Previous Posts(10)
Kelowna Mayor, WFN Chief shave their heads for health care
Kelowna Chevrolet invests in health professionals
Contest winner inspired to help others
College’s Camp OC cancelled for 2020
Okanagan College hosts virtual info session on Tourism Management diploma program
College’s Therapist Assistant program earns new national accreditation
Drawing together: College and industry gather virtually to celebrate animation students
Haircuts fundraiser grows new support
Therapist Assistant students grasp value of collaboration on project designed to help quadriplegics
New Alumni Association board members, President reelected for 12th consecutive year
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Kelowna Mayor, WFN Chief shave their heads for health care
Okanagan College Media Release


Basran and Derickson Post HaircutWith their wives wielding clippers, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and Westbank First Nation Chief Christopher Derickson e
xpressed a hint of apprehension for the looming buzz cuts they’d committed to, but not an ounce of regret for the profile they’ve been able to raise for a cause near and dear to their hearts.

Both leaders were able to raise more than $10,000 each for Okanagan College’s Haircuts for Health Care campaign and, having met their fundraising goals, met up in the College’s courtyard recently for a physically-distanced buzz cut from their partners, Leanne Basran and Jordan Derickson. (Click here to see a video of the haircuts.)

“I’m a huge supporter of Okanagan College and I wanted to do my part in helping this campaign,” says Colin. “I know Christopher serves on the College’s Board and I thought the two of us could lend our names to this amazing campaign to raise some money.”

In less than two weeks both leaders exceeded their goals, helping raise more than $23,000 for Okanagan College’s new Health Sciences Centre that will train students for eight frontline health care professions. The Chief and Mayor’s involvement also unlocked another gift. Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton donated $5,000 after the campaign surpassed $10,000.

“This is a very worthy cause, I’m glad to have been a part of it. I’m excited to see the amount of support we generated from this campaign and they still need to raise money, the campaign itself isn’t over,” says Christopher.

“While we all might be getting our haircuts now with our regular salons and barbers you can still give to the campaign, they still need to raise money for this wonderful Health Sciences building.”

Haircuts for Health Care launched in mid-April, nearly a month after non-essential businesses including salons were forced to close. The fundraiser invited people who were in desperate need of a haircut to open up their own ‘self-isolation salon’ and hand the clippers to their kids or spouse. People could donate the cost of a typical haircut or go for a creative cut and fundraise from their friends.

While some people chose to simply cut their hair and donate, many more people set up fundraising pages with plans to go for a less conventional haircut (dubbed a Corona cut) or a shaved head once they reached their goal.

“We are so grateful to Colin and Chris for supporting this campaign. In the process of sacrificing their hair, they have given our campaign a major boost and underlined the importance of health care education for our community,” says Helen Jackman, Okanagan College Foundation Executive Director.

Since Haircuts for Health Care started nearly two months ago, more than 380 people have contributed, raising more than $38,000.

“We’d like to thank everyone in the community who donated. Your generosity and community spirit at this extraordinary time is inspiring,” says Jackman.

To learn more or support the Our Students, Your Health campaign for a new Health Sciences Centre, click here.


Kelowna Chevrolet invests in health professionals
Okanagan College Media Release


Kelowna Chevrolet is investing in future health care professionals, with a $50,000 donation to the Our Students, Your Health campaign for a new Health Sciences Centre at Okanagan College.Ian Speckman May 2020

Kelowna Chevrolet Dealer Partner Ian Speckman says he felt a responsibility to support the state-of-the-art Health Sciences Centre that will train health care professionals for the region.

“As we’re all realizing, health care professionals are essential for our community,” says Speckman.

“This is about supporting students so they can get the right training and literally go on to save lives, that is impactful.”

Kelowna Chevrolet is donating in partnership with Kelowna Toyota for a total of $100,000. Each local dealership is committing $50,000 to the Okanagan College Foundation’s $5-million fundraising goal.

Speckman and Kelowna Toyota General Manager Jamie Kaban also produced a radio commercial encouraging others in the community to donate.

“Did you know we’re already facing some critical health care staffing shortages?” says Speckman.

