Community Engagement Initiatives

Jewell Gillies

Aboriginal Services
Seconded to: Student, Graduate and Co-op Employment Services
Indigenous Student Initiatives
Email: jgillies@okanagan.bc.ca
Phone: 250-762-5445 extn. 4498
#TransformYourFuture

Okanagan College mission Statement "Transforming lives and communities" directly reflects the work Jewell is embarking on; transforming Student, Graduate & Co-op Employment services to best reflect the needs of our indigenous learners and employer partners. Jewell is collaborating with various community groups including Indigenous community partners, business partners, post-secondary institutions as well as students from OC, all with the goal of enhancing the supports to self-identified Indigenous students through co-op and work integrated learning opportunities. Okanagan College recognizes that there is a potential that self-identified Indigenous students are not fully engaging in co-op due to the college’s inability to recognize and respond to their unique needs or considerations. Such as working within Indigenous community, cultural considerations, or the student’s limited understanding of work integrated learning opportunities being valuable assets to their learning outcomes. In the coming months Jewell will begin the consultation phase of her work, engaging in conversation with community to determine best steps to enhance access and success for students attending Okanagan College and transitioning into the workforce. Should you wish to connect with Jewell to learn more about her work or to engage in the consultation process please connect with her at the contacts listed.

Leslie Munro

Accessibility Services Initiative
Email: lmunro@okanagan.bc.ca
Phone: 250-762-5445 extn. 4875

Okanagan College currently offers 15 Co-operative education programs serving the college region from Penticton to Revelstoke. There are many benefits for students who participate in Co-operative education, including gaining work experience, applying academic knowledge to a practical setting, earning a salary to help finance their education, and gaining the soft skills required in the workplace. We recognize that while Okanagan College students are highly educated and incredibly talented, it can be challenging to obtain employment without some work-related experience on their resume.
While we strive to raise awareness of Co-op opportunities for all students, we know that there are barriers to participation for students with accessibility needs. To address this gap, Okanagan College received funding from the provincial government to increase Co-op and work integrated learning opportunities for students with accessibility needs. Over the next 13 months, Leslie Munro, will lead this initiative in collaboration with Okanagan College students and staff, community support partners, business partners, and other post-secondary institutions with the goal of improving Co-op supports and services for students with accessibility needs. If you would like to learn more about the initiative or how you can become involved, we want to hear from you. Please contact Leslie Munro at the contact information listed.