April 2021 - DC is committed to providing students with a high-quality academic experience. During the provincial emergency and stay-at-home order, in-person learning activities and campus operations may be impacted. For a full list of what is open or operating virtually, please visit our COVID-19 spring semester page.
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DC kicks off 2020 with Winter Orientation for new first-year students

Earlier this month, more than 1950 domestic and 450 international January start first-year students were welcomed to campus with six days of Winter Orientation fun at Durham College’s (DC) Oshawa and Whitby campuses.

Designed to help new students acclimatize to college life, meet staff and faculty, and explore services, Winter Orientation provides students with an opportunity to learn more about program expectations and life on campus, all while developing new friendships. International students also received programming to assist with adapting to the Canadian classroom, immigration matters, health insurance, working part-time and more.

DC president Don Lovisa and VP, academic, Dr. Elaine Popp kicked things off on January 3, when they stopped by the Winter Orientation Opening Ceremony and International Orientation to share some words of wisdom with the new students. That afternoon, students were invited to a Winter Festival at both campuses, which featured food trucks, warm apple cider and free skating at the Campus Ice Centre.

The following week, students enjoyed a number of fun orientation events, including free hot chocolate across campus, yoga in the Student Centre, a Get Involved and Services Fair, DC Pride Opening Party and Bistro Pub Night.

For more information on upcoming events for students, please visit www.durhamcollege.ca/events.


National moment of silence on Wednesday, January 15

On Wednesday, January 15, the Durham College (DC) community will join post-secondary institutions across the country in a moment of silence to remember those who lost their lives in the Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 tragedy in Iran.

At 1 p.m., DC employees and students are encouraged to stop their activity for one minute to honour the 176 victims, including 57 Canadians, as well as their families and loved ones. Not just as an act of remembrance, but also as an acknowledgement of support as we all struggle to come to terms with this devastating event

Together we mourn the passing of promising young students and colleagues, including Dr. Razgar Rahimi, a sessional instructor with Ontario Tech University’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, and his family.

Our grief over this tragedy is shared with colleges and universities from coast to coast.


LEGO, robots and STEM – oh my! DC hosted more than 400 students at FIRST LEGO League Championships

Imagine having to solve some of the unique urban planning and city building challenges that face our society today using nothing but LEGO robots? That’s what more than 400 of Ontario’s brightest young minds did on January 11 as they competed in the annual FIRST® LEGO® League Ontario East Provincial Championship. With help from their coaches and encouragement from family and friends, teams of students, ages nine to 14, showcased their creativity, innovation and STEM skills at Durham College’s (DC) Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre at the Oshawa campus.

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. During the competition, teams first presented research projects to judging panels before unleashing their robots, which the students designed, built and programmed using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology.

This year’s challenge CITY SHAPER, taught students about building the cities of tomorrow and preparing public spaces for everything from traffic jams to natural disasters. While students were on campus, DC’s Dr. Elaine Popp, vice-president, Academic also encouraged them to think about the broader connections between what they do each year at these competitions and how it might lead them to future STEM opportunities.

“At Durham College, we are proud to train many of the city shapers of tomorrow – our future architects, tradespeople, engineering technologists and technicians,” she shared with the young students. “As you compete today, and continue on your path towards a future that includes post-secondary education, always remember the incredible value of your curiosity and drive to succeed. Your participation is the first brick in a whole city of possibilities.”

Dr. Popp was also on hand for the FIRST Tech Challenge the following day to deliver welcome remarks and accept a plaque of appreciation from Mark Breadner, president of FIRST Robotics Canada, which was awarded to the college for its ongoing support of the organization and its educational programming.

At the end of a weekend filled with fierce and fun competition, team Five LEGO Bricks from Richmond Hill was crowned the winner of the FIRST LEGO League East Provincial Championship and was awarded an opportunity to compete at the World Championship being held in Detroit, Michigan from April 28 to May 2.

As a gold-level 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.

For more information about FIRST LEGO League, please visit www.firstroboticscanada.org.


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.


DC marketing students place multiple times at the Ontario College’s Marketing Competition

For nearly four decades, students from across the province have brought their ideas and competitive spirit to Ontario College’s Marketing Competition (OCMC) to demonstrate their practical skills and employability while networking with industry professionals.

In November, 15 students from Durham College’s (DC) Marketing – Business and Marketing – Business Administration programs travelled to Niagara Falls, Ont. to compete against more than 250 other students. There, they were coached by six faculty volunteers from the School of Business, IT & Management and challenged in an array of marketing categories, including retail marketing and entrepreneurship.