“Health care professionals are there when we need them the most, so now let’s be there for them.”

“This generous gift will help us open the doors to a world class Health Sciences Centre, set to open later this year,” says Helen Jackman, Okanagan College Foundation Executive Director.

“But, as Ian mentioned, it also does so much more. By supporting the education of health care students, Kelowna Chevrolet and Kelowna Toyota are creating a legacy of excellent health care for our community.”

Jackman is compelling the public to donate and help the College meet its fundraising goal to open the Centre and continue educating health care professionals. Thanks to generous donors, Okanagan College Foundation has raised $2.5 million and is now halfway to reaching its goal. To learn more, or to donate, visit


Contest winner inspired to help others
Okanagan College Media Release


Brittani Sali May 2020When Brittani Sali answered the phone and learned she was the winner of a $5,000 tuition giveaway contest, she thought she might be dreaming.

The 22-year old was just waking up, and she hadn’t been expecting the call from local radio announcer B Mack.

Lucky for Sali, winning the tuition giveaway towards any health program at Okanagan College wasn’t a dream. The 22-year old was among one of 80 people who entered the contest, which was sponsored by the Payton and Dillon Budd Memorial Fund, in partnership with Virgin Radio and the Okanagan College Foundation.

Sali had applied to the Therapist Assistant diploma program at the College before learning about the contest. Winning the funds will almost pay the full tuition for the program, and has helped bring a sense of relief and clarity to Sali’s next steps after recently graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

“The health care field was always something I wanted to go into and there are so many options beyond the well-known role of nurses or doctors,” says Sali, “and COVID-19 has only made it more clear how important health professionals are to our lives.”

Okanagan College’s two-year Therapist Assistant diploma was one of the first of its kind in Canada to be nationally accredited, and recently earned a new and enhanced national accreditation. The program trains people to work in three different disciplines: physiotherapy, occupational therapy and recreational therapy.

Sali says she was drawn to the program because of the number of options and the ability to help people in their day-to-day lives. Sali adds she’s thrilled to learn she will be training in the College’s brand-new Health Sciences Centre, set to open later this year.

“I started my degree at OC and I was impressed by the new Trades building. To have a new Centre dedicated to Health programs is really exciting.”

“I am impressed by Brittani’s passion and I’m so happy my fund can help her pursue a career in health and helping others,” says Tom Budd, a local philanthropist who funded the tuition giveaway. Budd created the Payton and Dillon Budd Memorial Fund to honour his two sons, who both lost their lives to suicide.

While the fund’s primary focus is mental health, Budd notes that our physical health directly affects our mental health, motivating him to fund the tuition contest for a student entering a health care career.

Budd’s gift is in support of the Our Students, Your Health campaign, a fundraiser to complete a state-of-the-art Health Sciences Centre and provide support for students entering high-demand health care careers. The Okanagan College Foundation is halfway to reaching its $5-million campaign goal. To learn more about the Our Students, Your Health campaign or to donate, visit


College’s Camp OC cancelled for 2020
Okanagan College Media Release


COVID-19 concerns are leading Okanagan College to cancel its Camp OC summer camp offerings for 2020.

“We have been closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation,” said Dr. Dennis Silvestrone, director of Continuing Studies and Corporate Training for Okanagan College. “And given what we understand about safety and limitations, we have made the decision to cancel Camp OC this summer.”

“It is a very difficult decision for us, and one made with the best interests of all our campers, students, staff and our surrounding communities in mind. Given the nature of our camps, the vast array of indoor and outdoor activities – which make physical distancing impossible to guarantee – we determined we simply could not facilitate Camp OC this year in a way that would ensure everyone’s health and safety.”

Camp OC offers educational, fun and interactive camps to students from Grades 1-12, with a unique array of offerings at each of the College’s campuses from Salmon Arm to Penticton, as well as its Revelstoke Centre. This summer would have marked the 16th year the camps were offered.

“We know Camp OC is a much-loved resource in our communities and it saddens us not to be able to offer it,” says Silvestrone. ”We hope people will take heart in knowing that Camp OC will return. We are now starting to explore new youth program opportunities and build our plans for summer 2021.”

