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Okanagan College’s $112-million operating budget for 2018-19 will help provide new programs, new student support, and help address pressures that have come with recent years’ growth.
The budget, passed Tuesday by the College’s Board of Governors, will add 13 new instructional positions in a variety of programs, including arts, science, technology, business administration and trades. There will also be a new counsellor, and additional staff for co-op education, for the learning centres in Kelowna and Penticton, and in education advising.
Further support will go toward establishing a mental health first aid network and funding for health care services.
In terms of new programs, the budget provides for a new two-year diploma in collision repair, as well as additional intakes in the sustainable construction management technology and animation programs.
There will also be an additional health and safety co-ordinator hired and new information security officer for the college’s information technology department. Two more custodial positions will be added to keep pace with the growth of the College’s physical plant (including the new trades building in Vernon, which is expected to open toward the end of the summer).
A half-time faculty position will support development and delivery of indigenous programming, and another half-time position will work on programming and applied research in Revelstoke.
“We’ve seen significant growth in recent years,” explains Okanagan College Board of Governors Chair Chris Derickson. “This budget maps out our plans to address some of the pressures that have come with that growth, to invest in student services, and to move forward on continued growth in programs and with some of our strategic initiatives.”
The largest portion – $78 million – of the College’s $111,847,000 balanced budget goes toward salaries and personnel costs. Domestic and international tuition accounts for about 33.8 per cent of the College’s overall revenues, while grants from the province and other sources provide about 53.4 per cent of the budgeted income.
Initial estimates of the College’s enrolment for the current fiscal year suggest the equivalent of 8,660 full-time equivalent (FTE) students (7,702 of those domestic students), up from 8,430 in 2016-17. Over the course of a year, about 20,000 people will take advantage of the College’s courses and programs at its four campuses (Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton) and its nine other learning locations, which stretch from Revelstoke to Oliver.
A renewed commitment from Scotiabank will help Okanagan College students and faculty continue their efforts to assist non-profit organizations.
Scotiabank announced a $100,000 gift Thursday to the Centre for Non-Profit Excellence at the Okanagan College School of Business. Led by College professors Dr. Kyleen Myrah and Kerry Rempel, the Centre employs students to research and develop initiatives that benefit and provide support to non-profit organizations in the region.
“We believe the students at Okanagan College are our leaders of tomorrow, and an investment in them is the pathway to community prosperity,” says Zak Khokhar, District Vice President for Scotiabank.
“This contribution will help create a better life for the people in the communities we serve and help students reach their infinite potential.”
Scotiabank helped launch the Centre in 2014 with an initial gift of $100,000. The current donation will ensure the Centre can reach its next-phase goals.
The Centre helps non-profit organizations improve capacity and achieve more sustainable operations by offering training to fill gaps. Since 2014, student researchers have worked with non-profits in the social services, sport and culture sectors to identify and address areas of greatest need.
Their research identified opportunities to provide training for non-profit organizations. To date, more than 140 participants have attended workshops and panel discussions on topics including financial literacy, social entrepreneurship, project management and strategic plan implementation. Many more will be engaged through online learning that will be supported with the funding provided by Scotiabank.
“The Centre is a point of pride for Okanagan College because it both creates real value for the non-profit sector and provides students with research experience working for a good cause,” explains Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College. “Scotiabank’s welcome support is evidence that it realizes the impact this initiative has had and can continue to have in the future.”
Currently the Scotiabank Centre for Non-Profit Excellence is focusing on increasing training opportunities and adapting the information to make it more accessible to a broader range of organizations.
“It’s an incredible opportunity to apply the skills I am learning in my courses to the projects I’m working on at the Centre,” says Carly Suddard, a fourth-year Bachelor of Business Administration and one of four current student researchers.
Suddard’s area of focus with the Centre is impact reporting. She is currently updating the curriculum package and developing an online version to be shared with a wider audience.
“Being a researcher has given me a whole new perspective on the needs of non-profits. They face a lot of challenges and training opportunities are not widely available or feasible for many of them,” she says.
More information on the Scotiabank Centre for Non-Profit Excellence and resources for non-profit organizations can be found at okanagan.bc.ca/npc.
Business students from across the country vied for the top spots at the Western Canadian Business Competition (WCBC) hosted at Okanagan College last weekend and a team from OC was celebrated for taking strategic planning to new heights.
Over the course of two fast-paced days of competition, student teams were tasked with running a complex business simulation – predicting all aspects of a hypothetical company’s trajectory over an eight-year timeframe. They then presented their best strategic solutions to a panel of judges. First-, second- and third-year business students competed at the junior level, while fourth-year students competed as seniors.
