Annual Report

Message from president Don Lovisa

Image of DC President Don Lovisa.

When Durham College (DC) launched its new Mission – Together, we’re leading the way – in May 2020, there was a lot of uncertainty in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic was in its early stages and no one could be sure what the coming weeks would bring. Despite the challenges we have all faced, as an institution, we have been living our mission each and every day.

Students have demonstrated incredible resilience as they’ve adapted to online learning and adjustments to their course structure and delivery. With unwavering commitment to their jobs and ensuring success for our learners, faculty have been innovative in their teaching methods, finding new ways to adhere to COVID restrictions while also keeping experiential learning at the forefront of the DC experience. Support for employees and students also shifted online while still maintaining the college’s excellent service level and open, responsive communication.

Partnerships with key organizations and corporations have continued, benefitting both parties and supporting education, training and skills development. Innovative applied research projects have also been completed, while others launched, including those focused on solving challenges related to the pandemic using DC’s faculty, students and expertise.

As much as things have changed, so many of the hallmarks of what make the college one of Canada’s leading post-secondary institutions, remain the same – we continue to grow in terms of infrastructure and programming that are responsive to industry needs and demands, our focus on transformative education is unwavering, and our mission, vision and values, as well as our four strategic pillars and goals, continue to underscore every decision we make, guiding us forward.

We are looking to the future prepared with new knowledge and practices that will continue to serve us well, regardless of how DC offers it programs. While the past year hasn’t been without its challenges, we are emerging stronger than ever, with a focus on continuing to lead the way, alongside the entire DC community.

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Words we live by

Our Mission

Together, we're
leading the way.
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Inspiring learners to create success for themselves and their communities through the best in innovative and transformative education.

  • Collaboration
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Excellence
  • Innovation
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Social Responsibility
Goal: to educate and inspire students to realize success in their careers and community. We will:
  • Deliver high-quality programs that reflect labour markets and are responsive to emerging economies.
  • Provide exceptional learning experiences that create opportunities for students to build resilience, competence, personal capacity and life-enhancing skills.
  • Foster the development of durable skills that are transferable across all industries and workplaces.
  • Champion experiential learning, global engagement and applied research opportunities.
  • Cultivate relationships with students that extend beyond graduation.
  • Advocate for the necessity and value of life-long learning.
Goal: to invest in our employees and empower them to be entrepreneurial, innovative and strategic. We will:
  • Attract and retain individuals who are highly qualified, creative and collaborative.
  • Foster a culture where all employees are inspired to exemplify our mission, vision and values.
  • Ensure a positive and inclusive work environment that is diverse, respectful and representative of our community.
  • Develop and implement strategies and practices that support the health and wellness of our employees.
  • Leverage the expertise of our employees to make meaningful contributions to student learning and the community.
  • Provide professional development and global outreach opportunities that enhance the skills and knowledge of our employees.
Goal: to be a leader in teaching and learning while responsibly managing resources, ensuring good governance and strategically investing in the future. We will:
  • Foster an environment that inspires idea generation, bold leadership and purposeful innovation that are consistent with the evolution of work.
  • Lead the development of transformational programs, services and systems that enhance the student experience.
  • Be at the forefront of evolving teaching, learning and applied research practices.
  • Reimagine and grow our facilities to be more flexible, accessible and progressive.
  • Optimize resources and processes in all aspects of our business.
Goal: to drive the economic, social and environmental success of our community, locally and globally. We will:
  • Establish and strengthen meaningful partnerships with industry, government, community and alumni to ensure our programs are leading-edge.
  • Expand volunteer opportunities for employees and students to gain a deeper connection to our community.
  • Leverage and grow our positive impact on the community to help it prosper and diversify.
  • Respect our community by leading environmental stewardship and building social inclusion, while contributing to economic success.
  • Strengthen our relationships with Indigenous communities.

Highlights from the past year

In times of change and transformation, like we’ve experienced this past year, it’s important to have a solid foundation to build on. For DC, the words we live by are reflected in our mission, vision, values, and the pillars that are vital to our success as an institution. These pillars – our students, people, work and community – keep us focused on where we want to lead the way.

The following stories highlight the college’s achievements and success in each of these areas. It may have been a year unlike any other, but our commitment to innovation in teaching and learning, coupled with strong local and global partnerships, have ensured DC continues to thrive.