All registrants will receive a full refund. The College has reached out to registrants and will begin issuing refunds as soon as possible.

More information about Camp OC 2021 and any other new youth programs will be posted on as it is known.


Okanagan College hosts virtual info session on Tourism Management diploma program
Okanagan College Media Release


Downtown RevelstokeSet at the foot of the picturesque Columbia Mountains and home to a growing array of four-season tourism operators and activities, where better to advance your career in the tourism industry than Revelstoke?

On May 27, prospective students can attend a virtual information session to learn more about Okanagan College’s Tourism Management diploma.

The program, which debuted last year, is set for a September start at the College’s Revelstoke Centre and combines hands-on learning in the tourism sector with applied business courses.

The virtual information session offers an inside look at the program: from scheduling to course offerings, transfer options and co-op components. College admissions counsellors and financial aid advisors will lead the presentation, sharing what students can expect come September in addition to modified delivery in light of COVID-19.

“The Tourism Management diploma is a fantastic option for those looking to gain practical and hands-on experience to advance in this industry,” says Danielle Tighe, Manager of OC’s Revelstoke Centre. “Revelstoke is home to world-class tourism employers who, from the very beginning, have helped us create and offer a program that is truly geared toward training the skilled tourism managers and workers desperately needed in this sector.”Revelstoke Mountain

In British Columbia, the tourism industry accounts for more than $20.5 billion in provincial revenue, employing over 161,500 people. Home to Revelstoke Mountain Resort, the most skiable vertical in North America, Revelstoke is known for being an outdoor enthusiasts’ destination. From downtown, students and tourists alike are only a short drive away from hub cities like Kelowna and Calgary. Whether it’s biking or hiking, water sports or backcountry touring, students are set up for success in the vibrant mountain culture and business savvy community.

Even amidst COVID-19, Associate Dean of the School of Business and Director of Food, Wine and Tourism at Okanagan College, Jonathan Rouse, says there’s never been a better time to enrol in the program.

“We can see the anticipation from our industry partners for skilled workers despite the slowdown from the pandemic,” he says. “The sector needs creative and dynamic talent, and right now is a great time to be training to jump back into the sector when it’s roaring back to life.”

To register for the May 27 virtual information session, go here. To learn more about the Tourism Management diploma program, including start dates, course offerings and program outlines, go here.


College’s Therapist Assistant program earns new national accreditation
Okanagan College Media Release


TAD Students 1As career goals go, what could be more meaningful than improving someone’s quality of life?

For therapist assistants, it’s more than a goal, it’s a daily reality – and you’ll find these in-demand health professionals supporting people’s rehabilitation in a vast array of settings.

This spring, Okanagan College’s Therapist Assistant Diploma (TAD) program – which has been educating Physical therapist assistants (PTA), Occupational therapist assistants (OTA) and Recreation therapist assistants (RTA) for almost 30 years – has earned a new feather in its cap.

The TAD program was recently awarded full accreditation status by the national accrediting body comprised of the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program (OTA & PTA EAP), Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC) and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT).

For TAD program Chair Jennifer Stephenson, the accreditation, effective now through April 2025, is the culmination of months of work by the instructor team with support from administration to rigorously evaluate and continue to enhance every aspect of the program.

“What is most rewarding about this accreditation is that the evaluators studied every aspect of how we educate our students, how we collaborate with other departments at the College and how strong our relationships are with our community partners, who in turn work with us to provide clinical placements for students.”

Adds Stephenson: “It’s an evaluation of every facet of the program, and every person it impacts – from students to partners to our clients and patients in the community.”

“This accreditation demonstrates that our program is aligned with the very latest practices and standards of care,” notes Yvonne Moritz, Dean of Science, Technology and Health at Okanagan College. “It affirms that we are delivering the highest quality education, which translates to the highest quality care for people in the community. That in turn gives our students confidence knowing that when they graduate, they are going to be looked upon by employers as well-trained, ready to go, and they are going to be in-demand.”

