OC Foundation launches Our Students, Your Health campaign
The Okanagan College Foundation has launched its largest fundraising effort in Kelowna in more than five years, with a new campaign aimed at benefitting students and transforming the health of our communities for decades to come.
Our Students, Your Health is a $5-million campaign to support the completion of the new $18.9-million Health Sciences Centre under construction at the Kelowna campus.
Beyond building sparkling new classrooms and modern labs, the campaign also seeks to raise critical support for the other factors that drive student success.
$1.5 million of the $5-million goal will allow the College to upgrade technology and equipment, and create new scholarships and bursaries for students entering in-demand health care professions.
The new Centre is expected to be completed in Spring 2020, with student occupancy in Fall 2020.
Information about the new facility and how to donate is available at okanagan.bc.ca/healthcentre.
Read the full story here.
OC celebrates apprentices
This month, Okanagan College joins other post-secondary institutions around the province in celebrating apprentices for the impact they have on our communities.
The Government of British Columbia has proclaimed November as Apprenticeship Recognition Month. Throughout the month, the Industry Training Authority (ITA) will highlight the many roles that apprentices play in supporting a strong economy.
Read the full media release from the Province here.
Okanagan College is the second-largest trades training institution in B.C.
In 2018-19, the College trained 1,711 apprentices at its four campuses across the region. Over the past five years, 7,862 have trained at OC.
According to recent BC Student Outcomes data, 99 per cent of OC apprentices are in the labour force, while 93 per cent reported they were satisfied with their education.
“We’d like to give a special shoutout to all our apprentices, to the employers who support and help keep the apprenticeship process strong in the region, as well as our instructors who are an integral part of that process as they pass on their skills and knowledge to the next generation,” says Steve Moores, Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship.
The Industry Training Authority (ITA) is sharing success stories on its website. One of the first featured was Jordan Ryan, who took the dual credit ITA Youth Trades program at Kelowna Secondary School and started the welding program at Okanagan College before graduating high school. He would go on to earn his Red Seal as a Welder. His success story can be found here.
Jessica de Groot was featured in the news release about Trades Commencement 2019 in May. She traded a career in graphic design for an apprenticeship in Collision Repair. Her success story can be read here.
In June, the College’s Women in Trades Training (WITT) program celebrated reaching the 1,000 students trained milestone with a banner raising ceremony that included Minister Melanie Mark, students, alumni, instructors and industry mentors. Read the full story here.
RBC invests 50k to boost students following tech careers
At only 15 years old, Matias Hartwig has already created several technology apps including a digital tape measure that measures distance by sound waves.
Having fallen in love with technology at a young age, it was not a stretch for Hartwig, a W.L. Seaton Secondary student in Vernon, to enrol in Gateway to Tech, a collaborative program offered by Okanagan College and local school districts.
The program is helping high school students understand how current technology will shape their careers by offering a 17-week course exploring how various technologies function. While the program is offered at the College, students receive credits towards their high-school graduation.
The original funding for Gateway to Tech came from B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. Now, the innovative program is receiving a major boost with a $50,000 donation from RBC.
The funds will specifically help the College create a work-integrated learning component to Gateway to Tech when it is offered in Salmon Arm this spring. The addition of work-integrated learning will allow students to gain indispensable, real-world experience and connections with local technology companies before they graduate.
“With this generous gift, RBC is demonstrating how much it values investing in youth to succeed in the careers of today and tomorrow,” says Dennis Silvestrone, Okanagan College's Director of Continuing Studies and Corporate Training.
Read the full story here.
Kelowna Toyota revs up support for Health Sciences Centre
Kelowna Toyota is donating $50,000 to Okanagan College's new Health Sciences Centre – a heartfelt gift they hope will inspire fellow business owners to follow their lead.
Jamie Kaban, Kelowna Toyota General Manager, says the donation is made in memory of his cousin Kira Goodwin. Goodwin was a Registered Nurse who died at age 32 in an avalanche while backcountry skiing.
“Kira lived her life taking care of people and giving back,” says Kaban. “This gift honours her values by helping students who will graduate and become caregivers in our community."