DC’s Enactus team wins 2021 Central Canada Regional Championship

Their hard work paid off as the DC Enactus team, EnactusDC, won its first-ever regional championship at the 2021 Enactus Canada Regional Exposition in the Scotiabank Climate Action Challenge, for Project 3eeHive.

A branded apparel social enterprise, Project 3eeHive is focused on education, empowering consumers, and collectively restoring bee habitats.

READ MORE
Enactus1

DC Advertising students support DRPS human trafficking awareness campaign

As part of its effort to provide the best student experience, DC fosters strong connections with a variety of local partners, offering students the opportunity to put theory into practice while completing their programs. In the School of Media, Art & Design, students learn to establish and maintain client relationships by collaborating with community partners, quite often on real-life challenges and opportunities.

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It was amazing to see how addressing a real-life, close-to-home matter sparked such interest and enthusiasm among the students. The opportunity to be part of an important initiative and make a valuable contribution to their community made such an impact. Involvement meant so much more than just getting a good grade.
Dawn Salter, professor and program coordinator, School of Media, Art & Design

Music Business Management students receive 2021 SHINE! Music Bursary

Taking their place in the spotlight, three Music Business Management students – one graduate and two currently enrolled – are recipients of the 2021 SHINE! Music Bursary. Second-year students Whitney Otis and Kailey Haskell along with Alexa Michaels, who graduated from the program in 2017, received the awards at the 2021 SHINE! Concert held in March.

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Quite often, financial barriers can cause disruptions in the continued practice or study of music. Financial assistance awards, such as the SHINE! Music Bursary, can make all the difference for those hoping to forge a future in music.”
Marni Thornton, professor, School of Media, Art & Design.

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Two DC professors receive Minister of Colleges and Universities’ Awards of Excellence

Leading the way in their respective fields, Edward Logan, a professor in DC’s post-secondary and apprenticeship plumbing programs, and Chris Daniel, a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program and faculty advisor with DC’s FastStart entrepreneurship team, have both received a Minister of Colleges and Universities’ Award of Excellence for their dedication to the local community, their students and the broader post-secondary sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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DC employees show solidarity during Scholar Strike for those who have experienced anti-Black and systemic racism

In September, academics across North America took part in a two-day Scholar Strike to stand in solidarity with anti-Black racism and police violence protesters in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere.

As part of this collective action event, a group of DC employees contributed their voices to a short video to demonstrate their support for their students, colleagues and all others who have experienced anti-Black and systemic racism.

READ MORE

DC researcher leads co-design of youth-led housing hub model for youth living on their own

Through a two-year research project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council through the College and Community Social Innovation Fund, DC researcher Lorraine Closs found that Trusteed Youth often face precarious housing situations and homelessness, food insecurity, mental and physical health concerns and more.

READ MORE
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Trusteed Youth provided feedback
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Service providers
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Agencies across the region

DC launches two new degree programs and graduate certificate for in-demand jobs

DC received consent from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to offer two new degree programs which address labour shortages being experienced in two of Canada’s hottest job sectors – construction management and artificial intelligence. The new Honours Bachelor of Construction Management and Honours Bachelor of Artificial Intelligence degrees welcome the first class of students in September 2021.

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Addressing industry needs and trends

DC opens its digital doors to more than 2,700 prospective students at Spring Virtual Open House

On March 27, more than 2,700 prospective students and their families from 124 countries across the globe got a taste of the DC experience during the college’s immersive Virtual Open House event.

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Prospective students and families virtually logged in
124
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Countries represented by site visitors

DC supporting Ontario’s workforce in acquiring valuable skills with new micro-credential

DC is pleased to launch it latest micro-credential, Ultrasonic Testing Level II. Designed to meet the needs of industry by quickly teaching highly sought-after skills, DC is the only college in Ontario to offer this level of qualifying certification for the in-demand field of Non-Destructive Evaluation.

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Demand for qualified Non-Destructive Evaluation inspectors will continue to grow based on expected retirements and, thanks to the college’s expert faculty and specialized laboratory testing equipment, we are well-positioned to teach these skills
Michelle Hutt, associate vice-president, Academic (Enrolment and International Education)

DC celebrates successful Campus Food Drive

Thanks to the generosity of the DC and Ontario Tech University communities, the 2020 Campus Food Drive raised more than $22,000 to help 384 students in need.