The program has a long history of producing skilled graduates to serve the region and beyond.

TAD Students 2

It launched as a ten-month certificate in 1990, before evolving into a two-year diploma in 2005 and was one of only a few OTA/PTA programs to be piloted by the newly formed accreditation body.

And while national accreditation is nothing new for the program, this latest enhanced recognition is proof that the training is more relevant than ever – a message that is an important one for students to hear, notes Stephenson.

“Along with accreditation comes the continued evaluation and refinement of the program, which ensures currency of knowledge and skills and helps students better understand their evolving role and scope of practice.”

The TAD program includes four full semesters of course work, along with 18 weeks of practical experience in clinical settings, giving students an idea of the vast positions that await them post-graduation.

The arrival of COVID-19 in the province earlier this spring forced instructors and students – like so many other health care providers – to find innovative ways to support clients virtually to gain those much-needed clinical hours.

“It wasn’t long before the instructor team was able to create alternative online learning activities and virtual clinical experiences for the students,” explains Stephenson. “Students and instructors alike embraced that challenge, and the feedback from those they are working with in the community has been very positive.”

One of the most inspiring ways students have connected with people in need of online assessment or treatment has been through program alumni, notes Stephenson.

When TAD instructors reached out to past grads, they were met with an overwhelming response as many alumni stepped up to spread the word and help current students get their much-needed hours.

“Thanks to our alumni, our students have been connecting with people all across the province from the coast to 100 Mile House to the Kootenays. We’re deeply grateful to our alumni and feel very inspired by the fact that they stay in touch, they’re connected with the program and want to support students following in their footsteps.”

You don’t have to look far to find evidence of students’ commitment to supporting their communities. They recently made headlines for their T-Glove project designed to help quadriplegics. Their efforts to sew hundreds of face masks for those in need during COVID-19 also garnered positive attention in the community, as well as a shoutout on Twitter from the Honourable Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills & Training and a retweet from Premier John Horgan’s constituency twitter account (Saanich North & the Islands NDP provincial constituency).

The TAD program is offered at the College’s Kelowna campus. More information about the program is available at


Drawing together: College and industry gather virtually to celebrate animation students
Okanagan College Media Release


If there was ever a time to get animated, this was it – albeit with a virtual twist.Isabel Fabian Animation May 2020

While COVID-19 may have altered the format for the ceremony, it couldn’t dampen the excitement as studios from across the valley joined Okanagan College last week in recognizing the newest soon-to-be grads from its Animation diploma program.

At the OC Animation department’s second-annual Industry Night on May 13, a group of second-year students on their way to graduation and first-year students who have now crossed the half-way mark of their program were celebrated.

Attendees had a chance to tune in for a livestream of students’ work, hear their presentations and chat with them during breakout sessions hosted on the online meeting tool Blackboard Collaborate. You can watch the recorded livestream and view students’ portfolio websites here.

“While we wished we could all be together to celebrate our students in person, we were so pleased that we could still gather virtually to honour them and showcase their work with industry,” said Yvonne Moritz, Dean of Science, Technology and Health at Okanagan College.

“The efforts invested by our students and faculty are always inspiring, but I particularly want to acknowledge how hard they worked in recent months when COVID-19 forced the shift to online learning mid-semester. Students faced that challenge and uncertainty and went on to produce incredibly creative and polished work. I think that speaks to their talent and work ethic, and is evidence of the very bright future in the animation industry that awaits them.”

Isabel Fabian gave the address on behalf of graduating students during the livestream.

Isabel Fabian Artwork May 2020“It was so exciting to be able to see everyone get together, despite all odds,” said Fabian, who has her sights set on becoming a visual effects artist. “It feels unreal to be finished the program.

“Not many people have the privilege to enjoy what they do so much, and I know I will always be excited to go to work. To pursue what has been a lifelong passion for so many of us, in a place as beautiful as the Okanagan, and to have so many opportunities to follow, I’m thankful every day that my classmates and I have ended up where we are.”

Added Fabian: “The program and the support of our teachers have helped shaped us into the people and the animators we are. Thank you to all our teachers and mentors for giving us this opportunity, this privilege, to be the future of animation in the Okanagan.”

