Areas of Study
Connect with Us
Financial Aid & Awards
Alumni and Friends
In Case of Emergency
News and Events
Print this Page
Report an Error on this Page
The Board passed the budget Tuesday at its regular meeting.
The budget also contains an allocation for an additional 3.7 FTE staff members in the financial aid department and in the finance department to assist Adult Basic Education and English as a Second Language students as they apply for bursaries and grants to offset tuition fees announced earlier this year. Financial Aid will now have a physical presence on all four campuses.
“There is an important message in this budget,” explains Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “Through collaboration between departments, through dedication, through looking at opportunities Okanagan College has found ways to continue to grow access and support our goal of diversifying the institution.”
“We started the budget process several months ago with a gap of about $2 million we needed to wrestle with, and we have found a way to address that and continue to build Okanagan College,” notes Vice President Finance and Administration Roy Daykin. “Our enrolments and tuition revenue were larger than budgeted in 2015-16, and we were able to incorporate those on an ongoing basis as well as find ways to build capacity for international and domestic students. Our international department has exceeded its target for 2015-16 and saw ways to continue that momentum working with the program areas in the coming year.”
Additional capacity for both domestic and international students will be added in network and telecommunications engineering technology, electronic engineering technology, computer information systems, and business administration, requiring five additional instructor positions. International recruitment and advising will also grow by 1.7 full-time equivalent positions to expand recruitment efforts and to increase advising services to students. A new digital content and social media specialist is being added to Public Affairs.
“I’m pleased that we have been able to make the 2016-17 budget one that sees some limited growth, some investment where we think it will bear return, and that sees no reductions in programs and services,” says Daykin.
Beginning this fall, students can take the Geographic Information Science option in the Earth and Environmental Studies Diploma program. It is a field of expertise that is in increasing demand by everyone from police forces to forest companies, First Nations to smartphone app developers.
“Paper maps are outdated as soon as they are printed. Digital maps overlain with interactive information are like living objects, leading you to decisions on where things happen, how frequently they happen, when they will or might happen, and who or what is making them happen,” explains Dr. Andrew Perkins, a Salmon Arm professor key to the program’s development and delivery. “Now, that map is an enhanced tool for data storage, data analysis and, ultimately, better decision making.”
An information session focused on the program is being held May 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Salmon Arm campus.
“We’re building on an area of expertise this campus already has,” explains Professor Stephanie Bunclark, the chair of the College’s Geography, and Earth and Environmental Science Department. “Salmon Arm has been offering a certificate course in Geographic Information Systems for several years and we’re building on that with university courses in Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, in addition to other courses in the Social Sciences and Sciences.”
This diploma program will lead students to understand the research, analysis and human resources, as well as the hardware and software integral to Geographic Information Science.
“It blends theory and technology to provide graduates with a diploma that will open career doors for them in a number of fields, including urban planning, local government, mining, forestry, resource management, or surveying,” explains Bunclark.
The program will be one option that students can choose within the College’s Environmental Studies Diploma program. The full two years of the GIScience option are housed on the Salmon Arm campus and will provide hands-on opportunities to work with tools of the trade like GPS (global positioning system) and UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles).
“Geographic Information Systems were initially developed in Canada to help us better manage our farmlands. Since that time the technology has exploded globally where it helps individuals, organizations and government make better decisions about every aspect of the issues they face,” explains Perkins, whose research interests include Augmented Reality and Geographic Information, UAV-based data collection and glacial geomorphology.
“To accomplish this, GIS users capture spatial data surrounding an issue, display and analyze the data to provide new insights on issues, and generate new, creative outputs that aid in critical understanding of the issue.”
For more information visit Okanagan.bc.ca/GIScience.
The Okanagan College Alumni Association (OCAA) is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award and Young Alumni Award.
The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni of Okanagan College and Okanagan University College for their demonstration of excellence in the areas of leadership, the environment, business or industry, public or community service, the arts, and/or support for Okanagan College. The Young Alumni Award celebrates the outstanding contributions of an alumna or alumnus who is under the age of 35.
“It is a joy and a privilege each year to review nominations and learn more about the accomplishments of our alumni,” says Kara Kazimer, President of the OCAA Board of Directors. “Okanagan College and OUC alumni are doing remarkable things, and these awards are a wonderful opportunity each year to recognize the impact they are having in our surrounding communities and far beyond.”
All members of the Okanagan College Alumni Association are eligible to be nominated for the distinguished or young alumni awards. Nominees must have completed a certificate, diploma, degree, apprenticeship program or have completed a minimum of 30 academic credits at Okanagan College or OUC.
The deadline for nominations is April 29. Nominations may be made by completing an online form available at: www.okanagan.bc.ca/DAA-YAA.
