Wireless improvements on campus
In response to student and staff feedback IT Services has upgraded the College's wireless infrastructure. This recently completed project will result in increased quality of coverage and capacity to improve the user's wireless experience.
The project included:
Completion of wireless design for each campus
- Installation of 80 new access points
Repositioning of the 120 existing access points
Simplified device registration
Monitoring tools and continuous assessment
IT Services will continue to assess the wireless needs of the College and will be seeking additional input in the new year. In the meantime, to share comments/observations, email IT Services at email@example.com
Business students prepare to head east
for prominent case competition
Eight Okanagan College School of Business students will be competing against the best of the best at the prestigious Queen’s University Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (I.C.B.C.) in Kingston, Ont., in January 2016.
Jessica Lenz, a fourth-year Bachelor of Business Administration Honours student whose team earned the top spot in accounting last year, is hoping she can help her team bring home a gold medal once again. This year she is competing in the finance division of the longest-running Canadian undergraduate case competition. Okanagan College teams also qualified in the debate, management of information systems, and marketing disciplines.
“Making it twice to the competition I think is proof of the quality of education I’ve received at Okanagan College. It distinctly shows that I didn’t just memorize and pass exams; it’s a demonstration of how the knowledge we gain is applicable to the real world.”
In total 15 Okanagan College students competed in the preliminary round with seven teams submitting case analyses in a pool that included more than 100 teams from post-secondary institutions across Canada and the world. Okanagan College student teams competing in the finals on Jan. 14-16 at Queen’s University are:
Finance: Jessica Lenz and Karen Vandergaag (professor coach Derek Cook)
Marketing: Megan Whittingham and Nicole Arbuthnot (professor coach Alan Rice)
Management of Information Systems: Ariel Richards and Jesse Tate (professor coach Glen Coulthard)
Debate: Two additional students (professor coach David Cram)
For more information about the competition, read the press release here and visit the website.
Horizon Electric lights up Okanagan College with donation
There was a hustle and bustle at the Kelowna campus on Friday Nov. 27, when 21 Horizon Electric vans lined-up along Campus West road and more than 50 of the company’s employees joined President Jerry Pasitney to present a $100,000 donation to the Bright Horizons Building for Skills campaign.
The donation will provide Okanagan College students in the Electrician program access to three new cutting edge electrical controls labs in the new Trades Training Complex outfitted with the latest equipment, technology, and workstations specifically geared for electricians. As an added benefit of the new space and facilities, the College will be able to bring back to campus more than 700 students currently training at leased facilities on Acland and Penno Road.
Launched in 2006, the Electrician program is the largest program in the College’s Trades portfolio with more than 500 FTE (full-time equivalent) enrolments in 2014-15, and is one of the fastest growing trades programs in the province. Over the next seven years, it is expected that the Thompson Okanagan will need more than 1,000 new electricians. Provincially, the government has identified electricians as one of the top trades-sector jobs over the next decade, along with heavy duty mechanics.
To read more about the donation read the press release here and visit the campaign’s website.
Upcoming employee Winter Carnival in Kelowna
A new event will help celebrate the holiday season this year at the Kelowna campus.
An afternoon reception for Okanagan College staff will be held on Dec. 23 in the atrium of the Centre for Learning and will replace the annual trades luncheon for 2015. The Carnival will begin at 3 p.m. and run until 4:30 p.m. Hot and cold appetizers will be served along with coffee, hot chocolate and cold drinks.
Hosted by the Central Okanagan Regional Dean’s office, there will also be door prizes and games. All staff are encouraged to attend.
Penticton campus rallies to boost
the Emergency Student Fund
Penticton employees and students hosted two luncheon events in November to raise money for the College’s Emergency Student Fund.
Inspired by the Diwali festival in India, the Library Services employees hosted the annual Taste of India luncheon on Nov. 2. More than 150 students enjoyed a culinary feast for $5 a plate which included samosas, butter chicken and cauliflower, tomato chutney, and chickpeas made by Penticton Library Clerk Surandar Dasanjh, and served by employees.
International students Manjot Kaur, Harshdeep Chahil, and Kirandeep Sidhu offered traditional henna hand painting to attendees. Adding to the festive atmosphere, students also participated in Indian dance performances. More than $1,000 was raised.
Later in the month, on Nov. 19, the Aboriginal Access and Services team hosted the Indian Taco Sale which raised $425. Following a similar format, for $5 students enjoyed tacos made from bannock filled with chili and a variety of traditional garnishes.
BC Student Outcomes data and dashboard improvements
The BC Student Outcomes dashboard has been updated with new data from the 2013 to 2015 Diploma, Associate Degree, and Certificate Student Outcomes Survey (DACSO).