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Students in need supported

DC’s AI Hub and W. Galen Weston Centre for Food win Business Excellence Awards from Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce

DC’s Hub for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence for Business Solutions and W. Galen Weston Centre for Food each received a Business Excellence Award from the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce in the categories of innovation and sustainability, respectively.

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The work undertaken at the AI Hub and Weston Centre enhances all aspects of teaching and learning, while also driving growth and supporting the broader community.
Don Lovisa, president, Durham College

DC and OPG renew successful longstanding partnership

DC and Ontario Power Generation continue to champion skilled trades development and training thanks to a $500,000 donation provided through OPG’s Centre for Canadian Nuclear Sustainability (CCNS). The funds are supporting the construction of DC’s Whitby Campus Expansion project.

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Success stories

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Success in research

As a leader in applied research, the college’s Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE) had a very successful, award-winning year, resulting in funding for key projects and experiential learning opportunities for faculty and students.


ORSIE wins bronze in 2020 CICan Awards of Excellence

DC's Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship received bronze in the 2020 Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) Awards of Excellence in the Applied Research and Innovation Excellence Award category.

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Durham College receives funding supporting Artificial Intelligence advisory services for businesses

DC’s Hub for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence for Business Solutions (the AI Hub) will receive advisory services and a contribution of up to $300,000 from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP).

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Durham College awarded two Mitacs Accelerate grants to fund student research internships

DC’s Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE) has been awarded two Mitacs Accelerate grants totaling $120,000, to support two new applied research projects creating eight internships for DC students.

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Success in athletics

Home of the Durham Lords, the college’s Athletics Department offers varsity opportunities in more than 12 sports, including the dynamic world of Esports.


Durham Lords recognize 46 all-academic student-athletes

Recognizing academic success from the 2020 academic year, the Durham Lords are proud to acknowledge 46 student-athletes with all-academic honours.

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Construction on new Durham Lords softball facility

Construction on a new Durham Lords softball facility at the Oshawa campus commenced this year. The facility, which will include 100-per-cent synthetic SPORTURF playing surface with an underlay shock pad for safety, will become the new home of DC's award-winning women's softball program.

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DC Lords Esports Rocket League team wins NECC championship

The DC Lords Varsity Esports team earned their first championship win after the Rocket League squad captured the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) championship on November 22.

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Success in international education

Home to 1,472 full-time international students, representing 72 countries, the college also partners extensively on global projects focused on skills development, training and opportunities for knowledge exchange with other institutions from across the globe.


Durham College to support Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Kenya through Young Africa Works initiative in partnership with Mastercard Foundation

This past year, DC participated in two initiatives in Kenya with Young Africa Works: Youth Employability through TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) program.

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DC’s Working Across Borders project continues to make a global impact during COVID-19

Four years ago, DC started an innovative Working Across Borders (WAB) course for business students, which allows them to engage with various international institutions around the world through virtual collaborative learning. The project provides participants with opportunities to experience multicultural perspectives while developing sustainable real-world business solutions for internationally oriented clients.

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Picturing change: a faculty-led classroom abroad takes students to Guatemala to learn about the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals

As part of a Faculty-led Classroom Abroad initiative, seven students from DC’s Journalism – Mass Media program and two from the Video Production program spent ten days in Guatemala learning about the people, the culture and themselves.

Overseen by faculty member Danielle Harder, the students worked on a project comprised of four parts. The first involved documenting work done by a Canadian organization, Students Offering Support, to support Guatemalan communities.

Learn more

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Music Business Management students receive 2021 SHINE! Music Bursary

The School of Media, Art & Design at Durham College (DC) is pleased to announce three Music Business Management students – one graduate and two currently enrolled – are recipients of the 2021 SHINE! Music Bursary. Second-year students Whitney Otis and Kailey Haskell along with Alexa Michaels, who graduated from the program in 2017, received the awards at the 2021 SHINE! Concert on March 7.

Established in 2010, the SHINE! Music Bursary is an external financial assistance award aimed at supporting young musicians looking to further their study of traditional or folk music. Originally named the Jim Fay Music Bursary, the award has evolved over time in memory of four influential contributors to the Greater Toronto Area’s music scene, including:

  • Jim Fay – Irish-born guitar and mandolin player
  • James Gray – musician and long-time keyboard player for Blue Rodeo
  • Doug Queen – musician, singer and song-writer, and member of the bluegrass band Jughead (“Hockey Song”)
  • Bruce Adamson – lead guitarist of Staggered Crossing

Funding for the bursary is raised through the annual SHINE! Concert as well as generous donations from individuals and groups. Now in it’s 12th year, the concert was streamed virtually due to COVID-19. DC’s Alexa and Whitney were two of four recipients to join this year’s lineup and performed on the virtual stage.

