic demographic data, the categories have been kept deliberately broad to preclude individual responses being identified.

Please take time to complete the survey, which can be reached by clicking on this link.

Winter textbook requests

Campus Stores is anxiously awaiting faculty textbook requests for the upcoming winter semester. Please be aware that October 15 is the text request deadline for the winter semester so please place your requests with Gord Stefansson. As always campus stores enjoys working with you and thanks you for your year-round support of the store.

Tuition Bursary deadline: Oct. 16

Second, third and fourth year students have until Friday, Oct. 16 to apply for the Okanagan College Tuition Busaries for the fall 2009 and winter 2010 terms. Last year Okanagan College disbursed $253,000 in tuition bursaries to students.

Students are eligible for up to $500 per term (fall ’09 and winter ’10) based on the following criteria:

Applicants must:

  • Be in the second year of a diploma, associate degree or university transfer program, or second, third or fourth year of a degree program
  • Be registered in a minimum course load of 60% (40% course load for students with a permanent disability)
  • Be in good standing as per the Okanagan College Student Conduct Policy, not on academic probation and not have outstanding fees
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Be Canadian citizens or landed immigrants

To apply, follow this link to download an application form. Completed forms must be submitted to the student services welcome centre at the Kelowna campus or to the Regional campus administration offices by Oct. 16, 2009.  

Call for nominations - Distinguished Service Awards

The Okanagan College Tributes Committee invites nominations for the Honorary Fellow and Distinguished Service Awards for the 2010 Convocation and Commencement ceremonies.

Honorary Fellow Award

The award of an Honorary Fellow is recognition by Okanagan College of distinguished achievement or outstanding service. The criteria for the award include mentorship, excellence, eminence and accomplishment that reflect the values of the College and the diversity of Canadian society. Nominees will be persons who have made significant contributions to the College, the Okanagan Valley, the Province, the Nation or on an international level.

To make a nomination:
Nominations can be made in confidence by e-mail or mail, and should contain as much information as possible including:

  1. the nominee's name, title, position (or former position), mailing address and phone number
  2. a personal profile of the nominee
  3. comments on the nominee’s connections with Okanagan College or with the region, if applicable
  4. a statement supporting the nomination (supporting documents may be included)
  5. the name, mailing address or campus address of the nominator(s).

Distinguished Service Award

This award honours and recognizes former Okanagan College employees who have given outstanding service to Okanagan College, who share and support the mission, vision and values of Okanagan College, and who are active within and outside the Okanagan College community. This award will not be given as a matter of routine and is extended to only those who are most deserving.  Nominations from either a peer or supervisor are the chief source of candidates and all are given serious consideration. Nominations should include:

  1. A personal profile of the nominee, including name, title, position, address, telephone number and email.
  2. A comment on their exceptional service to the institution, and the special connection the nominee has to Okanagan College and our region.
  3. A clear statement in support of the nomination including any supporting documents
  4. The name, signature, department or address and telephone number of the nominator(s).

Nominations should be submitted in confidence by Oct. 16, 2009 to:

Joanna Campbell, Assistant to the President
Okanagan College
1000 KLO Road
Kelowna, BC V1Y 4X8
250-762-5445, ext. 4715

Alumni Association Awards Thursday

Staff can still purchase tickets to Okanagan College's 2009 Distinguished Alumni Awards, which will take place on Thursday. Distinguished Alumni winner Launi Skinner of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and Young Alumni Award winners Todd and Mark Regier of Prestige Collision will receive their honours at a dinner reception at the Quail in Kelowna on October 15, 2009. Purchase your tickets online at: or by emailing, or by calling Marcy Nelson at 250-762-5445 ext. 4773 or toll free: 1-888-650-6968.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Bryan Cook from the Kal Campus who won last week's payday draw for $520 - the largest prize ever awarded! The Okanagan College Foundation 50/50 Staff Lottery is open to all employees of Okanagan College. If you wish to sign up for the lottery, registration forms are available from: Advancement & Alumni/Okanagan College Foundation office (P103, KLO Campus), Human Resources or online.


 CEI Architect Planning Interiors representative Tim McLennan with CHBC news reporter April Lawrence
An open house in Penticton for the new Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation prompted a flurry of media attention as the plan to pursue the Living Building Challenge was unfolded publicly for the first time. The Penticton Western previewed the open house in a front-page article on Oct. 8. The Penticton Herald followed up the Friday evening event with an article in today's paper focused on fundraising progress for the $28-million project.

The events at the Centre for Learning and the plans for the Centre of Excellence were the heart of an article in the Okanagan Saturday on Oct. 10.

Avid hiker and Education Council chair Rick Gee was interviewed for an article on the great outdoors recently on Castanet. You can find the article here.

The College's swelling enrolment numbers were front-page news for the Penticton Herald on Oct. 1, as they were in Kelowna's Daily Courier on Sept. 30.

The life of former Physics instructor, Brad Rickards, was chronicled in an obituary in the Oct. 4 Kelowna Capital News.

