Southern Interior students to benefit from $6.94-million donation

siditThe Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust (SIDIT) and B.C. Innovation Council announced a $6.94 million donation this morning to support trades and technology students at Okanagan College, Thompson Rivers University, Selkirk College and the College of the Rockies over the next three years. Over the next three years 1.43-million in financial awards will be delivered to Okanagan College students. Jim Hamilton and Kathy Butler attended the announcement at TRU in Kamloops while students and staff from Okanagan College participated via live feed from the RV Tech shop. Follow this link to read a press release about the announcement. Also watch for media coverage from the event in the next edition of Inside Okanagan College .

College students asked to Butt Out

Okanagan College students will benefit from $121,342 from the government of Canada to help reduce the usage of tobacco products at Okanagan College and UBCO. The funding was announced by Kelowna-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan on behalf of Health Minister Tony Clement. Okanagan College and UBCO were touted as provincial leaders in becoming the first college and university in BC to develop a tobacco cessation policy. Okanagan College students will now have greater access to individualized counseling and campus health practitioners will have access to tobacco cessation training. Okanagan College’s program will be implemented through the Campus Health and Wellness Smoke-Free program. Visit the media section to read the coverage of the announcement or follow this link to a press release from the Federal Government.

Refining our focus

Having completed a successful round of College-Wide Objectives sessions, Okanagan College and CWO facilitator Jim Cookson are calling for volunteers to serve on a committee to further refine the results of the sessions and finalize the set of objectives. Anyone interested in taking part can contact Jim Cookson.

Golden shovels break ground in Summerland

 Okanagan College Board
of Governors' Brian Hughes
Okanagan College and partners Carsten Construction Ltd. and SD 67 broke ground at the site of the 2008 Home for Learning project in Summerland on Thursday, March 27. In an interesting twist, Carsten Nielsen of Carsten Construction is more than just the builder/general contractor for the project. Carsten is also an alumnus of Okanagan College and one of the project’s diamond sponsors (the highest level of sponsorship available).

Connections 2008

Connections 2008 organizers are in the process of gathering ideas for symposia sessions to be offered during the August 26 and 27 events. Do you have an idea that you would like to suggest? Is there someone you know who could lead an exceptional session for colleagues? We’d love to hear from you. For suggestions on instructional sessions contact Stan Chung, for non-instructional sessions contact Jasmine McGee, or for any other ideas please contact Kaya Forest.

Record number of racers prepare for Campus-to-Campus

runThe sixth annual Campus-to-Campus Half Marathon and Bookworm Relay Race will take place this weekend on Sunday, March 30 in Kelowna. This year’s race is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever with more than 300 entries in the competition. Runners can still register for the event online and can also register on the morning of the event at the start line at Penno Road. Best of luck to Okanagan College staff and students who are taking part in this great event.

Students honoured at OBSA banquet

At the annual Okanagan Business Students Association banquet on March 13, 2008, the BC Human Resources Management Association presented two Okanagan College students with awards funded by the association. Justin David was awarded with an all expense paid trip to the annual BC HRMA conference in Vancouver and Tracey Stoessiger received a cash award worth $500. Both awards were presented by Roberta Fidalgo, Chair of the Southern Interior portfolio and an alumna of the Okanagan School of Business.

Student complaint policy implemented

A new student complaint policy has been adopted and is now posted online for all staff and students. The policy outlines the procedure for student complaints concerning employee conduct or performance. If you haven’t seen the policy yet it is available online.


Funding from the federal government to assist Okanagan College and UBCO with an anti-smoking program for students was covered in the Kelowna Capital News and Kelowna Daily Courier. Read more in Government butts into college, and gets students to butt out and Students get a hand to butt out.

The announcement of a change in funding for post-secondary institutions including Okanagan College was covered by the Kelowna Capital News’ Adrian Nieoczym. Read Adrian’s articles, Late policy change places UBCO and OC in a fiscal bind and Extra work as gov’t messes with education budgets.

Following the March 14 announcement that Okanagan College will receive $565,966 from the provincial government to purchase new equipment for its trades training programs, the Kelowna Capital News and Daily Courier published: Trades training equipment enhanced and Trades trainers to get new equipment.

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan contributed a story to the Kelowna Capital News that explained Bill C-253 (recently passed in the House of Commons), which affects the structure of the Registered Education Savings Plan. Read more in Access to post-secondary education a primary objective.

News of an Okanagan School of Business sweep of the top business awards at a regional SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) competition hit the pages of the Kelowna Capital News, Kelowna Daily Courier and Penticton Western News. Read more in: Business students win gold, They mean business and College students win business awards.