“Quite often, financial barriers can cause disruptions in the continued practice or study of music,” explains Marni Thornton, professor, School of Media, Art & Design. “Financial assistance awards, such as the SHINE! Music Bursary, can make all the difference for those hoping to forge a future in music.”

Youth between the ages of 16 to 24 can apply to the bursary each year, with award amounts ranging between $500 and $2,000, to support opportunities for aspiring musicians to advance their careers, such as album releases and additional coaching.

“We are thrilled that the college and SHINE! found each other,” says Ian Newall, chair, SHINE! Music Bursary. “Durham College has an innovative program that produces keen musicians and I look forward to meeting new applicants in the future.”

To watch the 2021 SHINE! Concert, click here.

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DC's Enactus team wins 2021 Central Canada Regional Championship

The Durham College (DC) Enactus team, EnactusDC, recently won its first-ever regional championship at the 2021 Enactus Canada Regional Exposition in the Scotiabank Climate Action Challenge, for Project 3eeHive.

A branded apparel social enterprise, Project 3eeHive is focused on education, empowering consumers, and collectively restoring bee habitats.

“I’m extremely proud of our team’s commitment this year despite the obstacles we faced,” said Heather Brown, student president of EnactusDC, who just finished her third year with the team. “Because of COVID we had to shift to virtual operations in March 2020 and were one of the few student Enactus teams to continue operating during the pandemic. However, the culture we’ve built has kept us going. This win reinforces our commitment to the competition, as well as social enterprise, and demonstrates our drive to make sustainable change.”

The team now moves on to the Enactus National Exposition, where 66 teams from colleges and universities across Canada will compete.

“Being a member of the DC Enactus team has been an incredible opportunity for me to put everything I’ve learned from my program to the test,” said Cameron Billingham, a second-year Photography student. “It’s been a fantastic way for me to meet and work with a great group of people and I’m excited for the next stage of the competition.”

Enactus is an international non-profit dedicated to creating social change through entrepreneurship. DC’s chapter launched in 2016 through FastStart DC and is comprised of student leaders looking to make positive social impacts in the community.

For more information on how to get involved with EnactusDC, visit www.enactusdc.com.

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DC Advertising students support DRPS human trafficking awareness campaign

As part of its effort to provide the best student experience, Durham College (DC) fosters strong connections with a variety of local partners, offering students the opportunity to put theory into practice while completing their programs. In the School of Media, Art & Design (MAD), students learn to establish and maintain client relationships by collaborating with community partners, quite often on real-life challenges and opportunities.

One such partnership led to a creative solution that helped address a serious issue – human trafficking. Through a collaboration with the Durham Regional Police Services (DRPS) Human Trafficking Unit (HTU), Advertising and Marketing Communications students worked to raise awareness in the community with the design and creation of an informative hotel card.

“The Advertising and Marketing Communications program prides itself in providing promotional support to local business, not-for-profit and public service sectors. For this reason, a key component of the curriculum has students working alongside community partners to develop and implement effective communication strategies and programs,” says Dawn Salter, professor and program coordinator, School of Media, Art & Design.

Human trafficking involves the use of force, coercion or fraud to influence the movements of a person, typically through sexual exploitation or forced labour. Unfortunately, a number of human trafficking cases occur in our very own community, with aggressors often operating in local hotels throughout Durham Region.

Victims of human trafficking often have no possessions and are left to spend time alone in hotel rooms. As part of a DRPS initiative, DC students Lauren Crummey and Raphael Maturine leveraged input from over 50 of their peers to develop an ingenious solution that provides vital information to victims but can go undetected by traffickers. Disguised to look like a spa brochure, the students created a hotel card for victims that contains important information for various support services, in a subtle, yet impactful way.

“It was amazing to see how addressing a real-life, close-to-home matter sparked such interest and enthusiasm among the students,” says Dawn. “The opportunity to be part of an important initiative and make a valuable contribution to their community made such an impact. Involvement meant so much more than just getting a good grade.” 

MAD has been fortunate to work with the DRPS human trafficking unit since 2019, and has hosted HTU members and survivors as guest speakers on a number of occasions to raise awareness.