Seven DC students placed in their respective categories, including:

  • Brendan Scott – first place, Quiz Bowl Competition and third place, Entrepreneurship Competition
  • Kaitlyn Braisier – third place, Job Interview Competition
  • Youssef Zaki – third place, Entrepreneurship Competition
  • Malcolm Hooper – fourth place, Quiz Bowl Competition
  • Chin-Ting Sherwin – fifth place, Direct Marketing Competition
  • Nicholas Bowman – fifth place, Direct Marketing Competition

Kaitlyn Braisier also received the prestigious Lydiatt Award, which is presented to a student who demonstrates commitment to the OCMC, supports others while working hard and has shown outstanding character and leadership in their college and community. A two-time OCMC participant, Kaitlyn doubled the number of DC students who tried out for the competition this year by organizing new recruitment efforts, like a mentor event where previous OCMC competitors shared their experience to inspire students and foster a sense of community within the team.

Congrats to Kaitlyn and all of our DC students on their achievement!


DC’s Centre for Professional and Part-time Learning launches seven new programs

To meet the demands of multiple rapidly-growing sectors, including artificial intelligence and construction management, Durham College’s (DC) Centre for Professional and Part-time Learning has launched four micro-credential and three certificate programs for the fall 2020 term.

These new offerings include:

  • Artificial Intelligence Privacy and Compliance – micro-credential
    Artificial Intelligence (AI) has and will continue to impact all industry sectors globally, from small businesses to multi-national corporations. This short, three-course program is designed for managers and leaders within all industries, exploring AI essentials, data privacy and compliance.
  • Coding Essentials – certificate
    The Coding Essentials program equips students with the fundamental skills needed to enter and succeed in careers in the Canadian knowledge economy. This program provides sought-after skills in computer programming and web app development, augmented with perspectives on project management to support the learner’s ability to work successfully in a team environment.
  • Construction Management – certificate
    This certificate program provides practical training in the commercial construction management field. The program emphasizes two key areas of construction management: the interpretation and understanding of commercial project documents (working drawings, specifications, soils reports, contracts, etc.), and the preparation of estimates and construction schedules. By developing these foundational skills in the construction management field, students will gain the knowledge to begin assisting or managing the construction process, from initial planning to project completion. Some courses are Gold Seal Accredited by the Canadian Construction Association.
  • Construction Jobsite Readiness – recognition of achievement
    Consisting of two micro-credentials, this program was developed in consultation with industry experts and is geared to youth who have an interest in working in the construction and trades industry. Graduates who complete both micro-credentials will hold a Jobsite Readiness Recognition of Achievement, preparing them for entry-level jobs in the construction industry where demand is high and earning potential is exponential. Successful graduates of this program may also explore opportunities to pursue further development in the trades or other related areas.
  • Medical Terminology – micro-credential
    This short, three-course program is designed for those who already have an administrative background and want to build entry-level medical language skills to communicate effectively within healthcare settings. There is a focus on medical terminology and terms related to common medical conditions, diagnostic tests, anatomy and physiology, and pharmacology.
  • Veterinary Office Assistant – certificate
    Veterinary office assistants are professionals who contribute to the effectiveness of a veterinary office environment in fundamental ways. This includes liaising with clients, overseeing efficient office communications, scheduling, equipment maintenance, and contributing to special projects. A foundational knowledge of veterinary terminology and procedures unique to this exciting industry will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to be a valuable asset in a veterinary office. Students who complete this certificate may choose to continue their studies by completing the Veterinary Office Assistant Specialization micro-credential.
  • Veterinary Office Assistant Specialization – micro-credential
    This short, four-course program is designed for those who already have a veterinary office administrative background or who have completed the Veterinary Office Assistant certificate program and want to build on their knowledge and skills within the context of a veterinary office. There is a focus on medical terminology and basic procedures related to common surgical and lab procedures, as well as pharmacology.

For more information or to register for one of these new, dynamic program offerings, please visit www.durhamcollege.ca/ppl.


Durham College named one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for 2020

Durham College (DC) has been named one of the Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for 2020. Awarded to organizations for their progressive, forward-thinking employee programs, this is the ninth time the college has received the honour.

DC is proud to be recognized for its culture of collaboration, fostered by events such as the annual Retreat with the President, where employees have the opportunity to provide direct feedback and ideas to college leadership on how to improve the DC experience for the entire campus community.

The various supports offered by DC were also acknowledged including generous contributions to the defined benefit pension plan and subsidized access to the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre.