This is Kelowna Toyota’s second gift to the College. Kaban says donating to the Kelowna Trades Complex opened his eyes to the importance of quality training spaces for the future workforce.
Kaban is not stopping with his donation, he is volunteering on the Okanagan College Foundation’s fundraising cabinet to encourage other companies to help meet the fundraising goal.
Jack Kofoed, the former owner of Kelowna Toyota, and Enterprise Rent a Car are also donating to the Centre.
Read the full story here.
Canadian colleges collaborate on Cannabis
Five Canadian colleges and a national advocacy body have formed the Canadian College Consortium for Cannabis, an entity that will serve as a first-of-a-kind in the post-secondary sector.
Okanagan College will be the first institution in B.C. to join the consortium, which also includes NorQuest College in Edmonton, Niagara and Durham Colleges in Ontario, Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB), along with Colleges and Institutes Canada (CiCan). All recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining opportunities to work together through the Consortium to explore and pursue joint Cannabis training and applied research opportunities.
Okanagan College made headlines in fall of 2017 when it became one of the first in the sector in B.C. to implement a Cannabis course – “The Emerging Marijuana Industry” – through its School of Business. The course educated students to the regulatory process and emerging business impacts of legalization, in the context of the Canadian economy.
The College’s Continuing Studies and Corporate Training department launched programming in fall of 2018.
Read the full story here.
A Place to Call Their Own: New Amenities for OC Hoopsters
It was one year ago that Okanagan College trades students laced up their work boots to begin work on new locker facilities for the OC Coyotes. Last week, both the men’s and women’s teams laced up their sneakers for their season home openers in a space all their own.
The new locker rooms, located at Okanagan Christian School, was unveiled during a ceremony on Friday, that brought together Coyotes players, Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton, Dino and Andrew Gini, coaches of the men’s and women’s teams and other volunteers and supports of the Coyotes program.
The space first started to take shape last fall when OC students arrived to install framing, followed by pipes and plumbing in a pre-existing space at Okanagan Christian School. The finishing touches along with individual locker installation finalized this summer to ready the rooms for the team’s first home games that took place last Friday.
Both teams headed to Quigley Elementary after the ceremony for their home openers. Friday night saw both teams play Camosun College Chargers, with the men’s team capturing their third win of the season with 83-75 and the women’s team falling 68-100. Both teams fell to the Vancouver Island Mariners on Saturday night, 74-102 for the men and 45-84 for the women.
While the Coyotes will play their home games at the Quigley Gymnasium for the remainder of the season, they will now have a convenient space nearby to practice regularly at Okanagan Christian School.
Read the full story here.
View a photo gallery from the locker room unveiling here.
New year, new career in health care
Kelowna residents considering a change in the new year can start working towards a sought-after health care career this January.
The next intake of Okanagan College’s Health Care Assistant program is scheduled for Jan. 6, 2020, giving students in Kelowna direct access to training for one of the most in-demand positions in B.C.
According to WorkBC, health care assistants have been identified as a priority occupation for the B.C. Ministry of Health. Average employment growth rates in this field continue to rise with 19,210 job openings expected within in the next ten years. This demand is anticipated to increase even more after the Government of B.C. announced funding to increase staffing levels in residential care homes for seniors, which aims to fund more than 900 health care assistants by 2021.
An information night for people to learn more about the Health Care Assistant program and field will be held on Wed, Nov. 13 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. in Room E103 in the Centre for Learning building at the Kelowna campus, 1000 K.L.O Rd.
Read the full story here.
13th Annual Business Expo and Employment Fair – Call for Exhibitors
Okanagan College School of Business and the Student, Graduate and Co-op Employment Centre is hosting their 13th Annual Business Expo and Employment Fair on Feb. 5, 2020 at the Kelowna Campus and are looking for exhibitors.
The Expo will provide the opportunity for businesses to promote their organization and to connect with students both graduating this year and those continuing with their studies looking to build networks, as well as job seekers from the community.
The Expo will also provide the opportunity for organizations to display information on employment and careers within their industry.
“The Expo is a great opportunity for students in any program at OC to come out and talk to potential employers,” says Jamie Morrow, Program and Event Coordinator, Okanagan College School of Business. “We encourage businesses to register early before space fills up and for departments to remind their students of this great opportunity for them to network and see what kind of jobs are available out there.”
