Red Deer College celebrates milestone at the Donald School of Business
The Donald School of Business at RDC is celebrating a special milestone, as enrolment at the School has surpassed 1,000 students for the 2016-17 academic year.
“We officially opened the doors at our downtown campus to students in the fall of 2011,” says Darcy Mykytyshyn, Dean, Donald School of Business. “It’s incredible to consider that, over the last five years, we’ve continued to expand and grow our offerings, and our student enrolment has also grown by 82% during this time.”
“The enrolment increase can be explained by the manner in which we look at our business,” says Mykytyshyn. “We focus on what we call the three A’s of the Donald School of Business – Achievement through Access and Application.” Course delivery is a critical component to meeting students where they are. Online courses and innovative delivery options, such as the new executive weekend delivery of Business Administration 110, make courses more accessible to those in the workforce.
The breadth of business programs offered is also positive for students, allowing them to follow their chosen career paths without having to leave central Alberta. As an example, the Donald School of Business offers a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at RDC, partnering with Mount Royal University, which allows business students to remain in central Alberta while completing the four- year degree.
For RDC alumna, Laura Allard, the opportunity to stay in her community while pursuing her education was a huge benefit. “I had lived in Calgary and Edmonton for several years, but Red Deer is home, as I grew up here and my family are in this community,” she says. “Through Red Deer College and the Donald School of Business, I was able to go through a laddering option for my education, where I completed a Management Certificate, then a Business Administration Diploma and finally my Bachelor of Business Administration Degree – all right here in Red Deer.”
Now a Senior Accountant with MNP in Red Deer, Allard is still a part of RDC through her volunteerism with the Donald School of Business Advisory Council, which allows her to have a positive impact on the School and its students.
Allard’s on-going connection to the Donald School of Business reflects the commitment demonstrated by the central Alberta business community. “From the beginning, we’ve emphasized building strong relationships with key stakeholders, from the generosity and engagement of Jack and Joan Donald, to the students and the businesses that hire them,” says Mykytyshyn. “By embracing the location of our campus, which is in the heart of Red Deer’s downtown business district, and working with business leaders we have been able to bring strong practical opportunities to the classroom that augment the academic experience we provide. We’re educating students who will be part of our local business community, and that means we have a very special relationship with our partners.”
Through these relationships, Mykytyshyn notes that students can learn from local entrepreneurs and business leaders through presentations and special events, and many students have hands-on learning experiences through practicums, community service learning and applied opportunities they gain during their education. None of this would be possible without the in-class expertise and instruction students receive from a diverse, experienced and professional team of faculty who teach at RDC’s Donald School of Business.
“As one of the Schools at Red Deer College, we take great pride in educating students and connecting with local businesses for the benefit of everyone,” says Mykytyshyn. “We’re a part of central Alberta and, while we’re celebrating this 1,000 student milestone, we’re also looking ahead to the exciting ways we can continue to grow.”
RDC’s Donald School of Business will be hosting a variety of events throughout the spring to celebrate the 1,000 student milestone. The next event will take place on March 2, when Bill Graham, President & CEO of Rifco National Auto Finance will speak about “Experience, Employability and Entrepreneurship.” For more information, visit rdc.ab.ca/dsb.
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