It was also noted the support does not stop once a DC employee retires. From retirement planning assistance prior to their departure to maintaining the connection between former employees and the college through the Retiree Association, DC encourages and helps its employees from the beginning of their careers, all the way up to their transition into the next chapter of their lives.

Greater Toronto’s Top Employers is an annual competition organized by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. This special designation recognizes the Greater Toronto Area employers that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work. Organizations are judged on several categories including physical workplace; work and social atmosphere; health, financial and family benefits; vacation and time off; employee communications; performance management; training and skills development; and community involvement. Employers are compared to other organizations in their field to determine which offer the most progressive and forward-thinking programs. 

More information can be found on DC’s Greater Toronto Top Employers profile.


DC’s recent Tech Talk hosted high-profile industry experts to explore the future of artificial intelligence and gaming

Durham College’s Hub for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence for Business Solutions (AI Hub) hosted another sold out Tech Talk on December 2 – this time, focusing on the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in the gaming sector, an industry comprised of over 2.3 billion gamers and worth more than $100 billion globally.

Simon Gill, director of Economic Development and Tourism at the Regional Municipality of Durham, and Shaun Collier, mayor of the Town of Ajax, joined more than 120 other attendees to hear the keynote presentation from Menashe Kestenbaum, founder and president of Enthusiast Gaming. A panel discussion followed, featuring Tanmay Bakshi, the world’s youngest IBM Watson programmer and an AI expert; Mahdi Raza, founder and CEO of SiberX; Michael Ball, information security advisor and vCISO at TeamCISO; and Sarah Wagg, manager of DC’s Esports Gaming Arena.

During the panel the speakers explored potential growth opportunities for AI and gaming, touching on how students can find success in these sectors and how the Durham Region may benefit from the rise of esports.

At the end of the session, the AI Hub team announced its second annual Enable AI Summit. Taking place on Friday, June 5 at DC, the summit will focus on developing and supporting Smart Communities. To help potential attendees prepare, Tech Talks over the next six months will address community related topics such as AI and transportation, agriculture, mental health and more.

Further details about the Enable AI Summit will be released as they become available.


Durham College launches Centre for Professional and Part-time Learning

The School of Continuing Education at Durham College (DC) is now the Centre for Professional and Part-time Learning (PPL). With extraordinary customer service at its core, PPL will deliver quality part-time programs and courses to individuals who are looking for professional development opportunities, as well as to students seeking credit towards a post-secondary credential. 

“The world of learning is changing, especially when it comes to continuing education,” said Dr. Elaine Popp, vice president, Academic, at DC. “Today’s professionals understand that staying competitive in their field requires a commitment to continual upskilling and development. Durham College understands that these professionals require flexible learning that meets their needs. This is why we are so excited to introduce the Centre for Professional and Part-time Learning as the next step in the evolution of lifelong learning at DC.”

The market-driven programming is focused primarily on the areas of health, technology, business, education and training, languages, and specialized trades. Offering more than 1,000 courses and 75 programs across a broad range of disciplines, PPL will continue to leverage the wealth of experience provided by DC faculty and provide students with flexible learning opportunities via in-class, online and hybrid delivery.

 “Industry and learner needs are shifting rapidly and the transformation of Continuing Education into PPL will ensure that the college is able to maintain its reputation as a leader in lifelong learning,” said dean Debbie Johnston. “We are committed to meeting, anticipating and adapting to the needs of learners both today and going forward.”

PPL offices remain in the location of the former School of Continuing Education at the Oshawa campus in Room A160, Gordon Willey building (near the main entrance to the B Wing).

The PPL launch includes a new website and coincides with the opening of registration for the 2020 winter semester.


DC sports business students win third place in industry case study competition

A team of dedicated students from Durham College’s (DC) sports administration and business management programs kicked off the 12th annual PrimeTime Sports and Entertainment Sport Management Conference and Tradeshow earlier this month as they competed against local universities in a business case study competition in Toronto.

An annual conference tradition that aims to create a positive hands-on learning experience for emerging sports business professionals, this year’s case centered around the challenge of growing and enhancing fan engagement for the Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Raptors Uprising GC esports team, which competes in the NBA 2K League.

The only college team to participate, DC’s Jacqueline Tieu, Trevor Anniss, Colin Shuringa, Megan Longpre, and Bobby Pelleschi were given 24 hours to conduct their case analysis and put together a 15 minute pitch presentation and recommendation. After passing the first round of judging, the team went on to the final round, where they received praise from a tough panel of judges, who commended them for their adaptability, creativity and analytical thinking in both rounds. In the end, DC’s team tied for third place with University of Toronto – Mississauga.

Congrats to our students on their achievement!