“Each year we look forward to participating,” says Michelle Nice, Human Resources Services Manager at the City of Kelowna. “It’s a chance to meet the workforce of tomorrow and also share information about how rewarding a career in the public sector can be. We also find success in filling our summer and co-op postings for the City by meeting with students face-to-face.”
The expo takes place Wed, Feb. 5 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Centre for Learning (E building) at the Kelowna campus.
College Career Fair fun for all
Hundreds of people were at the Kelowna campus on Sunday, Nov. 3 for the 38th Annual Career Fair, the longest running event of its kind in the region.
From operating the flight and welding simulators to watching the Kelowna Fire Department use the Jaws of Life, the day was full of entertainment.
Approximately 50 businesses were in attendance and more than 120 College programs were on display for prospective students to view.
Attendees were treated to campus tours that included visits to Culinary and Pastry Arts to sample treats, and to the Trades building to watch demonstrations of a wood miser sawmill, engine fail contests and more.
Prospective students and their families were also able to take in special presentations which included Advancing Women in Engineering and Technology, Health Care Assistant Roles at Interior Health, Calgary Police Information Session, resume writing tips and the top 15 points to know before starting post-secondary education.
“We hope that attendees found Career Fair to be fun and educational once again this year,” says Michelle Lowry, Event Coordinator. “Thank you to all of the exhibitors and volunteers who helped make it a success. It was a great turnout.”
View photos from the event here.
Tuition-free professional log truck driver training returns to Oliver
Those looking to step into the cab and start up careers as professional log truck drivers can tap into a tuition-free training program coming to Okanagan College in November.
The Professional Log Truck Driver program will be offered by OC in Oliver starting on Nov. 18.
The 16-week program includes 10 weeks of theory and classroom training, followed by six weeks of hands-on practical driver training.
It’s being offered tuition-free for eligible students who: meet the definition of an “EI client”, are eligible for WorkBC Case Management and who have been referred by a WorkBC Case Manager, and who possess a valid driver’s license.
The program is made possible by funding and support from the Federal and Provincial governments and WorkBC.
For more information about the program, visit okanagan.bc.ca/logtruck, call 1-866-352-0103 ext. 8249 or email email@example.com.
Read the full story here.
November 12, 2019, Vol. 13, Issue 17
OC Campus Store Annual Customer Appreciation Sale
The OC Campus Store is hosting its Annual Customer Appreciation Sale on Thurs. Nov. 21, at all campus bookstore locations.
Customers will enjoy 25 per cent off all regular priced crested clothing and giftware and bargain books start at just $0.99. Also, clothing “hot buys” have been brought in especially for the sale. All visitors will receive coffee and goodies.
Faculty and instructors are invited to participate in the Winter Convocation ceremonies on Saturday, Jan. 18 by leading graduands in the processional.
If you would like to attend a ceremony, please email Michelle Lowry noting the ceremony you wish to attend. If you require regalia please include your height and highest awarded credential (i.e. 5’11”, MSc, U of Calgary).
Morning ceremony at 10 a.m. – Arts & Foundational, Science, Technology and Health grads
Afternoon ceremony at noon – Business grads only
If you’d like to watch the ceremonies but cannot attend in person, tune into the College’s Facebook page to watch the livestream for each ceremony.
If you’d like to volunteer as an usher or distributing gowns to grads, please email Michelle.
Accessibility: Academic Accommodation for Students Policy
Okanagan College recognizes the importance of inclusive, safe and equitable learning environments. We strive to make the College, its campuses and its curriculum more accessible for an array of students with diverse abilities and learning styles. We know, however, that some students may want or may require additional support. To that end, the College provides disability related information, support and advice via the Accessibility Services Department.
Similarly, Okanagan College’s new policy, Accessibility: Academic Accommodation for Students, outlines how students, professors, instructors, support service staff and administrators can reduce barriers to learning for students with disabilities.
The provision of academic accommodations is a shared responsibility. The Policy is our public commitment to creating a truly supportive learning environment.