Jessica Faye moved to Kelowna from Edmonton for the program two years ago. Today, she’s feeling proud to be stepping into an industry that inspires her.

“I really like seeing art come to life. It's amazing what one can create with just their imagination, and I hope that one day I can create characters and stories that people can grow attached to,” said Faye. “I hope to one day become a successful storyboard artist, but honestly, I'd really like to try my hand at any job in the industry and hopefully climb my way up.”Jessica Faye Animation May 2020

In addition to family, friends and their instructors, the students also had the attention of leaders from more than 20 studios and industry partners throughout the evening.

Todd Ramsay, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Yeti Farm was among those in attendance providing congratulations, encouragement and feedback to students and grads.

“Yeti Farm would like to congratulate the 2020 Okanagan College animation graduates,” said Ramsay. “We currently employee several alumni from the Okanagan College animation program who have quickly become some of our best animators. Their talent, great work ethic and strong understanding of animation fundamentals speaks volumes about the program. We are fortunate to have such a great program right here in Kelowna.

On a personal note, as the founder of Yeti Farm and someone who was born and raised in the Okanagan, it's been very rewarding to witness the growth of the animation industry right here in my hometown. We are excited to watch the industry continue to grow and look forward to meeting the next group of talented grads!”

Trent Noble, Animation Director for Bardel Entertainment said: “Bardel Entertainment is extremely proud to be working closely with Okanagan College in helping develop, and support the animation industry here in the Okanagan. It is always an exciting time for us to be able to participate in the annual graduation ceremonies, and have the opportunity to connect with all the students, and better yet, potential hires. Congratulations to everyone on all their hard work, and the next step in your careers.”

Jessica Faye Artwork May 2020Making connections with industry, peers and mentors was one of the highlights of the program, noted student Austin Scott.

“The best part about the program was definitely the connections I've made,” said Scott. “I've made plenty of great friends and I've also had plenty of help from my teachers who were always doing everything they could to ensure we all succeeded.”

“On behalf of Okanagan College, I want to say a huge congratulations to all of our animation students for your hard work and dedication,” said Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “We hope you will stay in touch, as we greatly look forward to hearing about the many contributions you will make to this vital and growing industry in our region.”

“And to all of our industry partners and supporters, thank you for your continued support of our students. We are so proud to be able to provide you with the well-trained graduates your studios need. And we appreciate your input into how we can continue to grow this program and improve upon the world-class education and training our students are receiving at Okanagan College.”

The College will welcome its next intake of students into the Animation diploma program this September. For more information visit


Haircuts fundraiser grows new support
Okanagan College Media Release


Kelowna Mayor and WFN Chief shaving their heads for a cause

Chris Derickson May2020

In dire need of a haircut and wanting to support the training of future health care professionals, some big names are joining the Okanagan College Foundation’s Haircuts for Health Care initiative.

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and Westbank First Nation Chief Christopher Derickson are committing to dealing with their unruly self-isolation hair by shaving their heads, and in doing so, raising vital funds to help open the doors to a state-of-the-art new Health Sciences Centre at Okanagan College.

Mayor Basran and Chief Derickson have each set a fundraising goal of $10,000 before they forgo their locks for a buzz cut.

Nearly 20 years ago, Chief Derickson’s father, Raymond, had a workplace accident that resulted in a brain injury. “I’ve seen first-hand the difference frontline health care workers make in people’s lives. The current pandemic has only highlighted the important role these professionals play in our communities,” says Derickson, who sits on the College’s Board of Governors, and served as Board Chair in 2018/2019.

“Okanagan College’s Health Sciences Centre will provide a world-class facility to train future health care workers. As we are currently witnessing, these everyday heroes do incredible jobs and they deserve to be trained in a facility that matches their level of commitment.”

Basran says he is a huge supporter of Okanagan College but adds that this fundraising campaign also holds a special place in his family’s heart.

