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Durham College and partners win Pacific Alliance Education for Employment call for proposal

Durham College (DC), in collaboration with Vancouver Island University and Fanshawe College, wins the Pacific Alliance Education for Employment A.08 call for proposal which will see the Canadian consortium lead the technical assistance for the development and implementation of a national and regional promotional campaign of the entire Pacific Alliance program in Chile, Colombia and Mexico.

Funded by Global Affairs Canada and administered by Colleges and Institutes Canada, the program will see more than 1,500 employers and learners benefit from a dialogue on educational best practices; capacity in leadership and institutional management strengthened; and 105 trainers trained in pedagogical strategies. Focus areas will include: training approaches, competence-based education, and leadership training.

The Pacific Alliance Education for Employment A.08 contract further reinforces DC’s commitment to quality education, not only here in Canada, but all over the world. To learn more about DC’s international initiatives, visit the International Education office website.


Introducing Sage-04: Durham College’s collaboration in Guyana

Durham College (DC), in collaboration with College of the North Atlantic and Mohawk College, was recently awarded one of six Skills to Access the Green Economy (SAGE-04) calls for proposals.

With this contract, DC will support two schools in Guyana: New Amsterdam Technical Institute and Bina Hill Institute, in developing industry-responsive and inclusive skills training programs.

SAGE will see more than 1,000 students and beneficiaries trained across a variety of fields, including: water and coastal management, agriculture, construction and eco-tourism. The ultimate goal of SAGE-04 is to develop an inclusive academic program within the renewable energy sector.

This five-year initiative, funded by Global Affairs Canada and administered by CICan, will also support Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, Canada’s commitment to empower girls and women worldwide.

For more information on SAGE-04 and other International Education office initiatives, visit www.durhamcollege.ca/international.


Durham College’s Working Across Borders tiles the way for a sustainable future

November 4 marked the official launch of Working Across Borders (WAB), Durham College’s (DC) new course focused on international collaboration and sustainability through student-run consultancy projects. Approximately 550 people from around the world joined DC students and faculty members for the launch, using the global classroom, DC’s internationally live-streamed approach to global learning. More than 128 students across the International Business Management and Project Management post-grad programs, alongside a group of students in the Finance program, enrolled in WAB this fall.

Participants from Canada, Germany, Russia, Italy, Finland, Belgium, and the United States participated in the kickoff event, with Geanne van Arkel of Interface Inc. in attendance. Arkel is the head of sustainable development for Interface, WAB’s client, and the world’s largest producer of carpet tiles, resilient flooring and luxury vinyl tiles. In 2016, Interface launched Climate Take Back, their commitment to running their business in a way that is environmentally sustainable, and environmentally restorative.

During the opening, Pranshu Pinakinbhai Bhatt, a first-year International Business Management student, expressed excitement for WAB, saying “It will be interesting to see how we can work as a team. Each person brings a different culture and working styleso we have to learn to co-operate.” He went on to say “I recently learned that verbal commitments are very important in Finland, so now I adjust my style to fit with Finnish colleagues. Now, if I make a verbal commitment, I make sure to follow through.”

As the launch ended, Arkel challenged the students by saying “If we want to work on sustainable solutions, we need to work together, and that’s where Durham College comes in. We need a new story for our climate’s future. A story that benefits all life. We need you.”

Through the WAB, students will meet Arkel’s challenge as the program teaches students how to achieve success in a global marketplace, while meeting the environmental needs of today’s world. Students work in multi-national teams to develop and pitch sustainable solutions to combat issues that impact the world socially and environmentally. These solutions, based on three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations, include: gender equality, clean water and sanitation, climate action and responsible consumption and production.

“This cross-cultural co-operation is exactly what WAB and the global classroom was designed to do,” says DC professor, Rogier Ten Kate.

Along with TenKate, Dustin Weihs, professor and Joanne Spicer, global learning facilitator, WAB will continue to grow and evolve with the world at large.


Durham College receives Real Life Learning Award for its KEFEP documentary

Durham College (DC) is proud to announce that it took home a Real Life Learning Award at the PIEoneer Awards 2019 in London, England on September 19. The award, which recognizes organizations offering real-life learning programs overseas, was presented to DC for its Kenyan Education for Employment Program (KEFEP) documentary that premiered last year.

“We are so thrilled to receive this prestigious award. It’s the result of countless hours of work from passionate DC students and faculty whose incredible film documents the ongoing work being done to strengthen education in Kenya” said Lisa Shepard, dean, International Education at DC.

Captured, scripted, edited and produced by four DC students and two faculty from the School of Media, Art & Design, the crew spent three weeks in Kenya last year documenting KEFEP, a five-year initiative focused on strengthening and supporting technical and vocational education and training in Kenya, funded by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada.

“Projects like this documentary represent the amazing types of experiential learning opportunities our students have access to during their time at Durham College,” said Dr. Elaine Popp, vice president, DC.  “I’m looking forward to seeing what new and exciting international projects our students and faculty will be involved in next.”

While in Kenya, the crew conducted 52 interviews with KEFEP partners, stakeholders and beneficiaries, in addition to collecting 40 hours of incredible footage. After months of effort and countless time spent in the editing suite, the KEFEP Documentary was born, premiering in front of 120 guests from the college and local community, including the principal secretary from Kenya’s State Department of Vocational and Technical Education and the deputy high commissioner of Kenya to Canada.

The PIEoneer Awards are the only global awards that celebrate innovation and achievement across the whole of the international education industry. With a distinguished judging panel representing geographical and professional diversity, the PIEoneer Awards recognize both individuals and organizations who are pushing professional standards, evolving their engagement or redefining the international student experience.


DC welcomes more than 900 new international students to campus

This week Durham College (DC) welcomed more than 900 new international students from 65 countries to campus for the 2019-2020 academic year. To help prepare students for the year ahead, an International Student Orientation was held on August 28 at the Oshawa campus.

Dean of International Education, Lisa Shepard, kicked off the event by delivering welcome remarks and advice to international students as they embark on their journey in Canada, encouraging them to find a mentor, make friends and write their own story. Later, DC President Don Lovisa and Dr. Elaine Popp, vice-president, Academic, welcomed students on behalf of the entire college.

Throughout the day, students received guidance on the many services and supports available to them and how to prepare for post-secondary education. They also learned about their health insurance plan, banking in Canada, how to find part-time work and also gained valuable information about building a future in Canada.

The day also facilitated the development of new friendships through fun group activities and a photobooth. After the event students were invited to browse a mini student services fair from Durham College Students Inc., FastStart DC, Enactus DC, the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre, as well as informative booths about residence, cell phones, banking and more.

“For many of our new international students, this is their first time being outside of their home country, so it can be very overwhelming and nerve-wracking.” said Janine Knight-Grofe, manager, International Education. “Our International Student Orientation activities are designed to introduce students not only to life in Canada, but also to life as a member of our DC community, so that when they start classes next week they have all the tools they need to succeed.”

More than 2000 international students will be studying at DC for the 2019-2020 academic year. With additional students expected to arrive as the year gets underway, DC prides itself on offering international students the highest-quality Canadian education, a safe and vibrant campus environment and a fun and rewarding student life – with everything from clubs and cultural activities to sports and recreation – to balance studies with activities outside the classroom.

For more information, please visit the college’s International Education office website.


Durham College introduces Working Across Borders in International Business course

Durham College’s global classroom provides a venue for interactive, live-streamed classes, allowing learners and educators to collaborate worldwide, without crossing geographic boundaries.

Participants share their views with their colleagues, both domestic and abroad via live video chats. Students may find themselves debating religion with educators in Bangladesh on Monday, critiquing the education system with students in Zambia on Wednesday and analysing the impact of social media in England by Friday.This multicultural approach to education has made DC a wellspring for international collaboration since its creation; and with the introduction of Working Across Borders (WAB) in the fall of 2019, there is no end in sight to DC’s international reach.

“WAB takes the power of the global classroom and unlocks its potential for business,” said Joanne Spicer, DC’s global learning facilitator. “The result is a virtual, international consultancy project aimed at giving students an opportunity to experience the challenges and logistics of international, multicultural projects.”

Spicer and Rogier Ten Kate, a DC professor, along with educators in more than seven countries including: Belgium, Finland, Italy and the United Kingdom, worked diligently to bring this idea to life.

Students will virtually cross borders in the International Business course within the School of Business, IT & Management, by creating and developing business recommendations for an existing international company. They will create sustainable solutions for the organization by incorporating three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations in their project. Some of these goals include: gender equality; safe and sustainable water management; climate action; and eliminating poverty.

“For their final project, students will develop potential business solutions and recommendations for the company,” said Spicer “then, they will pitch their solutions to their clients via video in the Global Class.”

This initiative, supported by the International Education office will impart the importance of sustainability on a generation of young professionals, ensuring a bright and green future for international business, without crossing geographic boundaries.


Castles, Cameras and Canvases: Durham College students focus on Ireland’s rich culture

Ten students from the School of Media, Art & Design embarked on a journey of discovery, exploring Ireland’s rich history, art and culture while honing their photography and videography skills.

Students from Photography, Video Production and Contemporary Web Design, joined professors Linda Cheng and Brian Stephens on the Emerald Isle and explored the culture and history of Ireland through a variety of unique, experiential and customized media projects.

“Ireland has a rich history of visual arts,” said Cheng. “The history and culture of Ireland catalyzed students’ reflections on music, art, photography and digital content.”

Each student built a discipline-specific project based on both the readings assigned to them pre-departure, and their experiences abroad. While applying the skills they learned in their respective programs, students engaged in an evening of Irish folk music, visited the EPIC Irish Emigration Museum (the world’s only fully digitized museum) and ventured into The Long Room Library—one of the greatest libraries in the world, used as a set for several films, including Harry Potter.

Emily Moroz, a student in the Video Production program, said of her experience abroad “It was a great opportunity to improve my video skills while learning about the history and culture of Ireland.” She went on to say “Having some free time during the trip gave us a chance to explore and capture some good video content. It was a good experience which will definitely help me in my future career.”

The 10-day trip included visits to monuments and points of interest, including: The legendary St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Bunratty Castle, Kilmainham Gaol museum and the scenic countryside of County Kerry, where they learned about Irish farm life.

DC’s international reach doesn’t stop with Ireland. Many faculty-led trips have already been approved for next year in Peru, and Guatemala, cementing DC’s commitment to experiential learning.

For more information on how to get involved, please contact Lisa Shepard, dean, International Education.


Planting the seeds of success: Durham College students spark environmental awareness in Guatemala

Durham College’s (DC) International Education office in partnership with the service learning organization, Students Offering Support (SOS) took five students from the School of Science & Engineering Technology’s (SET) Environmental Technology and Chemical Engineering Technology programs on an international outreach trip to Chuinajtajuyup, Guatemala. DC volunteers spent 12 days working alongside SOS and the citizens of Chuinajtajuyup to help combat climate change’s affects on agriculture.

“It was uplifting to work with Durham College volunteers within the environmental field,” said Jamie Arron, executive director of SOS. “Their professors, students and staff embraced the cross-cultural exchange with the utmost respect and demonstrated a distinct hunger to learn.”

Students learned from and collaborated with local farmers on the impact of climate change in the community. Volunteers brainstormed and presented ways to combat and reverse the damage climate change had wrought on the agricultural industry. By discussing issues and creating initiatives, DC students helped local farmers make a lasting difference.

“We are very proud of our students for undertaking this opportunity to broaden their learning and gain life changing experiences,” said Michelle Hutt, executive dean, SET. “Study abroad endeavours like these truly enhance the relative connection for our students here at DC.”

While abroad, DC and SOS volunteers tackled several climate change challenges. They spent two full days planting trees to combat further soil erosion in the area–a necessary task due mass deforestation in the region. But they didn’t stop there. They also organized a fundraising event to improve the community’s access to water, giving people access to a clean, reliable source of water, a luxury that many take for granted. The rest of their trip involved installing a drip irrigation system for optimal water usage, and the expansion of a greenhouse, built for housing crops that DC and SOS selected specifically for the community’s needs.

“Durham college students, professors and staff were able to meaningfully support community-driven adaptation strategies to climate change through the combination of cross-cultural knowledge exchange, economic contributions and hands-on support to environmental projects. Our local partners called it a dream come true.” said Arron.

Within a short span of time, DC students made a positive, lasting impact on the world by building greenhouses, planting trees and improving access to water; ultimately showing that their dedication, selflessness and success, matters.

DC’s International Education office is pleased to support students who go on education abroad experiences through the International Travel Bursary program.


DC hosts screening of student-produced documentary about the Kenya Education for Employment Program

On November 15, Durham College’s (DC) International Office, in collaboration with CICan (Colleges and Institutes Canada), rolled out the red carpet for the premiere of the Kenya Education for Employment Program (KEFEP) Documentary.

More than 120 guests from the college and local community, including the principal secretary from Kenya’s State Department of Vocational and Technical Education and the deputy high commissioner of Kenya to Canada, gathered in the Centre for Collaborative Education’s Global Classroom for the screening of the film.

Captured, scripted, edited and produced by four DC students and two faculty, the crew spent three weeks in Kenya documenting KEFEP, a five-year initiative focused on strengthening and supporting technical and vocational education and training in Kenya, funded by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada.

“We are so pleased we can finally share this documentary,” said Lisa Shepard, dean, International Education, DC. “The opportunity to work and learn internationally is a great gift and we are deeply appreciative to our Canadian and global partners for all they have shared with us and for this journey of global partnership through KEFEP.”

Over the course of visits to nine cities, the #DCinKenya crew, which consisted of Danielle Harder, professor, Journalism – Mass Media and Jennifer Bedford, professor, Video Production, as well as four students from the School of Media, Art and Design, conducted 52 interviews with KEFEP partners, stakeholders and beneficiaries, in addition to collecting 40 hours of incredible footage. After months of effort and countless time spent in the editing suite, the KEFEP Documentary was born.

“It is a story of international collaboration, of our Canadian colleges’ commitment and support and of inspirational leaders and institutions in Kenya devoted to the development of education for employment,” said Danielle Harder, the documentary’s producer. “Behind the scenes, it’s a story of the power of experiential learning and expanding a student’s horizons, allowing their talents to flourish outside of the classroom.”

In addition to the screening, the premiere featured a photo exhibit, interactive KEFEP stations produced by all first and second-year students in the Journalism – Mass Media program and a #DCinKenya crew question and answer panel session.

KEFEP is a $29 million initiative funded by Global Affairs Canada and delivered by CICan through partnerships with 17 Canadian institutions.


DC welcomes new International Students to campus for Orientation

This week Durham College (DC) welcomed more than 1,000 new international students from 62 countries to campus for the 2018-2019 academic year. To help prepare students for the year ahead, an International Orientation was held on August 31 at the Oshawa campus.

DC president Don Lovisa and Dr. Elaine Popp, vice-president, Academic, kicked off the event by delivering welcome remarks on behalf of the entire college to the diverse group of new students.

Throughout the day, students received guidance on the many services and supports available to them and how to prepare for post-secondary education. They learned about their health insurance plan, banking in Canada, how to find part-time work and also gained valuable information about building a future in Canada. The event also facilitated the development of new friendships, with activities like Race Around DC, a fun twist on the traditional campus tour inspired by The Amazing Race Canada, and Get-to-Know-Your-Peers Bingo.

 “International orientation really kick-starts the college experience for students and provides them with the foundation of support they need to succeed while attending post-secondary studies in Canada,” said Janine Knight-Grofe, manager, International Education. “Our goals for orientation and every day after are fourfold – we work to integrate students into the DC community, foster an inclusive and caring environment, enhance understanding of expectations and resources, and build resiliency and personal development.”

More than 1,800 international students will be studying at DC for the 2018-2019 academic year. With additional students expected to arrive as the year gets underway, DC prides itself on offering international students the highest-quality Canadian education, a safe and vibrant campus environment and a fun and rewarding student life – with everything from clubs and cultural activities to sports and recreation – to balance studies with activities outside the classroom.

For more information, please visit the college’s International website.