The dashboard has also been improved to enhance the review of the valuable data for public reporting. The updated interface includes easy to understand graphics, improved reporting consistency across the different surveys, availability of previous cycles results and multi-year results, and enhanced printing functionality.
Jan O’Brien, Institutional Research Manager at the College co-chairs the provincial $1.2 million project and is leading the modernization of reporting tools including the dashboard for better institutional reporting.
The BC Student Outcomes Project annually surveys over 50,000 former students of B.C. public post-secondary educational institutions to determine satisfaction with programs, program relevance, and labour market outcomes.
School district looks to OC grads
to fill anticipated needs
North Okanagan Shuswap School District #83 is anticipating a significant number of retirements in the next couple of years, and graduates of Okanagan College’s Education Assistant (EA) certificate program will be ready to meet the community’s needs.
In a classroom, EAs support children with diverse and unique learning needs, including physical, cognitive and/or behavioural challenges. A valuable component of the program, recognized by employers, is the 120-hour practicum during which time students are placed in a school to practice and hone their skills.
Nora Kennett, District Administrator – Student Services SD #83 organizes practicums for students with the school district and also sits on the College’s program advisory committee and is an instructor.
“During the practicum, students are encouraged to reflect – to examine whether or not certain strategies worked and develop thoughts on how they could do things differently next time,” says Kennett. “A school is a dynamic place and practicum students need to have the ability to be flexible and to quickly shift and change directions when needed, all within a team context.”
The next intake for Okanagan College’s Education Assistant certificate program is January 2016 at the Salmon Arm campus. Follow this link to read the press release.
Recognizing employees' long-standing service
to the College
On Nov. 25, the College honoured 119 employees for their continued commitment and milestone years of service (10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 45 years) to the institution at the annual Employee Recognition Ceremony.
Forty-five years ago, in August 1970, Erika Henfling launched her Library Services career at OC as a page (an assistant helping shelve books). She is the employee with the most years of service in the College’s history, and is also an alumna having earned a Diploma in Arts, and is a College donor. What she values the most is the impact she, and the College as a whole, has on students.
“It was, and is, always a pleasure going to work,” she says. “I knew I was helping students accomplish great things and setting them up for their own careers. What a joy to come to work and be surrounded by such wonderful, educated people.”
In a gesture of giving back to the College, a few years ago she made a donation and created the Hermann Henfling Trade Awards: two annual awards, one for an Automotive Service Technician student and another in Heavy Mechanical Foundation. The awards are named after her father who worked his whole life in trades, and is a nod to her brother who is a millwright.
New roles within Financial Services team
Financial Services is welcoming two existing employees into newly created manager positions after two external competitions resulted in the advancement of Tiffaney Keis and Shelley Dos Santos.
Tiffaney, who has been working as an Accounts Payable Business Analyst, will assume the position of Manager, Financial Services, and will oversee the payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable processes and related reporting.
Shelley, who is currently the Tuition and Accounting Business Analyst, will assume the position of Manager, Financial Services and will oversee the operational reporting and variance analysis.
Both positions will oversee the Finance support staff and will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the department and all reporting requirements. These changes are part of Financial Services’ succession planning, revision of processes, and employee engagement and retention practices.
Early Childhood Education students
research children’s rights for event
As part of their program’s curriculum, 23 Okanagan College first-year Early Childhood Education students participated in a National Child Day luncheon event at the Laurel Packing House on Nov. 20 hosted by Kelowna’s Community Action Towards Children’s Health (CATCH).
The students hosted informational booths about the United Nation’s Convention of the Rights of the Child and how these rights are being actualized locally today. The project helped students develop their children’s rights advocacy skills. Students engaged in conversations with the nearly 200 guests in attendance who included childcare providers, local politicians, advocacy groups and family services providers. To learn more about the event, read the Kelowna Capital News article CATCH marks national Child Day in Kelowna.
Let’s play ball: an evening with Sportsnet’s Gregg Zaun
Baseball fever took Canada by storm this fall with the Blue Jays’ impressive season. A little closer to home, the Okanagan College Coyotes are looking to keep the momentum of support for the sport going.
On Jan. 14, 2016, baseball and sports fans can meet, mingle, and hear from Sportsnet’s baseball (and Blue Jays) analyst Gregg Zaun at a special fundraising reception being held at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus in support of our local team. Enjoy an evening of appetizers and beverages from The Canadian Brewhouse, a silent auction and a 50/50 draw.
Zaun is a retired professional baseball catcher with 16 years of Major League Baseball experience. He played for nine teams, including with the Florida Marlins during their 1997 World Series win, and with the Blue Jays.
The event will be in the atrium of the Centre for Learning starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $100 and available on the Coyotes website.