Keynote speaker at the OBSA banquet and Okanagan College alumnus Nick Arkle was featured in an article in the Kelowna Daily Courier. The piece covers Nick’s top 10 pieces of advice for succeeding in business and volunteering. Read about how Nick achieves a Work-volunteer-life balance.

The Penticton Western News ran an article profiling the first-ever Engineering, Science and Technology Education Symposium, which will be hosted by Okanagan College, in conjunction with UBCO and SD 23 on Oct. 23 -25 in Penticton.  Read more in City hosting technology symposium.

Jane Muskens’ School’s In columns both focused on the importance of education as critical components to the economic and social prosperity of society. Read more in University and college training extends into all parts of society and Educated workplace key to Canada’s economic future.

Summerland’s Home for Learning groundbreaking ceremony received coverage in The Penticton Herald, Students dig in to housing project.

A piece in the Business Thompson Okanagan chronicled the success of the 2007 Summerland Home for Learning, Successful completion for Home for Learning. The Summerland Review also ran a story about the 2007 project: Homescape wins for building excellence.

Rutland Senior Secondary’s home-building project was featured in the Okanagan Saturday. Okanagan College is a partner in this project.

The Kelowna Capital News covered the official opening of Mt. Boucherie Secondary School’s expansion, which includes a culinary arts school offered in partnership with Okanagan College. Expansion marks new era for Mt. Boucherie.

Spring courses offered by Central Okanagan Continuing Studies were promoted in the Kelowna Daily Courier and Kelowna Capital News. Read about the variety of programs offered in New syllabus filled with healthy choices for body and mind and Expand your horizons with a college course.

In other CS news, a call for volunteers to participate in the shaping of the Lifetime Learning Series, a new CS initiative, went out  in the Oliver Chronicle. Read more about the focus groups that will be offered at each of the college's campuses in Help shape Okanagan College's lifetime learning series.

The Kelowna Daily Courier ran a story about Okanagan College’s Business Expo and Employment Fair that highlighted the labour shortage and range of employment options available for students. Read more in Students can be choosy at job fair.


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 April 11, 2008.

March 28, 2008, Vol. 1 Issue 25


Education Council election update

Five faculty positions on Education Council have been awarded by acclamation. Congratulations to Ann Marie McKinnon (Arts), Rick Gee (Science/Technology), Siri Marken (Health and Social Development), Alf Leimert (Trades) and Janet Mantyka (Foundational).

Elections for two support staff positions on Education Council and one faculty position (Business) will be held on April 8 & 9 at all Okanagan College campuses. Advanced polls will be held on April 2 & 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at designated polling stations.

In accordance with Education Council election procedure, the candidate biographies have been posted to help inform voters about each candidate. To read the biographies follow this link. To find out details about the location of polling stations and other election information click here. The results of the election will be announced on April 16.

Poster policy update

In consideration of safety, the Kelowna campus has implemented a poster policy that outlines when and where posters can be hung at Okanagan College. As this policy has only been in place for a few months, follow   his link to review the poster policy.

Lights out

A global initiative supported by the City of Kelowna has residents helping conserve energy on Saturday as part of a campaign to combat global warming. Citizens are asked to turn off their lights for one hour from 8 – 9 p.m. for Earth Hour. The lights-out campaign began in Sydney, Australia in 2007 and has grown to include participation from around the world. Individuals as well as communities can sign up by visiting

Cut a rug in memory of Doug Biden

A fun evening of dancing and a silent art auction will be held at the Mission Community Hall in Kelowna on Saturday, April 12 at 7 p.m. Tickets to the event are $20 and proceeds will support the Doug Biden Scholarship Fund. Doug  Biden  was a fine arts instructor at the former Okanagan University College and UBC Okanagan. He died in March 2007 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. To ensure the memory of this passionate teacher and artist lives on, Doug's family has established a scholarship fund to benefit fine arts students within the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at UBC Okanagan. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Linda Falkingham 807-9761.

50/50 winner announced

Congratulations to Dean Nutter from Trades and Apprenticeship in Kelowna who won today's payday draw for $450. 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 (Landmark V, Kelowna) or online.

New laptop loan policy

IT Services maintains a small inventory of laptop computers for short-term loan to Okanagan College employees. These units are not intended to replace primary work site computers. They are available to employees that:

1.   Need a temporary replacement while their assigned laptop is with IT Services for repair.

2.   Do not have a laptop and need one for use at meetings, conferences, or symposia to take minutes or notes or make presentations requiring visual digital demonstrations.

IT Services cannot guarantee that a laptop will be available. Laptops are provided on a first come, first serve basis. To review the policy which is effective April 1, 2008 please click here.

Golfers wanted

Campus Recreation in Kelowna is putting out the call for anyone interested in joining a group to improve their play, learn how to golf or meet more people that enjoy the game. Campus Rec has access to great group deals and can put you in touch with other players. Contact Alicia King for more information.


