Welcome to Okanagan College
At Okanagan College, our Mission Statement says we transform lives and communities. That simple statement reflects our support of students, and connects us to the communities we serve.
Each year more than 20,000 individuals come through the doors of Okanagan College. That number translates into one out of every five people who reside within our vast region. With every new student the Okanagan College community grows just a little larger and more diverse.
More important than the number of students at Okanagan College is the impact they have in our communities. You need only look at the list of distinguished alumni and people served by Okanagan College who have helped shape this valley, province and country to fully appreciate the contributions of Okanagan College and its graduates.
Fifty years ago the first seeds of Okanagan College were planted. Half a decade later the vision of a community college has become a reality and has grown beyond what anyone could have anticipated back in 1963 when the B.C. Vocational School opened its doors.
Over the years, the College has done much to respond to the growing and shifting needs of the communities it serves. Whether by cultivating new programming, offering a greater level of services to students or by delving into applied research, the College’s own transformation has been remarkable.
A leader in areas such as learner-centred education, sustainability, and experiential learning, Okanagan College is the largest college outside the lower mainland, and one of B.C.’s largest trades training institutions.
Our students benefit from educators of the highest order, as well as services that provide the support needed to achieve their goals, no matter how ambitious they may be.
All this makes Okanagan College what it is today, a place that is accessible, inclusive, and innovative. A place that adapts to meet the shifting needs and priorities of the people it serves. A place that transforms lives and communities.
Jim Hamilton has a long association with Okanagan College. He began his career with the institution in 1980 teaching English in what then served as the Vernon Campus: the old Canadian Forces army barracks. Prior to becoming President, Hamilton was actively engaged in the College, having served as member of the Okanagan University College Board of Governors, a faculty member, and as the Regional Dean of the North Okanagan.
Hamilton has also worked for School District 22 as an administrator and served a term as a school trustee. He became President of Okanagan College in 2004, and his term was recently extended to 2019. Currently, he serves as Chair of the BC Council for International Education. He has also served as Chair of the Trades Training Consortium of British Columbia and Chair of BC Colleges.
Additional posts include his position as Board member of the Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table, member of the British Columbia Council for Admissions and Transfer, and Director of the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society. He holds a Master's Degree in English Literature from Queen's University.