Sareena Sharma Nickoli, Bachelor of Business Administration (2001) and Interior Decorating Certificate (2003), was the recipient of last year’s Distinguished Alumni Award. John Perrott, Bachelor of Business Administration (2003), was honoured with the 2015 Young Alumni Award. Profiles of previous years’ recipients can be found at alumni.okanagan.bc.ca/alumni-awards.
For Nickoli the award was a reminder of the role education has played in her success as a local business leader, while the ceremony was a chance to re-connect with her alma mater.
“I have always worked hard with the intent to better myself and those around me. To be recognized by Okanagan College, where I got my degree and started myself off on the path I’m on today, was such a humbling experience.”
The 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award and Young Alumni Award will be selected by the Alumni Association Board of Directors and presented at the association’s annual general meeting in September.
Adopted from a Haitian orphanage as a baby, 21-year-old Kelowna resident Aaron Gregory’s personal history has instilled in him a deep commitment to humanitarianism and giving back to the community.
Gregory has found his stride at Okanagan College where he is completing the second year of an International Development Management diploma. He also volunteers in his spare time as the Vice President of Enactus Okanagan College (a student-run social entrepreneurship organization), where he spearheaded the InnSpire project that raises funds for local shelter Inn From the Cold. He is also a student ambassador, giving campus tours to prospective students, and mentors little ones when working at Camp OC in the summer.
“I chose an Arts education because it encouraged me to analyze the world around me, and to think critically about ways to contribute to its betterment,” says Gregory about the multi-disciplinary program that combines diplomacy, political science, and business courses.
On Tuesday, April 5, prospective students, parents and anyone curious about Arts programs at the College’s Kelowna campus will have a chance to speak with Gregory to learn more about his experience as a student during an Arts Open House from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event will be held in the atrium of the Centre for Learning.
Informal in style, the open house will enable Grade 11 and 12 students who are considering applying, or those who have already applied but not accepted their offer, to connect with instructors, advisors, current students, and alumni in order to help them choose the right Arts education path. More than 180 courses in 21 subject areas are offered in the Arts discipline at Okanagan College and representatives from these will be on hand to share information.
In addition, two information presentations at 6 and 6:30 p.m. in room E202 will cover the topics of the application process, funding options, university transfer credits, and the Freshman 15, giving practical tips of what to know before starting post-secondary.
“I looked at nearly 40 schools across Canada to find the right one,” explains Gregory. “I chose Okanagan College for its reputable programs but also so that I could stay close to home. I didn’t want to experience the big 300-person class, that’s intimidating. Small class sizes and the ability to connect with professors was a big driver for me, especially coming from a small town.”
He adds that the Arts program transfer credits are a great asset, noting that high school students he meets are surprised to learn that courses are fully transferable to universities and other institutions in B.C. and in Canada.
“I’ll be transferring to the Okanagan College School of Business to complete a Bachelor of Business Administration. It’s fantastic that my first two years of Arts count as the first two years of the BBA.”
For more information about the April 5 Kelowna Arts Open House event visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/KelownaArtsInfo. No pre-registration is required to attend, and parking will be free that evening.
With funding from the Province’s Ministry of Advanced Education, Okanagan College will offer a new Health Care Assistant program in Princeton this year, providing education for eight students in the six-month certificate program.
“There is a growing need for health care professionals throughout our province,” says Jackie Tegart, Fraser-Nicola MLA on behalf of Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. “Funding a health care assistant program in Princeton demonstrates the commitment by our government to answering the skills needs of our province.”
Okanagan College will receive $90,000 to support delivery of the program.
“We anticipate that classes will commence in September for the program,” explains Donna Lomas, Okanagan College’s Regional Dean for the South Okanagan Similkameen. “That will provide time for prospective students to ensure they have the necessary prerequisites.”
Those prerequisites include having medical certification of good health, a FoodSafe certificate, first aid certification, necessary immunizations and a criminal record check.
The program provides students with the skills and knowledge to act as direct client care providers and members of a health care team. Graduates provide care focused on promoting the physical, emotional, cognitive and social well-being of clients. Graduates of the program are prepared to work in any level of continuing care including home support, adult day care, assisted living and complex care.
“There is significant demand within our region for Health Care Assistants,” notes Yvonne Moritz, the College’s Dean of Science, Technology and Health. “And there was tremendous support for this project from the Princeton and District Community Skills Centre and the community. Interior Health has been very co-operative and supportive as we put the plans together for this program.”
Details of the program will be available shortly on the College’s website and an information meeting is being planned for the near future. Dates and details will be advertised.
Okanagan College has come up with a few sweet and savoury reasons for runners to register for the 14th annual Half Marathon, 10 K and Relay Race, which will take place on Sunday, April 3 at the Kelowna campus.