March 29 – Student Connections at Okanagan College in Kelowna is offering an e-commerce training seminar for small- to medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurs and seniors on Saturday from 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. E-proof your business is a day-long event featuring a variety of workshops. Check out the seminar brochure or contact Jayme Cosar for more information. Faculty can still sign up for the event and will receive a discount price of $20 (includes lunch).

March 29 – Join Okanagan College staff and partners from the Canadian Federation of University Women for the second annual Adopt-a-Trail spring cleanup event in Penticton. Everyone is invited to bring family and friends (especially the four-legged kind!) to the McNicholl school parking lot (off the corner of Debeck Rd. and Penticton Ave.) at 10 a.m. The cleanup will last two hours and will end at the Water Treatment Plant with snacks and prizes for participants. For more information, contact Kaya Forest.

March 30 – Come to the Kelowna campus to cheer on participants in the 6th annual Campus to Campus Half Marathon and Bookworm Relay Race on Sunday, March 30. The race begins at the College’s Penno road location at 8 a.m. The finish time is up to the racers! Same-day registration is available and more relay teams are needed. Any questions or last minute volunteers can contact Stephanie Paul.

March 31 – The Penticton campus Speaker Series will offer its final event for the semester with the presentation of the film Letters from Iwo Gima. The show starts at 7 p.m. in the lecture theatre. Contact Kaya Forest for more information.

March 31-April 4 – Campus Recreation in Kelowna is hosting PONG-A-THON, a weeklong ping-pong competition. Registration is now full but spots on a waitlist are available. Come watch the battle for the Pong championship. Contact Alicia King to sign up or for more information.

April 1 – The Vernon campus will host best-selling author and nutrition consultant Rosie Schwartz as part of the Science in Society Speaker Series. Schwartz will present Enlightened Eating in Confusing Times: Making Wise Choices in an Era of Contradictions. Schwartz will cover nutrition in an age of globalization; the straight goods on food safety; the whole truth on whole grains; the benefits and risks of seafood; food versus supplements and much more. This free public presentation will take place on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Okanagan College’s Kalamalka lecture theatre.

April 2 – Campus Recreation is offering a kayak trip from Rattlesnake Island to Peachland. The trip will take place on Wednesday from 1 – 4 p.m. and costs $40 per person. Organizers expect this trip to sell out fast so contact Alicia King if you are interested.
April 9 – A student event to celebrate the end of the semester will be held in Kelowna in the courtyard from 12 – 5 p.m. The Semester Ender Carnival will offer games, food, a beverage garden and bands. 

April 16 – 26 – The Kelowna campus lecture theatre is the venue for the Theatre Kelowna Society’s production of Opening Night, a play written by one of Canada’s most prolific and popular playwrights, Norm Foster.
"Foster has created two wonderfully familiar Canadian characters, put them into an absurd situation, and made the whole thing explode like a time bomb of hilarity."--The Montreal Gazette

The play runs Wednesday through Saturday beginning at 8 p.m. an includes a Sunday matinee on April 20 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Town Centre Mall, Rotary Centre for the Arts, at the door or by calling Ticketmaster at 860-1470. Adult tickets are $20 – students and seniors pay $18. 

May 25 – The Penticton Philosopher’s Café will feature an evening with John Ralston Saul: Musings about Canada’s Global Future. Join the award-winning essayist and novelist as he examines the future of Canada’s global military and economic role. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Penticton High Auditorium. Tickets are available at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College or the Tumbleweed Gallery (adults $10, students $7, at the door $15).

There's another event on Monday, a chance to dine with John Ralston Saul at the Front Street Bar and Bistro. It's a limited-audience event, though, and tickets are a little more: $200. The dinner is a fundraiser for the Okanagan College Foundation.


IR Factlets

According to the 2007 Key Student Outcomes Indicators for BC Colleges and Institutions:

- 50% of the students surveyed say their main reason for attending Okanagan College was for Job Skills, 25% for a credential, 23% for both credential and job skills.
- 49% of respondents had previous post-secondary education.
- 81% of Applied Program respondents were employed in a training-related job.

To read the full report cited above, follow this link.  If you have questions for Institutional Research send Jan O'Brien an email.

Library question of the month

The latest Library question of the month was: What library service(s) do you value most?

Comments varied among responders and included the following:

- I like the ability to send articles to yourself. It really helps when you have to work and go to school.
- I enjoy the staff a lot. They are great.
- I have not got enough money for a computer so I really like the ability to borrow laptops, but I wish they were free for longer.
- I love having access to many different periodicals!
- I value the librarians the most in the library as they are always willing to help anyone at anytime.

Follow this link to read the full range of comments.