Students Lauren and Raphael shared their experience working on this important initiative in a special interview on our blog.

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Two DC professors receive Minister of Colleges and Universities’ Awards of Excellence

Leading the way in their respective fields, Edward Logan, a professor in DC’s post-secondary and apprenticeship plumbing programs, and Chris Daniel, a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program and faculty advisor with DC’s FastStart entrepreneurship team, have both received a Minister of Colleges and Universities’ Award of Excellence for their dedication to the local community, their students and the broader post-secondary sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edward Logan – creating virtual Community of Practice events

Edward, who was nominated by Dr. Rebecca Milburn, executive dean of the School of Skilled Trades, Apprenticeship and Renewable Technology, demonstrated his Ontario spirit by organizing two national virtual Community of Practice (CoP) events for plumbers and skilled trades faculty.

Created with the goals of bringing educators together, making the online experience better for students, forging new relationships, and sharing best practices for online delivery, each CoP saw professors from across Canada and the United States come together to share ideas, best practices, and further examine their roles as educators. Given the initial success of the sessions, there are plans to continue in the future.

Chris Daniel – using 3D printers to support frontline workers

Nominated by Michelle Hutt, associate vice-president, Academic (Enrolment and International Education), Chris jumped into action when the pandemic struck by spearheading a team of 65 volunteers including college students, employees, alumni and community members, who used 3D printers to create the frames for PPE face shields used by healthcare workers on the frontlines battling COVID-19.

At the height of production, 83 rapid prototyping machines were running across Durham Region and a GoFundMe page was established, which ultimately raised $15,918.32. In total, Chris’ 3D printing team produced 6,350 face shield headbands, as well as 32,700 ear savers. In addition, a $441.66 donation was made to the Lakeridge Health Foundation.

DC is incredibly proud of both professors and extends it congratulations on their achievement. Their commitment to their trades, students and post-secondary education are shining examples of the college’s new mission in action – Together, we’re leading the way.

Developed to honour the work being done by professors and instructors at Ontario’s publicly-assisted, Indigenous and private post-secondary institutions during COVID-19, the Minister of Colleges and Universities’ Awards of Excellence celebrate the incredible work of professors and instructors on campus, in the community and beyond.

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DC employees show solidarity during Scholar Strike for those who have experienced anti-Black and systemic racism

In September, academics across North America took part in a two-day Scholar Strike to stand in solidarity with anti-Black racism and police violence protesters in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere.

As part of this collective action event, a group of DC employees contributed their voices to a short video to demonstrate their support for their students, colleagues and all others who have experienced anti-Black and systemic racism.

Produced by Crystal Garvey, a professor in the Nursing – Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, the video features statements of solidarity from faculty members across the college as they share their experiences and advocacy while raising their voices in the call to end racial injustice.

DC is proud of its employees and students, and supports the dismantling of systemic barriers faced by the underrepresented Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) community.

In the summer, DC President Don Lovisa signed the BlackNorth Initiative's CEO pledge, joining more than 200 leaders from across Canada who have publicly committed their organizations to taking action to realize specific goals and targets designed to dismantle anti-Black systemic racism and create opportunities for the BIPOC community.

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DC researcher leads co-design of youth-led housing hub model for youth living on their own

Old enough to live on their own but too young to receive social assistance directly, Ontario’s Trusteed Youth (TY) face challenges no child should.

Through a two-year research project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) through the College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF), DC researcher Lorraine Closs found that TY often face precarious housing situations and homelessness, food insecurity, mental and physical health concerns and more. These issues are largely due to the challenge of navigating a complex and overburdened social services system and lack of safe and affordable housing options.

TY represent a unique and particularly vulnerable population, relying on a community agency to act as their “trustee” so they can collect Ontario Works assistance. They live alone without the opportunity to approach independence in a gradual and supported manner, and lack suitable role models and guidance that would generally be provided in a family setting.

Established in partnership with the Regional Municipality of Durham, Durham District School Board, Durham Mental Health Services, Boys and Girls Club of Durham, and the John Howard Society of Canada, the DC applied research project, which concluded in December, has resulted in the development of a ground-breaking alternative housing hub model co-designed for youth, by youth. It has also provided valuable insight into how the system can best meet the needs of TY while informing future policy recommendations for supporting youth living on their own.