In addition to the traditional post-race fare of bagels, fruit, cookies, and other carb replenishing snacks, students in the College’s Pastry Arts program will be serving up an assortment of warm baked goods, fresh from the oven.
With input and guidance from instructor Chef Danny Capadouca, the Pastry Arts students developed a post-race menu that includes something for everyone’s palate.
Runners will be able to snack on fresh baked field berry scones, rich chocolate brownies with walnuts, peanut butter and jam muffins, homemade trail mix and a hazelnut truffle, to satisfy those with a sweet tooth.
“Our students are involved in a number of community events and the half marathon was a great fit for us,” said Chef Capadouca. “It provides another opportunity to showcase the skills of our students to an audience who otherwise might not be aware of the talented chefs we have in our program. It’s also really nice for the students to present their food and get out of the kitchen to interact with the community.”
Race Director Christine Ulmer says the addition of the Pastry Arts students into the annual event makes sense on a whole number of fronts.
“I’ve been organizing this race for the past six years and I can’t believe I never thought to invite our student chefs into the mix,” she said. “I was running in a race this fall and was so excited to see a group of our Pastry Arts students serving amazing snacks on the course. It made me wonder why we weren’t doing this at our own race. I put a call into Chef Danny and he’s put together a really special selection for our runners. I think people will be very impressed by the food they get to enjoy and I think it will add a special touch to this unique event.”
Registration is still open for the race, which offers three different distances: a half marathon, a 10 K, and a relay race that covers the half marathon course. Online registration is available until Wednesday, March 30. After that time, runners can register in person the day before the race at Okanagan College’s Centre for Learning or on race morning. All proceeds from the race go to support Okanagan College student bursaries.
Visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/halfmarathon for more information.
No clinics will be offered on Mar. 23, 25 or 28.
Individuals should bring with them their ID, Social Insurance Number, slips from employers, schools, or government (any T4-type slips, T2202A, or T5007), and any additional items they think should be included, such as receipts for medical, childcare, and bus passes.
First – Anna Offenwanger and Ephraim Nowak
Bridge weighed: 974.3 grams
Bridge held: 184.3 kg
Second – James Dessert, Charles Bloom Secondary, Lumby
Bridge weighed: 989.06 g
Bridge held: 128.3 kg
Team Building, Post-Secondary
First – Zack Ricketts, Jordan Klippenstein, Geoff Pill and Connor Buick (Okanagan College)
Second – Zak Furiak, Justin Lange, Jesse Padda and Bob Briggs (Okanagan College)
Third – Daniel Otto, Jennifer Zarr, Cam Sabados and Jessica MacDonald (Okanagan College)
Team Building, Secondary
First – Esther Drysdale and Shale Nierman (Charles Bloom Secondary)
Second – Madison Dewitt and Paul Unger (King’s Christian School)
Third- Marissa Brandsma and Jessica Roodzant (King’s Christian School)
First – James Dessert (Charles Bloom Secondary)
Second– Hanya Riddick (Charles Bloom Secondary)
Third – Justin Dessert (Charles Bloom Secondary)
Okanagan College Media Release
Kelowna entrepreneur Chris Danek is in the business of making digital money transfers easier, so he was glad to receive a $5,000 grand prize from title sponsor Grant Thornton at the recently held Venture Okanagan Investors’ Forum.
Danek is the CEO and founder of Monster Money, a person-to-person digital money transfer system. The Venture Okanagan Investors Forum was held Feb. 18 at Okanagan College. It is the largest student-run event of its type in Western Canada.
"This is a great milestone for us,” said Danek. “We’re really excited to launch our product and make sending money cheaper and easier for people.”
(Monster Money will soon be rebranding as Spot.)
Venture Okanagan Project Manager Lauren McKay, a fourth-year Okanagan College Business Administration student, said Danek’s product matches the way people use money today, and makes it even easier.
“Although we’re all familiar with digital payment methods, it’s expensive and time-consuming to send small amounts of money to friends using PayPal or email money transfers. Monster Money bridges the gap between different digital payment methods, making the whole process quick, easy, and inexpensive.”
Danek says his company’s products help people send money to any mobile number or email address using any type of funding account (including other e-wallets) and making the process simple.
“Select from a list of contacts you already have in your phone, and punch in the amount you’d like to send. Done. No hassles around account details and expensive fees, just a simple and clean product to fill a need everyone has,” he says.
Monster Money was one of five startups that presented to an audience of over 100 at the recent Investors’ Forum. Coming in second place was Andrew Greer, founder of Purppl – a business accelerator program for social enterprises. Greer received a $250 runner-up prize from SoLo GI Energy Bars as well as a $100 gift certificate from Small Business BC, awarded to each of the five presenting entrepreneurs.