At the junior level, the host team from Okanagan College finished second to College of the Rockies, topping teams from Langara College, Selkirk College, and College of New Caledonia. Langara took top spot at the senior level, besting teams from (second-place) McMaster University, Medicine Hat College and the home team from Okanagan College.
OC’s junior team CEO and first-time competitor Madison Deutscher says the simulation offered her and her teammates a real-life lesson in collaboration.
“The opportunity we get as OC business students to work together in team competitions like this is incredibly valuable,” says Deutscher, who is completing her second year of the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program with a specialization in Marketing. “It’s a great way to learn when to be a leader – when to speak up – and when to listen and support others in their ideas.”
Joining Deutscher on the team were fellow business students Nico Dirksen, Dillan Crema, and Saige Girouard. Together they tackled operations, marketing, finance and HR for their hypothetical company, Everlast Digital Systems, which marketed drones and wearable camera equipment.
“In order to maximize sales over a span of eight years, we had to give a lot of thought to strategic planning,” explains Deutscher.
Their detail-oriented approach paid off. In addition to earning runner up spot in the Junior Team competition, the group was named top team in the Junior Strategic Plan competition.
“We certainly couldn’t have done it without the support of our coaches,” notes Deutscher. “They really helped us to feel confident leading up to and throughout the competition.
The team was mentored by Okanagan School of Business professors Dan Allen and Scott Overland.
This year marks the 29th time the Western Canadian Business Competition has run. The College has hosted for the past seven years. This year’s sponsors included Interior Savings and McDonalds.
As in previous years, business leaders from across the Okanagan and beyond stepped up to volunteer and lend their expertise as judges.
“A big thank to you all of our judges, many of whom have been doing this for years,” says Dr. Lynn Sparling, one of organizers for WCBC and a professor with the School of Business. “It’s so rewarding for students to get feedback from respected business leaders and community members. That element of pressure from having to step up in front of a panel of judges really adds to the learning experience for them.”
“Congratulations to all our competitors on their hard work,” adds Sparling. “It’s thrilling each and every year to watch them work together, represent themselves and their schools, and really rise to the challenge.”
For more information about WCBC, visit okanagan.bc.ca/wcbc.
An impressive finish at the Enactus Canada Regional Exposition means at least two Okanagan College Enactus teams are heading to the national competition in May for the chance to once again distinguish themselves as Canada’s best.
Okanagan College’s Enactus Organization sent five teams – totaling 34 students – to compete in the Canada Regional Exposition in Calgary last weekend. The results impressed coaches and once again surpassed expectations with two first-place finishes, one in the TD Entrepreneurship Challenge and the other in the Scotiabank Youth Empowerment Challenge. An OC Enactus team also scored a third-place finish in the Scotiabank Eco-Living Green Challenge.
“We’re the only team in Western Canada out of 23 to get two first-place finishes,” says Dr. Kyleen Myrah, Okanagan College School of Business professor and faculty advisor with Enactus OC. “We’re extremely proud of how these students represented their college and community and know that we have some very busy weeks ahead as we continue working on our key projects and prepare for the national competition ahead.”
The Enactus OC team emerged from regionals with an impressive $6,000 in prize money and are still awaiting the results from the McCain Social Enterprise Challenge which was led by Kelowna’s Abbey Jones, Nick Gallant, Cooper Simson, James Van Maren, Kyle Smith, Cassandra McColman and Josh Wiebe. The top six teams in the country compete in this challenge, which awards a $20,000 grant to the national winner. After the other regional competitions are completed, Enactus OC will find out if they move forward to the final stage in this challenge.
This year the teams took a risk and presented on several new projects including Start-up Weekend, Accelerate Youth and Recharge.
The entrepreneurial team, comprised of coach Dr. Kyleen Myrah, Salmon Arm’s Relan Johanson and Laureen Shannon and Vernon’s Abby Lagerquist and Mitchell Vanlerberg took first place in the TD Entrepreneurship Challenge for Start-up Weekend, a bi-annual two-day intensive workshop that helps local entrepreneurs in Salmon Arm make successful business start-up plans. The team also presented on the successful Launch-a-Preneur project.
The Accelerate Youth project, which teaches practical skills to at-risk youth was led by coach Scott Overland and Kelowna’s Jessica Egyed, Jessica Overland, Jamie Park and Marshall Kutyn. It placed first in the Scotiabank Youth Empowerment Challenge.
Taking third place in the Eco-Living Green challenge was the green team, consisting of coach Mark Ziebarth, Vernon’s Braydon Davis and Kelowna’s Emily Pilon, Carmen Larder and Wade Gable. The project helps people power up their devices on the go while also providing a conduit for giving back to the community.