“By directly involving trusteed youth in the development of this housing hub, we were able to support their needs, while also helping them improve their knowledge of the service system and increase their sense of personal competency and possibilities for the future,” said Closs, who also teaches at the college in the Social Service Worker program. “It’s our hope that the insights and recommendations developed as a result of this valuable research will help inform service design and delivery here at home and across the country, and that this project will become a catalyst in ensuring brighter futures for our trusteed youth.”

During the project, Closs gathered survey feedback from 43 current TY, as well as 30 service providers from 22 agencies across the region to better understand the obstacles facing both groups. With this data, she hosted three in-person co-design sessions and a virtual consensus building session with community service providers and TY. At these sessions, they co-designed the youth housing hub model and strategized policies that would improve the coordination and collaboration of services for youth living on their own.

“The Region of Durham is committed to ending chronic homelessness in our community,” said commissioner of social services, Stella Danos-Papaconstantinou. “We know that the needs of youth who experience precarious housing and homelessness are different than those of adults. This research amplifies the voices of vulnerable Durham youth and the service providers working with them to co-design a transitional, supportive housing model.  We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Durham College on this applied research and bring data, rigor and the voice of youth to proposed housing solutions inspired by their experiences.”

Other recommendations that came out of the research include:

  • Bundling services for youth by creating school hubs.
  • Creating drop-in style supports to by-pass complex referral and waitlist processes.
  • Intervention services for landlord disputes and funding incentives for landlords who rent to youth.
  • A designated case worker assigned to TY to help navigate the service system.
  • Flexibility around communication options for youth to access service supports.
  • Access to free transportation for youth.
  • Affordable, safe transitional housing options to prevent the onset of chronic homelessness.
  • Improved process for changing schools without parental consent.
  • Life skills guidance for the seamless transition from adolescence to adulthood.
  • Inclusion of youth in the development of youth services.

The full research report, including key findings, implications and recommendations are available to view online, in addition to a short film that was produced to disseminate the findings of the research.

This project was proudly supported by DC’s Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE). ORSIE provides support to social innovation projects through access to funding opportunities, faculty expertise, state-of-the-art research facilities, and student learning experiences. In partnership with industry and community agencies, applied research projects are carried out by DC faculty experts and students and administered by ORSIE. To connect with ORSIE, please reach out online.

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DC launches two new degree programs and graduate certificate for in-demand jobs

Durham College (DC) has received consent from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to offer two new degree programs which will address labour shortages being experienced in two of Canada’s hottest job sectors – construction management and artificial intelligence.

Following the success of DC’s first degree programs launched in 2017 and 2019, the new Honours Bachelor of Construction Management and Honours Bachelor of Artificial Intelligence are currently accepting applications for September 2021.

“Now more than ever, our construction and technology sectors need skilled workers who can take on specialist roles right out of the gate as the infrastructure of both our digital and physical world evolves and advances,” says Dr. Elaine Popp, executive vice president, Academic. “Graduates of these degree programs will be in-demand, armed with the necessary skills to create meaningful change in their industries and solve complex, real-world problems while contributing to Ontario’s economic future.”

The HBCM program is the first DC program to be offered collaboratively across three of the college’s academic schools, including the Schools of Skilled Trades, Apprenticeship & Renewable Technology (START); Science & Engineering Technology (SET); and Business, IT & Management (BITM). Through this multi-disciplinary approach, students will gain a firm grounding in the theory, principles, and practices of construction science as well as the business acumen and leadership skills to effectively facilitate the management of construction projects to successful completion, with the opportunity to synthesize their learning through two 14-week field placements.

Offered through BITM, students in the HBAI program will focus on learning technical theory with an emphasis on Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning, as well as the legal, social and corporate responsibility that comes with designing and developing AI-driven solutions. A field placement and capstone project will guide students in project management and assist in the development of critical and analytical thinking skills.

“The next generation of graduates are entering a workforce that requires a unique skillset – one that favours innovation, leadership and problem-solving,” says Don Lovisa, president.  “The work done by our researchers and experts in our AI Hub over the past several years, including launching an AI graduate certificate in 2019, has well-positioned Durham College as the natural choice for training the next cohort of leaders in machine learning and AI implementation. In addition, our excellence in trades education puts the futures of tomorrow’s construction professionals in great hands.”