“My wife Leanne is a Rehabilitation Assistant (RA) at Kelowna General Hospital. She is an amazing RA in part because she took the program at what was then Okanagan University College. This program continues at Okanagan College and has a great reputation for preparing students to be job ready once they graduate,” says Basran.Colin Basran May 2020

Depending on how long the fundraisers last, Derickson and Basran will either have their wives shave their heads, or be among the first customers for the local salons once they begin to safely re-open.

“We are so thankful to have these community leaders step up to support Haircuts for Health Care,” says Okanagan College Foundation Executive Director Helen Jackman.

Jackman came up with the idea for the fundraiser in April when most people, including her husband, were already one month in without any chance of a haircut in sight.

With salons re-opening in the near future, the Kelowna Mayor and WFN Chief will bring a final boost to the campaign, helping it reach its goal of raising $25,000 for the new Health Sciences Centre.

“We are so thankful to the public for helping us raise more than $9,500 so far. We encourage the public, if they can, to support these final haircut campaigns, which will finish with both of these leaders saying goodbye to their unruly locks and sporting a buzz cut.”

The support from Derickson and Basran will help unlock other funds too. Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton will donate $5,000 personally once Haircuts for Health Care reaches $10,000.

To learn more or support these campaigns, visit WFN Chief Derickson and Kelowna Mayor Basran’s fundraising pages.


Therapist Assistant students grasp value of collaboration on project designed to help quadriplegics
Okanagan College Media Release


T-GloveA final term project for Therapist Assistant Diploma (TAD) students turned out to be a gripping example of learning.

When second-year students Tenley Csolle and Zoe Dack were paired up to work together on their TAD capstone (or final term) project, the duo quickly agreed they wanted to develop something that would help quadriplegics.

“I was looking at how to help an artist or someone who wanted to paint and hold a paint brush. I like to draw and paint. I was thinking: if I had a spinal cord injury, how could I improve the technology that’s out there?” explains Dack.

“My first thought was there has to be a better way to help someone with a spinal cord injury. Big bulky items are invasive and difficult to use. We thought we would come up with something that didn’t look like an assisted device,” says Csolle.

Nothing fits the hand better than a glove, so the pair set out to build the “T-Glove,” or a special fabric glove that helps an individual increase their grip strength while grasping an object. For those physiologically inclined, the glove would assist the “tenodesis grasp,” or extension of the wrist, which helps with grasp.

Now that the TAD duo had a concept in mind for the T-Glove, they weren’t sure how to make it a reality – and that’s when the project took an interdisciplinary turn.

Csolle approached her friend, Spencer Bell, who is in his second year of mechanical engineering at UBC Okanagan’s Applied Science program. He came up with the idea of adding high-tension cords that would help the person close their hand.

The T-Glove has low-friction cords attached to the tips of the fingers of a glove and run down the length of the hand, mimicking the natural pull of tendons in the fingers. The thumb has its own cord, which keeps it away from the rest of the fingers and in the position needed to grasp objects. Special pads were applied to the tips of fingers, thumb and palm to also increase friction, helping the individual hold on to what they have grasped.

Bell reproduced the idea in 3D computer assisted design software, and after iterating a few changes with the Therapist Assistant Diploma students, was able to 3D print a plastic device that would provide tension control.

“We came across some printing issues because as the components get smaller, it gets more difficult and complex,” Bell offers.

When they were going to put the glove together, they realized none of them have expert skills in sewing. They purchased a work glove from Rona, carefully adding the cords, grips and pulley device, and adjusted along the way.

The trio were able to complete a functioning prototype, although the pandemic response prevented them from being able to test it on the individual who came to the TAD class to discuss life with spinal cord injury.

“It was a short timeline to finish the product, but there are lots of things we’d like to expand on,” Csolle says. “This is a great thing to have in the portfolio and maybe come back to a few years down the road.”

Both agree that the capstone project component added a lot of value to the program.

“It makes you use the perspective of, ‘How can I help them?’ Understanding what individuals go through with spinal injury or stroke recovery helps you understand the deeper level of the problems they are dealing with,” Dack says.

