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RDC will achieve its future goals for students and central Albertans at conclusion of post-secondary system review

Friday, January 22, 2021

RDC's main campus:aerial photo

As RDC prepares for its future after the completion of the Government of Alberta's post-secondary system review, the College is excited for the opportunity to continue serving students through the full breadth of credentials it offers now, with the inclusion of its own degrees.  

While the Government’s final report has yet to be released, RDC is confident in its ability to develop and offer its own degrees for students, no matter what the name of the institution might be. 

“Given our conversations with the Ministry of Advanced Education, we anticipate RDC could become a polytechnic institution under the Alberta 2030 framework from the post-secondary system review,” says Guy Pelletier, Chair of RDC’s Board of Governors. “While this would be a different name than expected, in that we would not be a university, it would still allow our institution to serve students with our full complement of existing credentials plus our own degrees. That was, and continues to be, our goal to best serve students and surrounding communities.” 

Granting degrees is one facet of the polytechnic model and retaining a range of credentials that includes trades programming is another. As President Dr. Peter Nunoda describes, the polytechnic designation would be the best way for RDC to achieve this within the mandated designations of the Post-secondary Learning Act.  

“As an institution, we are very supportive of the polytechnic model because it offers a unique designation that would allow us to support our students, partners, industry and community members,” he says. “For me, the most important thing is what we will be able to achieve. As a polytechnic, we would be able to partner with government and industry to produce highly employable graduates that meet the ever-changing needs of the labour market. We would be innovative, allowing students to integrate work-integrated learning into their studies for all programs. Plus, we would be able to offer our own degrees while keeping trades programming, and that is an absolute win for this entire region.” 

While Pelletier and Nunoda acknowledge that some people in the community may be disheartened if RDC does not become a university, they are hopeful that the positive opportunities and outcomes of a polytechnic model would soon become apparent. A polytechnic would allow the institution to build on its history, while forging a new path to best serve students now and in the future. 

“I can personally attest to the value and opportunities provided to Red Deer College students. When I think about my student experience, I think community - our class sizes are smaller, our instructors know their students by name, and all our students have access to the supports they need. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to start and finish my education at RDC; I want that choice for all central Alberta students,” says Brittany Lausen, President of RDC’s Students’ Association. “What is most important for post-secondary students in this region is to ensure they have increasing choices that allow them to stay close to family and friends. This can be achieved by RDC offering everything it does now, plus having the ability to grant its own degrees.” 

The concept of a polytechnic institution fulfills RDC’s future goals, and the College will now await the final decision from the Government of Alberta at the conclusion of the post-secondary system review. Once this occurs, RDC, in partnership with government, will officially announce its new model to students, employees and community members.  

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For media inquiries contact: 

shelley [dot] newman [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca (Shelley Newman)
Communications Strategist – Corporate 

brent [dot] forster [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca (Brent Forster)
Communications Strategist – Corporate 

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