In addition to the degree programs, DC has also launched a new graduate certificate in Pharmaceutical Science for students with previous post-secondary experience. In this three-semester program, students will prepare for a career in Canada’s strong pharmaceutical sector, a rewarding field that is seeing continuous job growth and demand. Featuring a 240-hour field placement, this program will set graduates on the path for a life-changing career that allows them to make a positive impact in the lives of millions of Canadians who rely on pharmaceutical products to improve and maintain their health, while helping to ensure access to better, safer drugs and consumer products. This new program will compliment DC’s current pharmaceutical and food science advanced diploma program offered through the School of Science & Engineering Technology.

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DC opens its digital doors to more than 2,700 prospective students at Spring Virtual Open House

On March 27, more than 2,700 prospective students and their families from 124 countries across the globe got a taste of the Durham College (DC) experience during the college’s immersive Virtual Open House event.

Through informative live program information and student support services sessions, visitors had the opportunity to ask questions about DC’s more than 140 market-driven programs and learned about financing their education, living on campus, career outcomes and everything in between.

Guided virtual tours of campus spaces, including learning environments, residence and wellness facilities, allowed visitors to envision themselves at DC. Attendees also had the chance to enter to win a $3,000 tuition credit.

Since last year, DC has welcomed more than 7,800 visitors to virtual student recruitment events and information sessions, providing the opportunity to create the meaningful connections between visitors and DC community members that are a hallmark of the college’s pre-pandemic in-person events.

For more information on applying to DC and upcoming student recruitment events, please visit www.durhamcollege.ca/student-recruitment or reach out to recruitment@durhamcollege.ca.

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DC supporting Ontario’s workforce in acquiring valuable skills with new micro-credential

Durham College (DC) is pleased to announce its latest micro-credential, Ultrasonic Testing Level II. Designed to meet the demands of industry by quickly teaching highly sought-after skills, DC is the only college in Ontario to offer this level of qualifying certification for the in-demand field of Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE).

Offered through the college’s School of Science & Engineering Technology (SET), the development of Ultrasonic Testing Level II micro-credential is an example of the strong link that exists between post-secondary institutions and industry.

“Initially we were approached by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to offer the ultrasonic testing training to its employees,” said Michelle Hutt, associate vice-president, Academic (Enrolment and International Education). “As we anticipate the demand for qualified NDE inspectors will continue to grow based on expected retirements and, thanks to the college’s expert faculty and specialized laboratory testing equipment, we are well-positioned to teach these skills.”

“DC’s School of Science & Engineering Technology offers high-calibre training in an industrial setting, led by facilitators who ensure the training meets the type of performance excellence demanded by our industry,” said Scott Burns, Vice President, Emergency Services and Training, OPG. “The long-standing educational partnership between OPG and DC continues to add value to our training programs as well as to the skill development of our employees.”

After agreeing to train OPG’s employees, DC made the decision to offer the Ultrasonic Testing Level II micro-credential more broadly.

“It is important to teach students methods that industry demands they know,” said Hutt. “Within the NDE field, employers will not consider job applicants without non-destructive testing (NDT) certification from the Canadian General Standards Board. When compared to other non-destructive testing (NDT) methods, ultrasonic testing is the most cost-effective, however, it is a skill that requires a specialized learning environment.”

Designed to help those studying to be an NDE professional, as well as those currently working in the industry quickly develop their skills, successful completion of the micro-credential will mean that they meet the educational requirements to be eligible to write the Level II Ultrasonic Testing (UT) certification exam.

Developed following a rigorous quality assurance process, the micro-credential requires students to complete case studies and hands-on laboratory applications to build their competencies, confidence and employability. 

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DC celebrates successful Campus Food Drive

Thanks to the generosity of the DC and Ontario Tech University communities, the 2020 Campus Food Drive raised more than $22,000 to help 384 students in need.

“In a year like no other, we are grateful for the continued support from our employees and their dedication to our students during the holiday season,” says Kevin Griffin, professor in the School of Justice & Emergency Services at DC and co-chair of the Campus Food Drive. “During a particularly challenging year for our students, our employees once again came through – and although we couldn’t accept food donations and pack hampers this year, we were still able to support our students through fundraising efforts for the new Campus Food Drive bursary.”

The food drive bursary supported qualifying full-time students (married/sole support) with families, and students who are living away from home and experiencing food insecurity.

“Food insecurity is an unfortunate reality for some,” says Kevin. “Although the Campus Food Drive efforts may look different moving forward, the goal and the spirit of the initiative remains the same. We hope that this bursary will continue to be an important part of assisting students in need in the future.”