Municipal Pension Plan looking for employee’s input
The plan’s Board of Trustees is considering changes to the post-retirement extended health and dental benefits plan. They want to hear from you, so informed decisions can be made.
Employees within five years of retirement are asked to share their feedback on the post-retirement extended health and dental benefits that are most important to them and why.
Complete the online survey at mpp.pensionsbc.ca by Nov. 15, 2019.
Morcom joins BCNET board
Curtis Morcom, OC’s Vice-President, Employee & Corporate Services, has been elected to the Board of Directors for BCNET.
BCNET provides shared services for higher education and research in the province, from enhancing IT Services to strengthening cybersecurity to opening up innovative pathways for collaboration.
Okanagan College is one of the 43 members, which span colleges, universities, institutes and research institutes in BC.
Read more in the media release.
OC 2020-21 Budget – Town Hall Meeting
All Okanagan College employees are invited to attend a Town Hall meeting regarding the 2020-21 Okanagan College budget. There will be a session held at each campus that will be led by Curtis Morcom, Vice President Employee and Corporate Services.
Curtis will provide information on the OC budget for the upcoming fiscal year and staff will have the opportunity to ask questions regarding the budget information presented. The College’s budget will be presented to the Board of Governors for consideration at the end of March 2020.
Coffee and cookies will be provided at each meeting.
Elimination of the Medical Services Plan(MSP) premiums and Okanagan College's Group Plan
MSP Premiums will be eliminated effective January 1, 2020. Human Resources will be assisting with any record updates to ensure MSP records are current as of December 31, 2019. Please view the attached communique for details.
Free Pension Plan Member Education
Are you planning for or within five years of retirement? Understand the important decisions you need to make about your pension.
Attend a two-hour workshop on December 6, 2019 at the Kelowna Campus to help you learn more about your pension.
As you may have heard, there is a vaccine shortage for 2019 and private (employer) clinics are not being offered.
OC would like to support any staff who are wanting to receive a flu vaccination this fall by continuing to pay 50 per cent of the cost, as OC has done for all of our previous campus flu clinics.
For those interested, please arrange to have your flu vaccination done through your local pharmacy. You will need to pay the full cost for this personally (please do not use an OC credit card).
The approximate cost is $25; Okanagan College will reimburse you for 50 per cent of this cost by way of an employee expense claim up to a maximum of $15. Please ensure that you submit your expense claim with an itemized receipt to Human Resources and indicate on the expense claim that you are claiming 50 per cent of the flu vaccination cost. The expense claim will be coded and approved by Human Resources. As in the past, the flu vaccination reimbursement is for staff only.
OC SAFE app’s Work Alone feature
Employees who work alone or in isolation tend to be more vulnerable than those who have co-workers present, particularly if the lone worker is on shift during late night hours.
If a lone worker is injured or an emergency occurs, how does the worker get help? What if the worker is unconscious? Even though such incidents aren't that common, when they do occur, the consequences can be serious.
The OC SAFE app is now updated to include a Work Alone feature to allow for regular check-ins by security or a personal contact when you are working alone or in isolation. Download the app today from your App Store.
Are you looking to further develop your instructional strategies? Are you curious about ways to engage learners while meeting learning outcomes? Would you like some one-to-one support while adopting educational technology?
Visit the Educational Technology department today.
November "Holiday Budget Planning"
The holiday season is right around the corner. To avoid starting January in the red, create a realistic budget and stick to it. Remember: the holidays are not about what you buy but about spending quality time with loved ones.
For guidance and support, visit LifeWorks online and login with the username: okanagan and the password: healthy. Alternatively, you can call LifeWorks toll-free any time, day or night, at 1-888-307-0590.
View the November feature here.
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Professional Development Workshops
Staff are invited to join Learning & Applied Research and Education Technology for the Teaching, Learning, and Technology fall professional development workshop series. Workshops will be held from Sept. through to Dec. 2019. Participants can view the workshop catalogue here, and register on our website form or by email. Walk-ins are welcome, however, advance registration is recommended as hosting of workshops is dependent on sufficient registration.