“The outstanding performance from all five teams is a testament to the passion, hard work and dedication the Enactus students have for entrepreneurialism and solving real-world issues,” says OC Enactus President, Abbey Jones. “It’s truly inspiring to watch our team grow closer during competition preparation and nothing beats watching them shine on that stage as they speak to the amazing things being accomplished everyday through our programs.”
Jones, a fourth-year OC Business Administration student, also achieved a victory of her own at the competition, being named one of only two females from Western Canada to receive the HSBC Woman Leader of Tomorrow award. She received a $1,500 scholarship and a further $2,500 project scholarship for her team to be used for the advancement of women.
“Being recognized in this way is the cherry on top of a successful four-year run with Enactus OC,” explains Jones. “Without the support and mentorship from the OC community, my faculty advisors and Enactus Canada it wouldn’t have been possible. I’m looking forward to meeting other inspirational women at the National Exposition and learning what it truly means to be a woman in business in today’s world.”
Enactus OC is a student-run organization that has a long history of distinguishing itself in nation-wide competitions for its contributions to entrepreneurship and to the communities it serves.
The national competitions are held from May 14 – 16 in Toronto, Ontario.
Two very determined defending champions, a dash of friendly sibling rivalry and a home team hungry for victory spelled the recipe for a dramatic finish at the 35th annual Spaghetti Bridge Building Heavyweight competition at Okanagan College.
The bridge built by Justin Dessert and Hanya Riddick withstood an impressive 223.61 kg of load on the College’s Fettucine Fault Line scale before it exploded. The Grade 9 duo earned first place in the competition – and the top prize of $1,500 – for the second year running. Last year, their bridge withstood 255.06 kg of load.
“We went with a similar design this year – a simple arch with spokes – but we made a few tweaks,” explains Dessert, who hopes to be a teacher one day and whose life-long interest in science has continued to grow as a result of the competition. “We used fewer noodles and smaller noodles, which made the bridge a little lighter.”
The pair have already agreed they’ll try for a Spaghetti Bridge three-peat.
“We’ll definitely be back next year,” says Dessert. “Hopefully we’ll be able to build one that beats all our previous bridges.”
Adding to the fun of the competition for Dessert, this year marks the second year in a row he has vied with his brother for best bridge.
Dessert’s older brother James, a Grade 12 student at Charles Bloom and last year’s runner up, once again took home second place. His bridge withstood 159.39 kg this year before shattering in front of a packed lecture theatre at the Kelowna campus.
The team of Keyvan Khadem, Gavin Saini, Ahmed Ramadan, Harvey Mann, and Jordan Van Drimmelen of Okanagan College settled for a disappointing third place after their bridge crumbled early on under 36.48 kg of load.
Justin and James weren’t the only Desserts thrilling the crowd. Their sister Julia took top spot in the Secondary category.
It was a day of competition marked by sweeps. Students from Eagle River Secondary in Sicamous landed in second, third, fourth and fifth place in the Secondary category, while Salmon Arm’s King’s Christian School swept the podium in the Secondary Team Building category.
“Today’s competition came off without a hitch,” says event organizer Michelle Lowry. “Congratulations to all the competitors – they represented themselves and their schools so well. We saw a lot of good sportsmanship and good citizenship today.”
Prize money for the event is generously provided by the event’s sponsors: the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC), PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc., CTQ Consultants Ltd., Multi Power Products, Okanagan College Students’ Union, Interior Testing Services Ltd. and OP Machine Ltd.
First –Justin Dessert and Hanya Riddick (Charles Bloom Secondary)
Bridge weighed 784.4 grams
Bridge held 223.61 kg
Second – James Dessert (Charles Bloom Secondary)
Bridge weighed 888.7 grams
Bridge held 159.39 kg
Third – Keyvan Khadem, Gavin Saini, Ahmed Ramadan, Harvey Mann, Jordan L (Okanagan College)
Bridge weighed 999.2 grams
Bridge held 36.48 kg
First – Julia Dessert (Charles Bloom Secondary)
Second – Tommy Bland, Jake Erbo (Eagle River Secondary)
Third – Emily Gordon (Eagle River Secondary)
Fourth – Hunter Martin, Bryce Mayer (Eagle River Secondary)
Fifth – Thomas Tune, Alyssia Phommakaskione, Paxton Watson (Eagle River Secondary)
Secondary Team Building
First – Sarah Congdon, Ashley Koop (King’s Christian School)
Second – Rudi Fink, Joel de Hoog (King’s Christian School)
Third – Jacob DeWitt, Brenton Huntington, Tyson Kamstra (King’s Christian School)
Post-Secondary Team Building
First – Josh Richardson, Matt Dreger, John Navratil, Evan Geck (Okanagan College)