Darrell Skinner, the TAD Instructor who helps facilitate the Capstone project, described “I particularly liked this project as it involved collaboration between health, art and technology. I am constantly impressed by the dedication and the innovation that the Therapist Assistant students demonstrate on their Capstone projects.”


New Alumni Association board members, President reelected for 12th consecutive year
Okanagan College Media Release

The Okanagan College Alumni Association has elected two new board members and reelected Kara Kazimer as the Board President for the 12th consecutive year.Kara Kazimer and Bree Cawley

Kazimer, a Bachelor of Business Administration graduate, has served on the Alumni Association board since 2001 and has been the President since 2008.

“I am proud to be a part of the Alumni Association and help find ways to support and celebrate the graduates of Okanagan College,” says Kazimer. “Our alumni are doing so many great things and I love being a part of sharing my fellow alumni’s triumphs.”

Joining Kazimer on the board are OC alumni Zach Webster and Doug McFee.

Webster, a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Business Administration graduate, works as a Corporate Training Specialist at the College.

McFee is also a Bachelor of Business Administration graduate who went on to earn an Omnium Global Executive MBA from the University of St.Gallen in Switzerland and the University of Toronto.

Gordon Ficke has been a long time board member and continues his term along with Nick Moffatt who remains the Board Treasurer and Nick Melemenis, who was elected Vice President.

To learn more about the Okanagan College Alumni Association, you can visit


College offers virtual info sessions, online summer sessions, $5K tuition giveaway to help ease stress for potential students
Okanagan College Media Release


Summer Session 2020Physically distant but with a personal touch: Okanagan College is here to help.

That’s the message for students and parents who have found the COVID-19 pandemic has an extra layer of anxiety around what life will mean after high school.

“Picking a post-secondary path can be challenging at the best of times, without the added stresses of COVID-19 in the mix, so we want to ensure students know that we’re here to help,” says Andrew Hay, interim Provost and Vice President Academic at Okanagan College. “While our physical offices are closed for the time being, we want students to know they can still connect with recruitment, admissions or advising staff digitally or by phone.

The College is holding (Zoom) information sessions online as well as offering on-demand advice from recruiters and advisors via phone and email to help prospective students learn more about their programs and have their post-secondary questions answered. Based on feedback from high school counsellors and parents, the first info sessions will be happening in mid-May, dates include:

  • May 12 – 1 p.m.
  • May 13 – 4 p.m.
  • May 14 – 7 p.m.

More information about the sessions and any additional dates and times will be posted to In the meantime, prospective students can check out that page to find more information about courses and programs offered this summer and fall. They can also email to connect with a recruiter directly.

Summer Session 2020_2

“They can get advice and get questions answered on everything from specifics about the programs they’re interested in, starting with pre-requisites all the way to the application or course registration process. We can also point them in the right direction for financial aid and awards and other supports available to them. We’re here to help.”

In addition to getting a jump on their post-secondary planning, there’s an added incentive for anyone who reaches out and connects with a recruiter on or before May 15: you will be entered into a draw for a $5,000 tuition giveaway.

The College is once again giving away a tuition credit in 2020 equal to the sum of tuition fees for the fall and winter semester of a full-time or part-time academic program. Entrants studying for a Bachelor degree, associate degree, diploma, certificate or completion of a pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship program are eligible. Full details and conditions for the Tuition Giveaway draw are available online at

Hay emphasizes that prospective students don’t have to wait until the fall to get started learning online.

The College’s two summer sessions in May-August will be delivered entirely online or via distance education this year. Recognizing that many people are new to the world of online and distance ed, the College has created a helpful guide here to explain the differences between the two delivery models.

Students can choose from an array of Business, Arts, Science and other offerings over the summer, but they may want to move fast if they plan on attending a summer session.

“We’ve seen keen interest in our Summer Session I classes, which begin on May 11,” notes Hay. “There are still some spaces available in Session 1 classes and more so in the Summer Session II offerings, which begin on July 6. We’d encourage potential and existing students to head online to explore their options and contact a recruiter to see what is available to them and get registered as soon as possible.”

The online and distance education formats means added flexibility for students in that they can tap into classes offered at any of the College’s four campuses from home. More information is available at