RDC grows programs, facilities and opportunities for learners as it welcomes students for the upcoming year

Date posted: 
Wed, 09/05/2018
RDC grows programs, facilities and opportunities for learners in 2018 - 19

This is a time of substantial growth as a new academic year begins at Red Deer College. With students starting classes in seven new programs during the next year, opening three new facilities, welcoming the nation as proud partners during the 2019 Canada Winter Games, and continuing work as the College transitions to a comprehensive regional teaching university, RDC is gearing up for a busy year ahead.

“As we welcome students to a new year of classes, we know that this year is going to be unlike anything our College has experienced before, and it’s going to provide tremendous opportunities for our learners,” says Joel Ward, Red Deer College President & CEO. “We are on the path to become a comprehensive regional teaching university and this will ensure that we can best serve our learners and communities, allowing our institution and our students to contribute to a strong and vibrant central Alberta.”     

There are 7,500 students enrolled at RDC for the 2018 - 19 academic year, with students taking courses throughout the year at its main campus and downtown campus, home of RDC’s Donald School of Business. Generally, enrolment in non-Apprenticeship programs (applied and collaborative degrees, certificates and diplomas) remains strong. Enrolment growth is bolstered, in part, by students registering in RDC’s newest programs which are full, highlighting the College’s ability to continue addressing the current needs of the region. The College expects this trend in enrolment growth to continue as it transitions to a university, providing even more new programs in the future – including its own degrees - where students can stay in central Alberta to complete their post-secondary education.

The strongest enrolment growth is in the School of Health Sciences programs, where students will enjoy use of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre/Centre des Jeux du Canada Gary W. Harris, a state-of-the-art facility enhancing teaching, learning and research spaces. RDC continues to see the impact of the economy in Apprenticeship programs, as there has been a continued decline in enrolment in Trades programming. This is consistent with post-secondary institutions across Alberta. RDC’s School of Continuing Education hosted 24,000 youth and adult learners on campus this summer in a variety of camps, workshops and events. In addition, more than 14,000 individuals participated in continuing education courses and customized training programs.

Learners continue to benefit from the College’s strong blend of more than 100 programs, with an additional seven new programs starting classes now and in the coming months, creating more opportunities for students. These additional programs vary from one-year certificates to four-year degrees and will train graduates in several growing sectors:

“These new programs are perfect examples of the evolving and diverse offerings at Red Deer College,” says Dr. Paulette Hanna, Vice President Academic. “Through careful planning and collaboration with our partners, we have developed seven unique programs that will serve the needs of our learners and communities with theoretical and applied learnings.”

Teaching and learning spaces, which will also be utilized by community members, continue to grow as RDC embarks on the largest facilities expansion in its history. 

  • The Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre/Centre des Jeux du Canada Gary W. Harris will serve learners, student-athletes and communities for decades to come in health, wellness and sport. This facility will be the legacy of the 2019 Canada Winter Games. As part of RDC’s green energy master plan, there are approximately 2,500 solar panels installed on the roof along with 276 panels on the solar walkway, which will reduce the heating and cooling costs by almost one third.  
  • The Alternative Energy Lab will offer additional teaching, learning and research space showcasing new alternative energy solutions for business and homeowners, and providing RDC another connection to the community – engaging central Alberta businesses who are exploring alternative energy production options.
  • The new five-story Residence will be ready in January 2019 and its 145 studio suites will be accompanied by collaboration spaces that support learning. The building is constructed with sustainable and energy efficient technologies through the use of unique vertically installed, electricity generating solar panels that clad the exterior, reducing RDC’s carbon footprint and utility costs. This Residence will house the athletes who will compete when Red Deer hosts the 2019 Canada Winter Games in February. Beyond this, the new Residence will provide more RDC learners the opportunity to live on the main campus, enhancing their student life experience.

“This is a historic and exciting time at our institution and we are taking important steps forward in innovation, applied research opportunities and future sustainability,” says Ward. “The additional state-of-the-art facilities will provide a wealth of opportunities for students as they develop into leaders of the future.”

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For additional information contact:

Brent Forster
Communications Strategist – Corporate

Shelley Newman
Communications Strategist – Corporate