Kelowna campus fitness facility
Mon - Thu, 6 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Kelowna fall food services hours
Kelowna food services
An opportunity to hear Robert Fisk
Nov. 14 – CJPME: Okanagan, in partnership with Okanagan College and Amnesty International: Kelowna group, invite you to hear renowned international journalist Robert Fisk at the Kelowna campus. Based in Beirut since 1976, Robert Fisk has been the Middle East correspondent for the British newspaper "The Independent" since 1988. He is the author of five books and a highly respected veteran journalist. Fisk’s lectures will focus on how Donald Trump has brought chaos and turmoil to the Middle East, especially in its relations with Israel and the Palestinians. Fisk’s talk is entitled: “Tweets and 'Deals of the Century': How to join the Arab world's sectarian war under the guise of peace.”
The talk will take place at the Kelowna campus theatre on Thu, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
Advance tickets are online; $12 for students and $15 for non-students.
Tickets at the door will be cash only; $15 for students and $20 for non-students.
Salmon Arm Celebrates the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Nov. 16 – A self-advocacy group in Salmon Arm is raising awareness about the abilities, similarities and differences of people with disabilities.
Shuswap Connextions is hosting their fifth annual film festival: Putting Ability in Disability on Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Salmon Arm campus.
Admission is by donation. There will also be a marketplace and gallery where artisans with diverse abilities will be showcasing and selling what they have to offer.
Doors open at 10:45 a.m. The marketplace and gallery will be open from 1 - 4 p.m.
For more information, email Shuswap Connextions.
OC gives to support students
Dec. 3 – Join the Okanagan College Foundation in celebrating a day of giving on Tuesday, Dec. 3.
Get involved in supporting students on your campus by taking part in a number of fun on-campus and cross campus activities.
The Okanagan College Foundation values how employees and faculty give to students in diverse ways. Share the different ways you give back to support student success by posting on social media with the hashtag #OCGives. Want help telling your story? Email Camille.
Learn more at okanagan.bc.ca/Giving Tuesday.
Design Thinking workshop
Dec. 6 – Do you want to redefine the way you identify and solve problems? Design Thinking has applications for anyone who wants to approach problems more empathetically and strategically, and provides a new technique to recognize and reframe problems, before developing and testing innovative solutions.
Tabea Berg, Associate, Faculty – School of Business, Royal Roads University will return to the Kelowna campus on Friday, December 6, from 1 – 4 p.m. to facilitate applications of the Design Thinking methodology, including a brief overview of the Design Thinking approach, examples of student projects that were developed and administered, the results generated by students, and lessons learned.
Faculty, students, and staff who attend will explore some Design Thinking tools and apply them in their own context. Please contact Learning and Applied Research to register.
Castanet and The Daily Courier noted that Dr. Brett Finlay was the keynote speaker for Learning and Applied Research’s Let Them Eat Dirt conference that took place at the Kelowna campus earlier this month.
The Daily Courier mentioned how OC nursing instructor Monique Karlstrom hosted a screening of her appearance on HGTV’s Love It or List It to raise funds for a new bursary for nursing students.
The Daily Courier highlighted OC’s Career Fair and the Advancing Women in Engineering and Technology presentation.
AM1150 highlighted OC Alumna Nicole Taylor-Sterritt’s Indigenous Leadership Summit.
Castanet, The Daily Courier, Okanagan Weekend and Kelowna Capital News shared the story about Matias Hartwig, a 15 year old Vernon student who has enrolled in Gateway to Tech, a collaborative program offered by Okanagan College and local school districts. The program just received a major boost with a $50,000 donation from RBC.
Castanet noted that UNC professor Dr. Kai Chan will be tonight’s Signature Speaker Series speaker at the Vernon campus and will talk climate change.
AM1150 and Okanagan Weekend mentioned that November is Apprenticeship Recognition Month in B.C. and noted the partnership between Central Okanagan Public Schools and Industry Training Authority (ITA) to offer students the chance to develop a trade skill while earning high school and post-secondary credits at the same time.
Salmon Arm Observer shared details about the Shuswap Connextions fifth annual film festival at the Salmon Arm campus to celebrate people’s diversabilities.
Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o Kate Deglow.
To ensure the best chance for your submission to be included, please send all details at least one day in advance of the newsletter’s publication.