Canadian University College president excited for name change

Many of you have heard by now that back in July Alberta’s then Premier Dave Hancock gave CUC, along with four other faith-based

Many of you have heard by now that back in July Alberta’s then Premier Dave Hancock gave CUC, along with four other faith-based post-secondary institutions in Alberta permission to legally drop the word ‘college’ from its current or new name. Please let me share with you why making this change will benefit our students.

Many employers and graduate school admission committees don’t fully understand what a ‘university college’ is. A university college in one part of the world is completely different in authority and function to a university college in another part of the world.

In Canada alone there are three definitions of a university college.

In some provinces a university college has authority to offer college diplomas or certificates and undergraduate degrees. In other parts of Canada a university college is merely a subsidiary of a large university and lacks its own degree-granting power.

Here in Alberta, a university college is an independent post-secondary institution with its own board and authority to grant university degrees in its own name.

In the United States, some universities have a university college division that simply offers random continuing education courses or deals with the needs of non-traditional students, but does not grant degrees.

Other U.S. universities refer to all of their students’ first year, that time before they are formally accepted into a degree program, as the university college experience.

In many parts of Europe a university college is an institution that offers university level courses, but does not have full or independent university status or degree-granting authority.

Classes taken at such a university college lead to receiving a degree from another institution.

Because the province of Alberta has given us the authority to grant post-secondary degrees in our own name, we are what nearly all people around the world think of as a university.

Dropping the word ‘college’ from our current or new name will clear up much confusion and more accurately describe our status as an independent degree-granting institution. This will be a very significant, ongoing benefit to CUC’s students as they seek employment or entrance to graduate school.

To ensure the process of changing CUC’s name is as open and transparent as possible, we have been holding meetings with representatives from all of our constituencies, gathering their ideas. Last week our facilitator met with a group of Lacombians in the LMC seeking their input in this important process.

One of my goals as CUC’s president is to encourage all Lacombians to more fully enjoy the cultural, academic and health/fitness benefits our university offers.

All of us at CUC want to enhance Lacombe’s reputation as a ‘university town.’ That’s why we held one of our name-change focus groups at the LMC. That’s why senior citizens can take classes at CUC at no charge (when space is available).  That’s why we accept students of any faith.

These are just a few of the many things we do to invite citizens of Lacombe to consider CUC part of the family.

If you have good ideas for our new name, if you have questions about CUC, or if there is a service we can provide, please e-mail me at or call me at 403-782-3381 ext. 4147. I look forward to your feedback!

Mark Haynal

President – Canadian University College