Also presenting were Mower Brewing, Limitless Potential Technologies, and 3D Currax Solutions.
The February event marked the 10th forum, which is now in its sixth year of operation under Enactus Okanagan College. The judges included representatives from Grant Thornton, City of Kelowna, and select angel investors.
Mark Ziebarth, Enactus faculty advisor and Okanagan College professor, said this event acts as a catalyst for local growth by facilitating connections between entrepreneurs and investors.
“This forum does something that seldom happens in our greater Okanagan community -- it brings together local startups, motivated investors, business experts, and students in an interactive setting that encourages strategic opportunities for everyone involved.”
Enactus Okanagan College is a non-profit student run organization that develops and implements projects in our communities that improve the quality of life and standard across the region. Enactus projects focus on three important areas: entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and environmental sustainability. The organization is in its 10th year of operations with its team of students having provided more than 8,170 volunteer hours, directly impacting the lives of over 3,600 people in the Okanagan Valley.
Okanagan College Media Release
Elementary school students in Kelowna have been getting an early education in financial literacy thanks to an innovative curriculum integration program developed by Enactus Okanagan College students in partnership with Valley First.
In January a group of five College students, under the direction of Okanagan College School of Business Professor Devin Rubadeau, began sharing their knowledge and passion for financial literacy with two Grade 3 classes at AS Matheson Elementary. Over a five-week period, the College students created a simulated economy within the classroom to teach the children the values of needs vs. wants, saving for the future, and the importance of giving back.
“Research has shown that life changing behavior is instilled when applied at the earliest age possible,” says second-year Bachelor of Business Administration student and CANSave project manager Abbey Jones. “Talking about money can be taboo in families and by the time kids start post-secondary the lure of credit cards and the task of managing finances often leads them to a debt scenario. We wanted to design something to help avoid this.”
Using pretend Enactus Bucks, the 50 elementary students earned a wage for completing their assigned CANSave workbooks, had to pay “desk rent” each week of the program, and were also tempted with games, toys, and stationary in a classroom store. Students also encountered the unexpected expense of the classroom Smart Board breaking. They could earn additional wages for completing bonus sheets in their workbook, and showing exceptional behaviours that would be viewed positively in a future workplace. The program also involved parent participation at home, encouraging meaningful conversations about money within the family.
Valley First contributed savings account passports to the students to help them track their savings and expenses. It made the simulation that much more real. The organization also committed to providing $25 for each student who successfully completed the program. The dollars earned were to be combined and donated to a charity of the class’s choice.
Within the first two weeks of the program one third of the students learned a valuable lesson: they were in debt.
“We saw a lot of peer pressure in class where one friend chose to use their Enactus Bucks to buy a toy, and as such the other, even if they couldn’t afford it, did the same,” says Jones. “But when we explained spending above and beyond would mean they wouldn’t have money left to donate to their charity of choice, the SPCA, they got motivated to clean up their finances.”
On Feb. 23, the students from AS Matheson were joined by their Enactus Okanagan College teachers to proudly presented a cheque from Valley First for $1,125 to the Kelowna SPCA, demonstrating that money isn’t all just about earning and spending, but also about having the freedom to give back to the community.
The CANSave curriculum, which was developed around the B.C. Ministry of Education Elementary School Curriculum (taking into account recent updates), has caught the eye of other teachers in the region.
“It’s exciting to see the positive feedback from Kelowna’s teaching community for this student-led program,” says Rubadeau. “One of the pilot teachers is planning to introduce this to other teachers in the district at an upcoming professional development event. Two School District 23 teachers will also adapt the curriculum and incorporate it into their lesson plans for their Grade 1 classes. It’s amazing and a testament to the great work by our College students.”
Teachers interested in learning more about how they can include CANSave into their lesson-plans can contact Devin Rubadeau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We also expect over 400 non-competitors to attend,” says Holm. “We supplement the day with an Explore the Trades event that offers tours of our shops and culinary arts kitchens, hands-on activities and the opportunity to use welding and paint simulators. Big White Resort will have a booth set up as will others from the community.”
“And, of course, everyone can pop their heads in to watch the Spaghetti Bridge contest as it unfolds.”
The pasta-focused event starts at 9:30 a.m. and wraps up at approximately 1 p.m. with awards for the heavyweight competitions. The full schedule can be found at Okanagan.bc.ca/spaghettibridge.
The SkillsBC Regionals and Explore the Trades events are made possible by the support from local businesses and Skills Canada BC, as well as a host of volunteers notes Holm. Information about the day is available online at Okanagan.bc.ca/skillsbc. The competitions and their ceremonies can be watched live online between 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at http://watchlive.okanagan.bc.ca/
Several organizations also support Spaghetti Bridge, including the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia.