Durham College partnering with Coding for Veterans

Durham College (DC) is pleased to announce it is partnering with Coding for Veterans, a non-profit, industry-led initiative, to provide customized, accelerated online training in coding, programming and computer software skills through its School of Continuing Education.

Designed to equip retired Canadian military personnel with the skills required to enter and succeed in Canada’s technology-based workforce, the Coding for Veterans Durham College Certificate program provides veterans with sought-after skills in computer programming and web app development, augmented with learning about project management and organizational behavior to support the learners’ transition to civilian industry.

“We are very proud to be using our expertise and experience in offering online continuing education to support this vital initiative,” said Don Lovisa, president, Durham College. “In doing so, we are able to help Canadian veterans gain the skills they need to succeed in their lives after the military while also driving the innovation economy.”

Designed as an online-first organization, the ability to offer technical training regardless of location was imperative when Coding for Veterans was founded.

To register, email info@codingforveterans.com.


Students encouraged to “paws” and cuddle with therapy dogs on November 5

Durham College (DC) students have the opportunity to take a pause from their studies on Monday, November 5 for a quick cuddle session with therapy dogs in the Solace Centre at the Oshawa campus.

Held twice a month in partnership with St. John’s Ambulance, the Paws and Cuddle event allows students the chance to spend quality time with a few furry friends to reduce stress and improve well-being.

“Animal-assisted therapy offers a number of different emotional benefits to students,” says Heather Bickle, health promotion coordinator at the Solace Centre and organizer of the event. “It can lessen the symptoms of depression or anxiety, decrease feelings of homesickness, or just provide students with comfort during a stressful time. We’ve had great feedback from students who have found the event fun and helpful to their overall health.”

Students can drop in to the Solace Centre anytime between 4 and 6 p.m. on Monday, November 5 for a friendly visit with the therapy dogs. The next Paws and Cuddle event takes place on Friday, November 23 at the same time.

Programming offered through DC’s Solace Centre aims to empower students to intentionally engage in their wellness by fostering their development of resilience and grit. The centre offers a wide range of programming and supports, with an emphasis on holistic education, harm reduction, personal welfare and social justice, believing in the inherent worth and potential for growth in all individuals.

For more information on the Solace Centre and its programming, please visit www.durhamcollege.ca/solace


Student Orientation underway at Durham College

With the 2018-2019 academic year soon underway, Durham College (DC) is busy getting ready to welcome more than 7,100 first-year students to campus during its annual Orientation, which runs from September 4 to Thursday, September 13.

Designed to help first-year students acclimatize to college life, meet staff and faculty, explore student services and enjoy the college’s Oshawa and Whitby campuses, Orientation also provides students with an opportunity to learn more about program expectations and student clubs, all while developing new friendships.

“Orientation sets new students up for success by helping them establish a community of support on campus,” says Krista Licsi, student orientation and transitions co-ordinator, Office of Student Diversity, Inclusion and Transitions. “They can step out of their comfort zone to meet other first-year students, learn about their program and discover opportunities to get involved in campus activities, all of which will help them should they encounter any barriers while completing their program here at DC.”

This year’s Orientation includes over 25 activities to help introduce students to college life, including the First-year Fun Fair on September 4, followed by the men’s and women’s soccer teams in the 8th annual Campus Cup later in the day, pitting the DC Lords against the UOIT Ridgebacks.

New this year are a few activities, like the LGBTQ2+ Paint Night and Social on Wednesday, September 5, designed to help members of the campus LGBTQ2+ community make connections on campus; and the Black Student Success Network social event on Wednesday, September 5, providing students with opportunities for mentorship, wellness and social engagement.

For a full list of Orientation activities and more details please visit www.durhamcollege.ca/orientation.


Students meet their future employers at DC Job Fair

As part of its annual Career Week, Durham College (DC) hosted its largest Job Fair to date on February 7. Coordinated by DC’s Career Development office, the event offered students and alumni access to more than 80 organizations – a welcome increase over last year’s event.

Held in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre at the college’s Oshawa campus, the job fair brought students together with representatives from organizations representing a mix of economic sectors, including business, community services, manufacturing, skilled trades, information technology, engineering, health care, hospitality and justice.

Participants were also able to access unique services, such as the Speed Networking Hub. They received advice from alumni, industry experts and business leaders about career paths and networking and learned key skills to maximize success in the workplace.

Students interested in learning about opportunities in skilled trades were able to attend the Tradesmart Career Fair at the Whitby campus, which was also held as part of Career Week. There, they had access to 30 employers, representing another significant increase in the number of participating organizations.

DC’s Career Development office is a student’s gateway to all things career-related at the college. The Career Development team offers a range of services including support for career exploration, resumé building and employment letter writing, interviewing skills and job search strategies.

For more information visit www.durhamcollege.ca/careerdevelopment.


DC hosts orientation for new international students

On Friday, January 19, Durham College’s (DC) International Office hosted its third international student orientation welcoming 370 students throughout the month.

Designed to provide new international students with helpful information about living and studying in Canada and at DC, the full-day session covered topics including adapting to the Canadian classroom, immigration matters, health insurance, working part time, and reviewing the support services on campus.

DC is now home to more than 1,300 international students, representing 54 countries from around the world.


DC welcomes students back to campus

Durham College (DC) employees are welcoming students back to campus in a variety of ways as the fall semester resumes. On November 21, the Aboriginal Student Centre held ‘welcome back’ smudging ceremonies to help reconnect the campus community by bringing students and employees together to release negative energy and restart the fall semester in a good way.

On November 22, DC employees staffed locations at the Oshawa and Whitby campuses and Pickering Learning Site to help students fuel up for their return to class by providing them with healthy lunches on behalf of the college.


Grads-to-be learn about convocation and alumni benefits at Countdown to Grad

Durham College’s (DC) spring and fall 2017 graduates-to-be enjoyed more than just a free lunch during the college’s annual Countdown to Grad events held at the Oshawa and Whitby campuses and Pickering Learning Site.

The events provided students with a fun opportunity to find out everything they need to know about their upcoming graduation while also learning about alumni benefits, career development services and convocation details. They also enjoyed a free slice of pizza and received a gift from the Alumni Association.

The events, sponsored by the Durham College Alumni Association, were held on March 7 (Oshawa campus), March 9 (Whitby campus) and March 10 (Pickering Learning Site) and over 500 attended.

For more information about DC’s spring 2017 convocation ceremonies, please visit the Spring Convocation page.


A heartfelt thanks to Durham College students

Durham College (DC) employees shared their heartfelt thanks with students around campus as they handed out cookies on February 2 and 3. 

The heart-shaped sweet treats were to show appreciation to our students and thank them for choosing DC. Students also had the opportunity to share the love by capturing the moment in a life-size Instagram photo frame and posting it on social media.

 “My school loves me!” posted one student on Twitter, while another posted, “the cookies were great and helped with our test stress!”

DC appreciates all of our students and we work hard to ensure their experience comes first.

From our hearts to yours, thank you to all students and employee volunteers for participating in this great event!


First graders dance and learn at DC's annual Aboriginal Awareness Day

More than 300 Durham College (DC) students plus 60 first graders celebrated Aboriginal Awareness Day on Friday, January 20.

“The day says to our DC Aboriginal students that we want to celebrate you. We want to help them be proud of who they are if they aren’t already,” says Peggy Forbes, Aboriginal student advisor and coach with the DC Aboriginal Students Centre.

“All of the students were very involved. The first graders (of Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board) had a great time with us. They were dancing and laughing,” says Forbes of the annual celebration at DC.

“The elementary students also wrote on our water raindrops (display) saying why water is important to them” reflecting the theme of the day, she said. The celebration was very inclusive, as the term Aboriginal includes First Nations, Métis and Inuit, she added.

Special guests of the day-long event, which opened with a Smudge ceremony, included: Métis Nation of Ontario Senator Cecile Wagar, of the Oshawa and Durham Region Métis Council, who also performed as a member of the All Our Relations Métis Drum Circle; Darrell LaFrance, a storyteller from the Algonquin Pikwanagan First Nations; Elder Shirley Williams, who provided the opening prayer; Métis musicians and siblings Alicia and Liam Blore playing fiddle and guitar, respectively; and Elder Gerard Sagassige, who was the master of ceremonies.

Cassie-Jean Dillon, culture and activities assistant at the Aboriginal Students Centre, said, “The day was important to celebrate and educate the broader community about the Aboriginal community.”


DC welcomes elementary students – and their LEGO robots – to campus

On January 14, Durham College (DC) was proud to host more than 400 of Ontario’s brightest young minds, along with their teachers, families and friends, as they competed in the annual FIRST® LEGO® League Ontario East Provincial Championship.

Known by its acronym that means For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, FIRST is a U.S.-based, not-for-profit public charity that inspires young people to be science and technology leaders. Leadership and innovation was on full display at this year’s competition, held in DC’s Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre at the college’s Oshawa campus, as teams of students, ages nine to 14, showcased their hard work and skills.

Teams first presented research projects to multiple judging panels before unleashing their robots, which students designed, built and programmed using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology, on to table-top playing fields.

This year’s competition theme, Animal AlliesSM, challenged teams to think of people and animals as partners in the quest to make life better for everyone. Each team was asked to identify a real-world problem that occurs when people and animals interact; design a solution that would make the interaction better for animals, people or both; then share their identified problem and solution with others. In keeping with the theme, the robot playing fields and their challenges also focused on interactions between people and animals.

At the end of a day filled with fierce and fun competition, team CTRL-Z from Bayview Glen School in Toronto was crowned the winner and awarded an opportunity to compete at the FIRST LEGO League World Festival in St. Louis, Missouri, in April.

As a sponsor and host of FIRST LEGO League, DC offers students what is often their first experience in a college environment and helps them to envision where their passion for robotics, technology and engineering can take them to pursue a post-secondary education. Just prior to the provincial championship, DC President Don Lovisa discussed just that when he joined the team from the First Nations School of Toronto, as well as FIRST representative Annika Pint, on City TV’s Breakfast Television.

For more information about FIRST LEGO League, including a complete list of award winners from the Ontario East Provincial Championship, please visit www.firstroboticscanada.org.