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Okanagan College and the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) are opening the doors for students to complete JIBC’s Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies degree program at the College’s Penticton campus.
Beginning in September of 2016, Okanagan College graduates of the Criminal and Social Justice Diploma (CSJ) will have a privileged opportunity to complete this degree. JIBC guarantees 24 seats to CSJ students who meet the academic standards set out by OC and JIBC. Other seats will be available to all students who meet the admission requirements and who have ambition for a career in law enforcement.
The agreement between the two institutions was announced today in Penticton.
“Providing the next generation of public safety professionals with the applied skills and experience to excel in their career is the purpose of the Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies program,” said Mike Trump, Dean of JIBC's School of Criminal Justice and Security. “We value our partnership with Okanagan College to expand regional access to this applied degree program, which is the first of its kind in Western Canada.”
“Leadership, critical thinking, and ethical decision-making are just some of the skills students will gain in completing the degree,” said Shaun Machesney, Coordinator of the Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies program. “These skills, and completion of a relevant degree, will provide a competitive edge for graduates pursuing a rewarding career in law enforcement and a wide range of other public safety professions.”
“We have been working collaboratively for some time and are excited to announce this partnership today,” explains Dr. Robert Huxtable, Dean of Arts and Foundational Programs at Okanagan College. “The opportunities for all of our students, and for the students of the Criminal and Social Justice program in particular, are very significant. The CSJ Diploma was introduced in 2006, and it has been one of the strongest academic programs we have in the South Okanagan. Coming on the 10th anniversary of the program’s first intake, this new option for graduates of the diploma program to continue their studies locally will only strengthen our program and enhance connections to the law enforcement and justice communities.”
Approximately 100 students are registered in the first year of OC’s CSJ program this fall. About 32 graduated the program this past spring. This fall the College has the largest second-year class of approximately 50 students.
“We will be letting all our previous graduates know about the opportunity over the coming months,” notes Donna Lomas, Okanagan College’s Regional Dean for the South Okanagan Similkameen. “I expect that some of them may be interested in registering and I know having this transition option will probably also help encourage more students to enrol here.”
“This option also means that students have an opportunity to complete a degree in their home region. Many students will be able to save on transportation and housing costs.”
The news of the programming partnership excites second-year Okanagan College student Randy Forster, who has pursued his diploma in Criminal and Social Justice with an eye to a policing career. “This has my attention. I wasn’t excited about having to go to Vancouver to finish a degree if I need to. I’m not big on big cities for learning.”
The degree will initially be conferred by JIBC but the two institutions have agreed to work toward a co-conferred degree.
News of the inter-institutional agreement arrives as construction continues on the 378-cell, $200-million Okanagan Correctional Centre in Oliver, B.C., about 39 kilometres south of Okanagan College’s Penticton campus. It is expected to open its doors in 2016.
JIBC is Canada’s leading public safety educator developing dynamic justice and public safety professionals through its exceptional applied education, training and research.
Okanagan College is the largest college in B.C.’s interior, educating almost 20,000 people annually at its four campuses and 10 other locations.
Two homes will be built as part of a three-year sustainability research project
A local developer, a homebuilder, the University of British Columbia and Okanagan College are collaborating to see how sustainable building technologies can be used to reduce the energy used in new homes in the Interior.
The Wilden Living Lab initiative will see two homes built in Kelowna’s Wilden subdivision on lots made available by the Blenk Development Corporation. One home will be built to current building code standards. The other will incorporate additional sustainable building technologies.
Local builder AuthenTech Homes will identify the additional technologies and undertake construction in cooperation with Okanagan College’s Construction Management Program. Researchers from UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering will then monitor and compare the energy use of both homes over the next three years and report their findings.
The result - real world data that shows prospective homebuilders and homebuyers what can be built in the Okanagan.
Blenk Development Director Karin Eger-Blenk says her company has long had an interest in sustainability. With geothermal heating and cooling already available in Wilden, her company is interested in seeing what else can be added into the mix.
“To make sustainable building practices and increased energy efficiency the norm, we need partners and suppliers who can help make new technologies affordable, even for first-time homebuyers,” says Eger-Blenk. “With the support of the Living Lab, we would like to speed up the progress we’ve already made in our initiative and get closer to a cleaner future.”
In addition to making two building lots available for the project, Eger-Blenk’s company is also providing support for the home planning and building as well as $62,850 to the Living Lab’s research fund.
Working alongside the tradespeople at AuthenTech Homes is a great way to help educate the homebuilders of tomorrow, says Andrew Hay, vice-president of Education at Okanagan College. Students at the college have lent their skills to nearly 50 projects in the Okanagan since 2004.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to apply green building principles, technology, and techniques at the forefront of sustainable construction today,” says Hay. “We are very excited about the opportunities for our students to be engaged in applied research and construction, as they will gain truly useful insights into how to minimize environmental impacts and maximize energy efficiency before and after construction.”
The Living Lab is not a new concept at UBC. The university continually seeks partnerships in its applied research efforts. “One of the unique things about UBCO is the degree to which it has partnered with community and industry stakeholders,” says UBCO’s Vice-President of Research Phil Barker. “We are grateful that companies continue to step forward to partner with us and take advantage of the intellectual power available here. We are keen to build on our community engagement and leverage the research being conducted here.”
There are opportunities for more industry partners to participate in the project as the Living Lab will is looking for sustainable products, materials and services to incorporate in construction. Prospective partners can learn more by attending an industry open house being hosted by the Canadian Homebuilders Association on Thursday, September 10 at 132 Skycourt from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.