Celebrating 60: Welcome to the 2023/24 academic year at OC
A message from Okanagan College President, Dr. Neil Fassina:
For many people, this week marks the start of a new chapter. The first day of classes, a return to school, those initial moments where you check out the textbooks, syllabus, and materials of a new course – the energy on campus this time of year is electric and exciting.
This year is all the more special for OC, because we’re celebrating sixty years since the opening of the B.C. Vocational Institute in Kelowna and the College’s growth through the region in the decades that followed.
Since the first students arrived in 1963, the College’s educational offerings have expanded dramatically. Today, we see about 17,000 students annually, who are enrolled in programs across diverse portfolios – including Technology, Health and Social Development, Trades, Business, Science and Arts.
Students earn degrees, diplomas, certificates and microcredentials, and quite often, once graduated – they come back again. With 60,000 alumni, it is impossible not to find a connection to the College regardless of where you live and work in the region.
Through 60 years, the College’s reach includes many more people. Generous donors, volunteers, family members of students and staff – each one is integral to the vibrant OC community that so often comes together, especially in challenging times. This summer’s wildfires were no exception, as our team members donated meals, shared resources and demonstrated support for those impacted.
Across B.C. and throughout Canada, we are experiencing labour market pressures in all sectors. Over the next decade, here in the Thompson Okanagan, it’s anticipated there will be over 120,000 job openings – and more than 54 per cent of those will require a College post-secondary education.
As I reflect on the thousands of students who will join Okanagan College this academic year, whether they are embarking on a multi-year degree or diploma program, taking a shorter course to upskill in their current profession, or pivoting their career to follow a new path, it is clear each one has both the potential and an opportunity to contribute and make a meaningful impact.
The learning that “starts” this week for many students at Okanagan College is vital: our graduates will unquestionably fill jobs where we need them, be they in trades, health care, social services, industry, businesses or beyond.
With that in mind, on behalf of all of us at Okanagan College, I want to extend a warm welcome to everyone across OC this fall semester. Whether you’re taking those first steps into a classroom in Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon, Salmon Arm or Revelstoke, or you’re joining online or in the workplace – we’re as excited as you are to be “back to school” this September, and we can’t wait for the journey that lies ahead.
Way’, Weytkp, Welcome!
April 4, 2023
Q: What's your name? A: Ruth Gabriela Melo Flores Q: What's your hometown? A: Quito – Ecuador – South America Q: How did you end up at Okanagan College? A: Well, I studied for a bachelor's degree in Law in Ecuador. Then, I worked for a while and got my Master's degree in Government and Culture of Organizations at the University of Pamplona. When I returned to my country, professional opportunities arose for me. I mean, a Master's degree improved my career. Spain helped me develop ...Read more...
June 7, 2022
Grads of Okanagan College’s Animation Diploma program are finding their skills have never been in higher demand. First- and second-year students showed samples of their artwork and demo reels to industry partners at OC’s annual Animation Industry Night on May 17. “Lots of the work was very professional,” says James Wood, Chair of Okanagan College’s Animation Department. “Our program is short, but intense. The instructors make sure the students have a realistic understanding of what they need do to succeed in a competitive and demanding wo...Read more...
May 30, 2022
Business students from Okanagan College are once again able to travel to Jyväskylä, Finland to experience an international summer school at the JAMK University of Applied Sciences. Finland’s education system is widely regarded as one of the best in the world. OC Business Professor Blair Baldwin, who has taught Services Design at JAMK for several summers, says working in Finland has helped him innovate and create new teaching methodologies. “JAMK employs experiential learning across its curriculum,” he says. “They stress critical thinkin...Read more...
May 27, 2022
Okanagan College students will once again be competing for the Canadian title after qualifying for the Enactus National Exposition with a first-place finish in their league during the semi-final round. Enactus teams at post-secondary institutions across Canada competed virtually earlier this month, and Okanagan College scooped up top position in the TD Entrepreneurship Challenge, and runner-up in the Scotiabank Climate Action Challenge for the Unusually Good Food Co. project. It also included national runner-up in Shaw and RBC accelerators...Read more...