Last month, Canadian University College (CUC) and Red Deer College (RDC) signed an agreement that will allow up to eight CUC students to pursue a degree in nursing through the program at RDC.
Mark Haynal, president of CUC, said he expects the arrangement to be beneficial on a number of levels.
“It seems to meet a number of needs, it does a number of good things all at once.”
Haynal added CUC has long wanted to have its own nursing program. But, since CUC has been unable to do so, a way was found to still offer that program to CUC students.
Because RDC already had a nursing program, CUC approached them to see if they could contract with the other institutions and have RDC train some of CUC’s students each year, said Haynal.
He added that this was also in line with the wishes of Alberta Innovation and Advanced Education.
In 2002, Alberta Innovation and Advanced Education introduced Campus Alberta, an initiative encouraging postsecondary institutions within the province to collaborate as a way to more efficiently fund programs. This new partnership was inspired by that initiative, a press release from CUC stated.
Joel Ward, president of RDC, said that the agreement is a demonstration of exactly that kind of collaboration.
“This agreement is an excellent example of the collaboration that’s possible between post-secondary institutions in the province,” Ward said.
“We’re always striving to create the learning experience that fits each student’s needs and CUC came to us.”
The new program targets students who would typically opt for a faith-based education, but are interested in nursing. Haynal said that no post-secondary Seventh-Day Adventist school in Canada offers a nursing program and this partnership is a way to amend that.
Haynal added that this arrangement is significant also because the Seventh Day Adventist Church has a long history of being involved in medical work.
“Helping people be healthy is a huge part of what we want to accomplish,” said Haynal, adding that the nursing program was a great fit for both the academic and religious sides of the institution.
“This was a natural addition to the services we offer students,” said Haynal.
Through this agreement, which officially comes into effect on March 1, RDC will be adding eight seats to its Bachelor of Science in Nursing program to be filled by CUC students.
Students wishing to take advantage of the partnership will first apply to CUC and upon being accepted are eligible to enter the competitive entry process for Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at RDC.
Students accepted will commute to Red Deer in order to attend their classes at RDC campus and will not have classes at the CUC campus, said Haynal.
However, Haynal said the hope is that the students will receive placements in Lacombe when it is time for them to do their clinicals.
While students will not have classes at CUC, they will still be able to live on the campus and will have their education supplemented with a colloquium.
Haynal said students will have opportunity to regularly meet with nurses already practicing to discuss how they can live their faith as a nurse.
“We believe that the integration of your faith and how you serve others is one of the cornerstones of why CUC exists.”
He added that the goal of CUC is not just to educate its students, but to show them how they can carry on the work of Jesus Christ in whatever profession they choose.