The hockey's team launch was covered by reporter Chris Stanford.

The Vernon Morning Star connected on a Public Affairs press release to note that three former College students students will each receive a $5,000 transfer scholarship from the Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society.  .

In Jane Muskens’ School’s In column she wrote about transportation being one of the biggest barriers to getting an education.  She also wrote about immigrant families who have a high post-secondary participation rate

Okanagan College's Kal campus played host to the annual Household Hazardous Waste Round-up in Vernon on October 3 and is coming to the Kelowna campus on October 17.  Find out more in: Hazardous waste collected,  Round up household hazards and Gather up your eco-nasties for annual waste round-up.

The Okanagan College baseball team hosted the first OC High School Classic Baseball Tournament

New players were profiled as the Kelowna Capital News reviewed the Okanagan College baseball team as they prepared to host Fall Classic Baseball Tournament, part of the exhibition season prior to the regular spring season. 

The Vernon Morning Star provided coverage as a group of Okanagan College business students received $2,000 from the Downtown Vernon Association for research into attracting residents to the downtown core. 

Vernon Regional Dean John Lent is on tour to launch his new book of poems, Cantilevered Songs, a book of poems about living in Vernon.  The Morning Star made note of the tour in Regional dean finds time to write

Robert Fine, Executive Director of the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission, and an Okanagan College Honorary Fellow is the recipient of the 2009 Business Leader of the Year award. Read more in: A Fine choice by Chamber.

The Trade Up: Empowering Women in Trades Conference will be hosted by Okanagan College on October 16 and 17.  It earned almost full page coverage in Business Thompson Okanagan's October issue. It was a feature on the website of

The business pages of the Daily Courier noted that business students on the Okanagan College team attended the Students in Free Enterprise World Cup competition in Berlin, Germany.  The story also wound up on the virtual pages of

In his Global Citizen column Stan Chung wrote about the power of gratitude.  People who experience high levels of gratitude are happier, healthier people.

On Oct. 8, Okanagan College hosted a depression screening clinic - a story that earned the interest of Salmon Arm Observer reporter Tracy Hughes.

Battling racism was on the agenda of a recent meeting at the College's Revelstoke centre.

Daily Courier photographer Gary Nylander captured Okanagan College’s Alix Hawley and her family as they checked out the carp at the Brandt’s Creek marshes.  .

The Kelowna screening of filmmaker Paul Manly's documentary about the Security and Prosperity Partnership, You, Me and the SPP: Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule earned mention in the Daily Courier.

A roundtable event was held in Penticton for high-tech companies to showcase their ideas or learn from others.  Donna Lomas, Regional Dean in Penticton, was among those participating.

The Morning Star profiled Okanagan College Foundation Board member Alex Fong and his life as an artist.


Oct. 16 & 17Trade Up: Empowering Women in Trades Conference

Okanagan College will host a conference for women in trades on Oct. 16 and 17 at the Kelowna campus. The conference will bring guest speakers, networking opportunities and a forum for the sharing of best practices. For more information, or to register, contact Maura Lucente or go online:

Oct. 22 - International Day for Climate Action – (12 – 2 p.m. in the Pit)

Join the students of Sociology 295 Social Dissent and 212 Race & Ethnic relations and members of the OK Activist Club for an event to raise awareness about Global Climate Change with a particular focus on environmental racism. Through information displays and interactive activities, participants will learn about this most urgent environmental issue, sending a message to our political leaders that members of Okanagan College and Kelowna want to see the Canadian government make a strong commitment to reduce carbon emissions as the next round of international negotiations takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark in early December.

Oct. 23 - There's a rhino in my house, and a hyena, and a warthog...

Join Wilma van der Veen of Sociology for a slide show presentation of her volunteer work with a conservation project helping to protect the endangered black rhino. Find out more about Wilma’s voluntourism adventure, which took her to Zimbabwe’s Imire Safari Ranch. The presentation will take place at the Kelowna campus in room H115 at 7 p.m. Some snacks & beverages will be provided.

Nov. 2 - You, me and the SPP: Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule

The Kelowna campus will screen this documentary with the film's director, Paul Manley, in attendance for a Q&A after the showing. The documentary focuses on the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP).The film will be presented at 7 p.m. in the lecture theatre. The free screening is hosted by the Kelowna Chapter of the Council of Canadians, and part of the National SPP Victory Tour. For more information, visit:

Dec. 1This is what democracy looks like

The documentary film, This is what democracy looks like, will be screened in the Kelowna campus lecture theatre at 7 p.m. on the 10th anniversary of the Pro-democracy movement action that took place in Seattle in November and December 1999 when more than 50,000 people from environment groups, religious groups, women's groups, human rights groups, labour union groups and more, protested the negotiations that were being conducted by the World Trade Organization. Some snacks and beverages will be provided.


Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o Christine Ulmer.

The next edition of INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE will be issued on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009.