WAITING GAME - Red Deer College President Joel Ward, seen here unveiling last year’s Notebook Magazine, is optimistic that the institution will be approved for degree-granting status early this year. Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express

President Joel Ward optimistic RDC will receive degree-granting status soon

Province currently debating the issue, but has assured Ward it’s on the agenda.

Red Deer College is continuing to patiently wait to hear back from the Province of Alberta regarding the status of their hopes to begin degree granting.

The Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt had previously made his recommendation to the Province regarding degree-granting at RDC and gave December as a preliminary timeline for an answer.

With that timeline now lapsed, President of Red Deer College Joel Ward is now thinking mid-February.

“He did call and say, ‘We are getting close. We just have a little more work to do. Be patient’. So I would expect an answer probably in February,” Ward said.

The Province is currently debating the issue, but has assured Ward the issue is on the agenda.

Degree-granting for RDC is key to keeping students in Central Alberta, according to Ward. Over 56% of Alberta post-secondary students graduate with a four-year degree, something the college cannot currently offer outside of nursing and education, which is offered through the University of Alberta, and business which is offered through Mount Royal University.

“Degree-granting status is really important to us because we are shut out of that market,” Ward said.

“It is similar to being a retail store with four products, but you are only allowed to sell three when most of your customers want the fourth one. That is a challenge.”

If approved, RDC will begin immediately turning their current degrees through other institutions into their own. The school will also work to introduce several more programs in three to five years.

“We already have two new degrees that are before government for approval. We think those will be the first two new ones,” he said.

He added degree-granting could potentially add 50% more students to the institution in three to seven years, which can now be more easily accommodating due to the several capital projects under construction including the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre and the new residence — both of which are scheduled to open in 2018.

Ward added the project will add critical growth to Central Alberta in a variety of ways.

“Our economic, cultural and social growth is impaired due to our inability to provide the educational opportunities that students need in Central Alberta,” he said. “We have made our case; we have the support of all of Central Alberta including students, business and industry, mayors and councils across Central Alberta and the school boards all support us.”

He added RDC is preparing for the best result in February.

“The government has listened and they will have a decision. I’m optimistic it will be a good one, but I really don’t know what the answer will be,” he said.

todd.vaughan@reddeerexpress.com

Like us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RedDeerExpress/and follow us on twitter athttps://twitter.com/RedDeerExpress.

Just Posted

Lacombe Generals extend win streak to three in 8-2 win

Lacombe plays Innisfail in final game of 2018

40-year Big Brother match a gift to Lacombe man

Andy Pawlyk and his Little Brother Chris Selathamby honoured at BBBS Awards Night

Lacombe Police Service rolls out holiday roadside check stops

Officers with approved screening device can request a breath test from anyone they lawfully stop

UPDATED: Calgary Police receive multiple bomb threats

Similar threats received across Canada and the United States

Town Center removed from Lacombe Southeast Area Structure Plan

Developer of Lacombe Market Square requested ammendment to the plan

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

‘I practically begged’: B.C. woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

New home for Calgary Flames estimated to cost up to $600 million

The city and the Flames are not yet talking on who will pay how much for a building to replace the Saddledome

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Most Read