RDC welcomes learners for unique 2020/2021 academic year
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
While the halls of RDC are quieter than usual this Fall Term due to COVID-19 pandemic precautions, instructors and staff are prepared, and as excited as ever, to connect with students and to create a positive online learning experience.
President Dr. Peter Nunoda enters his second year at RDC and remains optimistic as the 2020/2021 academic year begins, despite unique circumstances.
“The start of the 2020 Fall term is like no other, but there is still plenty of excitement among students, faculty, staff and employees as RDC enters its 57th academic year. I am thrilled to welcome all new and returning learners to the College as we assist them in achieving their personal and education goals,” says Nunoda.
“This past year has brought some uncommon challenges with the global pandemic, but I have been impressed by the ability of our students, faculty, staff and employees to adapt and persevere throughout these unprecedented circumstances, bolstering the unwavering spirit of our entire College community.”
There will be far less traffic on RDC’s campuses this fall, but a limited number of shops and labs are taking place at the College where they are deemed as a critical component to student learning outcomes. Most services for students will also continue to be provided through online interactions. However, areas such as the Library, fitness and wellness services, and some food services will be provided in-person. RDC’s Residences are also open, filled to about 30 per cent capacity for fall, with many students deferring their stay in Residences until Winter semester. Health and safety protocols will be in place and face coverings will be mandatory for on-campus visitors in common areas at RDC, and when physical distancing is not possible.
Even with the changes, Nunoda is confident that RDC students will be able to benefit from the host of valuable learning opportunities presented during the 2020/2021 academic year.
“Instructors have been diligently preparing and tailoring their lessons specifically for the online format and students continue to have access to the diverse breadth of more than 100 academic programs,” explains Nunoda. “Learners will continue to receive the high-quality education that they’ve come to expect at Red Deer College.”
Several RDC health care programs remain in-demand for Fall term. This includes the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Collaborative Degree, Practical Nurse Diploma, Pharmacy Technician Diploma, Medical Lab Assistant Certificate, and Pre-Health Sciences Certificate.
RDC’s one-of-a-kind Bachelor of Applied Arts in Animation and Visual Effects Degree remains highly sought after, as it provides a unique training opportunity in Alberta. The engaging program is built on a foundation of communication, storytelling and traditional art skills.
“RDC’s wide scope of programs, which were developed in collaboration between academic and industry experts, provide students with the latest in theory and applied skills to prepare them for their future careers,” says Kylie Thomas, Vice President Academic & Research. “This is an exciting time for me to join RDC. As we proceed on our journey to become Red Deer University, opportunities for learners will continue to grow, providing opportunities for them to complete their degrees in central Alberta, contributing to the economy and the culture of the entire region.”
This year, enrolment at RDC is estimated to be lower than last year, which is largely attributed to the ongoing and uncertain COVID-19 pandemic. RDC is estimating approximately 6,200 students will enrol in apprenticeship and credit programs for the entire 2020/2021 academic year. The largest decline in Fall 2020 registrations is from first-year credit students. Among that group, enrolment has declined by 13 per cent compared to last fall.
Several programs have experienced increased enrolment for Fall 2020. As examples, the Early Learning and Child Care Certificate and Diploma enrolment is up approximately 21 per cent. RDC’s Legal Assistant Diploma enrolment is expected to increase by about 8 per cent. The College’s Justice Studies Diploma enrolment has also grown approximately 18 per cent.
The range of program options across diverse disciplines continues to appeal to students and the breadth of credentials is expected to widen over the next several years to serve even more learners, meeting academic and industry demands.
“There is tremendous value in an education at RDC, which prepares students for the workforce, by providing the necessary knowledge and skills. We will continue to look at new and innovative ways to design and deliver programs that have the practical and entrepreneurial components required for learners to smoothly transition into their careers,” says Nunoda.
“We are all committed to helping RDC students succeed now and during the coming years. As we work our way through these unparalleled times, I am optimistic about the future of Red Deer University and believe we will come out stronger as a post-secondary community.”
In the short-term, RDC’s commitment to serve students, providing them a robust education while keeping them as healthy and safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, is strong. With fall classes underway, the College is looking forward to the Winter semester. RDC’s decision about program and course delivery for Winter term is expected to be made by mid-October, at which time details will be shared.
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For additional information contact:
Communications Strategist Corporate
brent [dot] forster [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca
Communications Strategist Corporate
shelley [dot] newman [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca