Lethbridge College

Expanding our horizons.

Lethbridge College
The community it serves
Lethbridge College serves its community as a centre for technological learning, a leader in sustainable energy and a centre for global diversification. Through a campus-wide understanding of the need to be not only environmentally responsible (something it has been improving upon for years) the college has developed a new vision to make it a leader through classroom training and sharing its technological expertise with the community. It foresees a day when it will be a “green” campus, a centre of expertise in environmental education. The road to this goal has already been laid, as will later be discussed in this presentation. The desire to imbue the campus with a global flavour, a benefit to both Canadian and international students, has already been realized. As of the 2007 fall semester, some 30 nations are represented in classrooms. Conversely, Lethbridge College is developing ties in several African countries, Brazil, Chile and China. Lethbridge College serves the Lethbridge community of 82,000, while situated in a much larger economic rural zone of 250,000 across Southern Alberta, providing it the infrastructure, intensity and interest in such projects to assure their success.

Celebrating 50 years of Excellence
Lethbridge College, Canada’s first publicly funded community college, prepares graduates for careers in Alberta, Canada and around the world in more than 50 diverse program areas. It offers credentials of achievement, one-year certificates, two-year diplomas and applied-degree programs as well as apprenticeship and pre-employment training. The institution has earned an excellent reputation for aligning itself with industry, the community and government. Program offerings are innovative and cutting-edge, primarily due to the collaborative agreements and partnerships with industry leaders. Key involvement of industry expertise on advisory committees from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, and regular curriculum reviews ensure programs remain relevant. The student population of the College has grown to more than 7,000, making it the largest in the province outside Edmonton and Calgary. We anticipate that enrolment will remain constant with gradual increases during the next five years on our Lethbridge campus. Initially, 2007 marks the year we began delivery of business administration training in China on the Estar University campus. The purpose of this brief is to explore ways in which Lethbridge College can collaborate and build on the many complementary strengths between our organizations, to work together to engage the southern Alberta community in innovation and technology applications.

The socio-economic impact of Lethbridge College

Lethbridge College attracts students from Alberta and many areas of Canada and abroad. Through its formal partnership agreements with other institutions locally and internationally, the College helps students become global citizens, increasing their opportunity for economic prosperity. The diversity of student backgrounds also serves to enrich the educational experience of the entire student body. The College is an important catalyst for economic, social and personal development by actively engaging with employers, the community and individual learners. Through contract training, applied research and scholarly activity, partnerships with business, industry, government and community are developed and strengthened. This contributes to the continuing economic growth of the area supporting an innovative and competitive local economy. A recently released study prepared by CCbenefits Inc. indicates Lethbridge College’s service-area economy receives roughly $35.3 million annually in regional income due to College operations and capital spending, and $381 million in annual net benefits. The report notes provincial and local government will realize a 14 per cent rate of return on monetary support for Lethbridge College, which compares favourably with privatesector rates of return on similar long-term investments. The study indicates students enjoy an attractive 17 per cent annual return on their investment of time and money in post-secondary education. For every $1 students invest in Lethbridge College, they receive a

cumulative $5.70 in higher future earnings over the course of their working careers.
Alberta, too, benefits from improved health and reduced welfare, unemployment, and crime, saving the public some $1.4 million annually each year that students are in the workforce.

The Lethbridge College vision

To be recognized as one of Canada’s finest comprehensive colleges providing world-class education and training through its commitment to excellence and innovation.
To achieve our vision as a College of Distinction by 2015, we will measure success by ensuring the following three outcomes are achieved: 1. Our Faculty and Students will be known as global citizens and industry leaders who impact their professions through innovation, contribution to society and the development of partnerships around the world. 2. The College will continually pursue ecology initiatives across our curriculum, in our facilities, on our land and in partnership with our community and industry. Our institution will be recognized as Canada’s Green College and our students, faculty, staff and graduates will hold sustainability and social responsibility as a fundamental value. 3. The College will be a model that other institutions look to for its collaboration, passion and culture. The College will be a place that supports and recognizes its people and is looked upon as an employer of choice. How will this have a powerful impact on our students? • Lethbridge College students will receive world-class education based on our commitment to excellence in instruction and technology. • This highest quality instruction will prepare Lethbridge College graduates for all future challenges by equipping them to be lifelong learners committed to a global perspective. • Lethbridge College graduates will be sought out by the best global employers and will become ambassadors of Lethbridge College who not only contribute to society, but also support the college as engaged Alumni. How will we develop the culture necessary to achieve this vision? • We communicate and recognize contributions at all levels and celebrate individual and group accomplishments across the institution. • We focus on quality, not quantity, with a continuous review of new and existing program offerings, curriculum partnerships, laddering and flexible learning opportunities. • We support an environment that encourages innovation and risk-taking where we are prepared to challenge the status quo.

Our grads are in demand

Employers value our grads
“The quality of the students we are able to recruit from Lethbridge College greatly benefits us on an annual basis when we hire seasonal Conservation Officers. Additionally, the number of Lethbridge College graduates that have gone on to a career with Alberta Parks is further testament to the quality of the their program.” John Findlay, Parks Operations Manager Alberta Tourism, Parks, Recreation and Culture

Lethbridge College is on the front lines of the initiative to provide Alberta and the nation with the talent to fill the growing need for skilled workers. Recruiters can be found on campus each spring, hunting down and signing up as much available talent as they can. They come armed with their entire inducement package, scoping out graduates in Civil Engineering Technology, Engineering Design and Drafting Technology and Geomatics Engineering Technology and more. They know they are engaged in a war with a half-dozen other competitors for what is becoming one of Alberta’s scarcest natural resources: competently trained employees. Lethbridge College recognizes this growing gap and adjusts its curriculum frequently to ensure its programs are relevant to this new reality. It employs outside advisory committees comprised of professionals in each field who help keep programs on target. As a result, Lethbridge College grads are sought out and employed across Canada.

“The Criminal Justice - Policing program is built on the expertise of the industry. The College is very, very responsive to industry needs and that’s what I like about it.” Tom McKenzie, Chief, Lethbridge Regional Police Service

Graduates of the College’s Child and Youth Care program hit the ground running after graduation because of the experience they gain in practicum and the ability to apply their classroom knowledge immediately. We have been fortunate to hire most of our staff from the program.” Greg Schmidt, Executive Director Family Ties Association

Programs and initiatives that distinguish Lethbridge College
Justice Studies
Lethbridge College’s School of Justice is developing a program to train crime-scene assistants (CSAs), an identified shortfall for most Canadian police services. The courts have recently determined that to be declared an expert, an officer must have received proper training from a recognized institution. Upcoming court decisions may oblige several law enforcement to provide the necessary specialized forensic training. A CSA program would benefit those departments by giving them access to qualified personnel able to do the majority of the work that regular officers do now, freeing those officers to respond to crime scenes while the support staff processes exhibits that might otherwise sit untouched for several days. Skills would include crime-scene drawing, GPS skills, fingerprint analysis and more. Recruit training programs rely heavily on computer/software technology for the training to be practical. Again, because officers use computer technology so much in the field, whenever possible the same applications are used in training as they would in the field. Students often link up to live databases. The college also sees an expanded program in its Commercial Vehicle Enforcement program, particularly in accident reconstruction training. This type of cutting-edge technological expertise is necessary in police services, but also in the transportation industry and in the general workplace where vehicles are common. Commercial carriers are asking for this type of training to increase safety for their drivers and, in turn, lower their costs and liability. Such training, therefore, goes substantially further than merely collecting evidence at accident scenes. The equipment needed would include CAD programs allowing for computer simulations.

Environmental Science and Conservation
Lethbridge College’s School of Environmental Science has made ecological awareness a touchstone in all its programs. The school is aware of the growing need for responsible leadership to reverse the damage done to the environment, and incorporates this message into its courses. Lethbridge College’s School of Environmental Sciences is nationally recognized for each of its four programs: Conservation Enforcement, Environmental Assessment and Restoration, Fish and Wildlife Technology and Renewable Resource Management. Graduates have an opportunity to further their education through transfers with several universities. The courses all benefit from the newly renovated Cousins Building science centre, in which more than $11 million was recently invested to meet researchlevel standards and one of the best facilities of its kind in Western Canada.

Health Care
In early 2006, Lethbridge College opened its SPHERE (Simulated Patient Health Environment for Research and Education) facility, created through a $412,000 grant from Alberta Health and Wellness. The centerpiece of SPHERE is a full-size human patient simulator, situated in a refurbished lab, allowing the College and its SPHERE partners to take full advantage of learning and training opportunities. The state-of-the-art simulator, used by nursing students and emergency services personnel from the Lethbridge Fire/ EMS, can be programmed to simulate a range of medical situations and emergencies to allow for enhanced training/ skill review opportunities.

Programs and initiatives that distinguish Lethbridge College
Applied Research Initiatives
The Living Home All three program areas included in Lethbridge College’s School of Engineering Technologies have been granted national accreditation. Civil Engineering Technology, Engineering Design and Drafting Technology and Geomatics Engineering Technology have all been recognized by the national certification body, following stringent audits, to ensure students are earning diplomas that are transferable across Canada. The school has recently partnered with the City of Lethbridge and a Lethbridge contractor to create The Living Home, a project that will enhance quality of life both within the home and in the community, and provide documented key learnings to be made available on a project website. College students will learn from the actual construction phase of the project, and key learnings will be built into future college curricula and updated as new breakthroughs in design and materials occur. These programs are heavily dependent on technology, and utilize specialized software loaded on laptops, allowing students constant access to program material and technological tools. Aquaculture Centre of Excellence The Aquaculture Centre of Excellence at Lethbridge College is one of the country’s foremost research facilities developing grass carp for weed eradication and studying diseases in this and other species. The byproducts of its fish operations are used to grow vegetables. The centre has waded into several partnership pools since its inception, all of which have helped the college strengthen community ties. Both senior levels of government have played key roles in ACE initiatives. Alberta Agriculture and Food and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada have contributed as valued partners to financial development and research programs conducted by ACE and benefiting the community. Its latest research involves a study to determine the ability of water hyacinth to remove unwanted nutrients from dugouts and ponds. Following a pilot project last year, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada agreed to fund a second year. Blood Reserve Water Project In the summer of 2006, four aboriginal students under Lethbridge College tutelage began a 10-week pilot project to learn water sampling techniques on the Blood Reserve. The project, in which students also developed techniques for teaching the material they were learning, was developed in response to water-quality concerns on several Alberta reserves. It also served as a pilot project to determine if such a course could be sustained and expanded. The results have proven exceedingly beneficial: the Blood Band benefited from increased awareness of water problems on the reserve; the four students gained knowledge of field and laboratory work needed for water sampling and monitoring; Red Crow Community College had an opportunity to partner on the project and the program was given approval for a second season with a minimum goal of 10 learners. Again, partnership played a key role: besides Lethbridge College, Red Crow and the Blood Tribe administration, the partnership involved the Oldman River Watershed Council, Alberta Environment, Alberta Agriculture and the City of Lethbridge. The eight weeks of work involved sampling water from the St. Mary and Belly Rivers, 142 residences and 33 wells. The team presented details from the study at the American Water Conference in Savannah, GA, in January 2007.

Programs and initiatives that distinguish Lethbridge College
Cultural Initiatives
Computer Information Technology Community Project When the Sik-Ooh-Kotoki Friendship Society decided its filing system had to enter the 21st century, it turned to Computer Information Technology students at Lethbridge Community College. The Friendship Society wanted software to allow it to track its events and participants; the students needed a local organization with which they could team. Students brought together two required skills, database management and programming, to create a full software development process. Three students spent 10 hours a week outside of class time to produce custom-built software for the Friendship Society. South African Hygiene Project Six post-secondary students from Lethbridge spent part of their spring and summer in South Africa in 2007, assisting in the development of a program to improve the human condition in one of the poorest regions of the country. Lethbridge College worked with the South African Department of Education and other local organizations to empower rural communities in the provision of basic water, sanitation, and public hygiene. The College led the project with related training and the construction of treated water and improved sanitation facilities at rural and peri-urban primary schools. The College, with a new group of students, returns to the project in 2008.

The future of Lethbridge College initiatives and expertise

Winds of Change
Lethbridge College is the technological learning centre for southern Alberta. Its very positioning – against the region’s famous coulees – is evidence of its desire to develop, promote and teach the elements of environmental responsibility. That goal is rapidly becoming intrinsic to decisions made campus wide, from the extraordinary measures taken to conserve energy in new and renovated buildings, to nationally recognized programs such as Environmental Science that teach the elements of environmental stewardship. Lethbridge College has the expertise and the will to pursue ecological goals and create a centre for the teaching and learning of technologies and values that will place Alberta in the forefront of positive and sustainable environmental development. A recent purchase of nine wind turbines has placed Lethbridge College in a position to become a world leader in wind turbine technician training. College officials are already in talks with other Canadian institutions to share its program and the turbines to help Canada meet what the CanWEA predicts will be a significant demand in coming years. The turbines, minus the towers on which they are normally mounted, can be made transportable and shipped anywhere.

Lethbridge College is the only Englishlanguage, post-secondary institution in Canada approved to deliver BZEE (Bildungszentrum für Erneuerbare Energien e.V.) certified programs. BZEE
is the internationally recognized German organization, formed by major wind power industry players in the country. BZEE trains instructors to teach to German specifications, the present world standard. Lethbridge College expects to roll out the program in three stages. The first year will be devoted to establishing a southern Alberta program; the second year will focus on offering programs to other Canadian institutions; the third year would push the training programs worldwide to countries such as China. Lethbridge College ia slso committed to creating a Centre for Innovation in Sustainability and Construction Technology, a modern update of the aging trades and technologies concept, which, while serving students well in the past, must now prepare them for a greater role in changing their world for the better through environmental responsibility. This conceptual centre would also serve the greater good of the public through a sharing of knowledge and ideas.

The future of Lethbridge College initiatives and expertise

Buchanan Library Expansion
Initially built in 1957, and named Dr. G.C. Paterson Library, this integral college facility was expanded in 1985, adding student support services and an extension to the library main collection. One of the much-needed additions recognized the growing trend of students requiring computer and electronic access to information sources. A commons area now houses 80 workstations that allow users to work with a virtual collection of electronic databases and information sources and provides on-site tutorial assistance. College enrolment in 1957 stood at 700 learners. Today over 7,000 attend the institution and utilize library seven days a week. With the addition of various other student services into the current library space over the years, the College has been challenged in trying to offer-effective library services to our students. Technological advancements over the last two decades have also created the need for a different array of services to be delivered to library users. In 1963 Lethbridge College was gifted the Buchanan Collection of paintings initially owned by Senator and Mrs. W. A. Buchanan. This collection of 43 painting includes several works from the famed Group of Seven and was given to the Lethbridge College to be displayed for the enjoyment of the general public. A secure display of these works will be an integral part of the expansion of this facility. As part of the Colleges ongoing commitment to ensure our facilities becomes Kyoto-compliant by 2010, several changes to the current utility and infrastructure support are planned to ensure we continue to support a sustainable and energy efficient learning environment. A master planning process is under underway for the entire College campus to ensure we continue to make Lethbridge College a learner-centred environment with the state of the art facilities and services, including the expansion of the Buchanan Library.

The future of Lethbridge College initiatives and expertise

Our Wireless Campus
Within the last few months, Lethbridge College has become completely wireless. Visitors to Lethbridge College now enjoy free, campus-wide wireless access to the Internet. This advantage allows anyone coming on campus with a laptop to have Internet access through a separate service provider. It’s a convenience for those who teach after-hours adult courses, hourly instructors, students, or anyone visiting Lethbridge College who requires an Internet connection.

If we genuinely wish to effect positive change and create an effective learning environment, then we will do everything we can to empower and equip our faculty, who are indeed our most powerful change instruments and who have a direct impact on our learners (Brown & Pettito, 2003). We will establish an environment of innovation and support that will facilitate the use of technology to meet the diverse needs of our learners. Technology is not a magic bullet or a solution to a problem; it is simply an accelerator of momentum—not a creator of it. We must continually ask: “Will this technology enhance learning, will it improve the learning experience, or will it help the student or faculty?” We have to get so good at deploying technology and providing a support infrastructure that technology itself becomes ubiquitous, pervasive and transparent. To achieve the goals and recommendations outlined in the Educational Technology Strategy, we will be working on the following projects that will incur a $9 - $15M technology spend in the next 5 years: • LMS Upgrade/Replacement • Application, registration & administrative system automation • Laptops for learners (Laptop campus) • Virtualization • Enterprise and Desktop video conferencing • Infrastructure development to support: • Mobile Learning • Emerging Technologies Research and Application • Online Learning Resources • Online assessment and evaluation • Faculty Professional development • Unified Communications • Social Networking & Web 2.0
Salaway, G., Katz, R. N., Caruso, J. B., Kvavik, R. B., & Nelson, R. M. (2006). The ECAR study of undergraduate students and information technology, 2006. Volume 7. EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research. Retrieved January 9, 2007 from http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ers0607/ERS0607w.pdf. Frand, J. (2000). The information age mindset; Changes in students and implications for higher education. EDUCAUSE Review 35, No. 5 September/October, pp 15-24. Brown, D. G., & Petitto, K. R. (2003). The status of ubiquitous computing. [Electronic version]. EDUCAUSE Review. Retrieved January, 27, 2007 from http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0331.pdf.

Embracing our future challenges
The needs of the 21st century learner, the diversity of learners and learning environments, the explosive growth and constant change of technology and economic, regional and demographic forces are just a sampling of the many challenges that colleges face in providing effective learning. In response to these and many more challenges, Lethbridge College has developed an Educational Technology Strategy that will address three fundamental priorities: • Identifying who our learners are and understanding their needs • Establishing the support and structures to address the needs of these learners. • Empowering and preparing our people to embrace these opportunities. Most of today’s learners live in a virtual realm of communication, collaboration and cohabitation. More specifically, high school graduates come to college prepared to communicate using technology. Nearly all (99.9 percent) create, read, and send e-mail, more than 80 percent use instant messaging and 70 percent use social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace (ECAR, 2006). The literature also reveals that the Net Gen learner doesn’t differentiate between the real and virtual world or simply sees the virtual world as an extension of the real world (Frand, 2000). Despite this reliance on technology for communication, these learners also want the same degree of faceto-face interaction as their predecessors.