The Campus Food Drive is an annual campaign organized by DC and Ontario Tech with support from employees, alumni, students and community members.

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DC’s AI Hub and W. Galen Weston Centre for Food win Business Excellence Awards from Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce

Durham College (DC) is proud to announce that its Hub for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence for Business Solutions (the AI Hub) and W. Galen Weston Centre for Food (Weston Centre) have each received a Business Excellence Award from the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce in the categories of innovation and sustainability, respectively.

The AI Hub’s win in the innovation category highlights recent achievements and success in the local tech sector, including the planning and co-ordination of their Enable AI conference, the first of its kind in the Durham Region, and the completion of numerous unique applied research projects for small- and medium-sized businesses. 

Winning in the sustainability category, which was launched by Oshawa Power last year, the Weston Centre was recognized for its field-to-fork philosophy, as well as its diverse, environmentally friendly programs and practices. From exploring energy-efficient growing methods, while also addressing the issue of food scarcity, to planting and harvesting seasonal crops to be used in Bistro ’67, the college’s teaching-inspired restaurant, or in community shared agriculture boxes, sustainability underscores much of the Weston Centre’s operations.

“The work undertaken at the AI Hub and Weston Centre enhances all aspects of teaching and learning, while also driving growth and supporting the broader community,” said Don Lovisa, president, Durham College. “It is always incredibly gratifying when those efforts are recognized and we want to thank the chamber for its acknowledgement of our innovation and sustainability initiatives.”

Accepting the awards on behalf of the college were Kelly O’Brien, general manager, Operations, W. Galen Weston Centre for Food, and Debbie McKee Demczyk, dean, Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 

“On behalf of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, it gives me pleasure to congratulate Durham College on receiving two awards this year at our 25th Annual Business Excellence Awards,” said Nancy Shaw, CEO, Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce. “Each clearly represent excellence in education through Durham College. Congratulations!”

The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards were established in 1995 and honour organizations that excel in all areas of business and leadership within the community.

The full awards presentation can be found online.

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DC and OPG renew successful longstanding partnership

Durham College (DC) is pleased to announce Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) continued championing of skilled trades development and training thanks to a $500,000 donation provided through OPG’s Centre for Canadian Nuclear Sustainability (CCNS). The funds are supporting the ongoing construction of DC’s Whitby Campus Expansion project.

“We are excited to continue our longstanding relationship with OPG,” said Don Lovisa, President, Durham College. “As a key player in the skilled trades industry, they truly understand the importance of training the next generation of tradespeople. In choosing to direct funds to the college’s latest capital project, which will see an additional 750 seats added at the Whitby campus, they are helping DC continue our tradition of educational excellence, while also ensuring there is a pipeline of qualified graduates to support the success of the nuclear industry as a whole and help OPG achieve their organizational goals.”

OPG recently opened the CCNS, a world-class facility that will attract skilled jobs, innovative businesses, and economic development to the Durham Region. Whether working on collaborative research or planning for the decommissioning of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, one of the CCNS goals is to create jobs to benefit Ontario’s economy, including a variety of skilled trades roles. As such, supporting DC’s efforts to increase its educational capabilities in those related fields, through capital development, is a natural fit.

“OPG and the CCNS is extremely proud to support Durham College’s latest capital project,” said Carla Carmichael, Vice President, Nuclear Decommissioning Strategies. “Investing in this state-of-the-art facility, designed for hands-on learning, is just the latest milestone in our funding partnership with the college.”

In addition to the latest $500,000 contribution, the 15-year partnership with DC has resulted in more than $5.5 million to support numerous initiatives and programs throughout the college. These include the development of DC’s first-ever Boiler and X-ray labs, funding towards specialized pre-apprenticeship programs, purchasing of specialized equipment and instruments for numerous other technology labs, sponsoring the Young Women in Science Technology and Trades Conference, establishing paid internship and co-op programs at OPG, and funding student scholarships and bursaries.

In return, the college has been able to support OPG through training for its own employees, as they seek to find innovative solutions for the nuclear industry.

“For more then 15 years, DC has played a key role in meeting OPG’s needs for well-educated and enthusiastic people to join our company or work on our capital projects, such as the Darlington Station Nuclear Refurbishment Project,” said Carmichael. “We believe this investment is beneficial for both entities as it creates opportunities for students, who as graduates will help support the CCNS’ mission and sustain a skilled workforce needed for the industry’s future projects.”