COVID-19 Information

Our fall semester is now under way, and DC is committed to providing students with a high-quality academic experience. For a full list of what is open on campus
or operating virtually, please visit our 
COVID-19 fall semester page.
Latest update: Winter Semester 2021
Learn more about courses and services being offered remotely. Report if you are unwell

Do you have a red dress? Donations wanted for art installation on campus

The First Peoples Indigenous Centre (FPIC) at Durham College is reaching out to students, employees and community members for donations of red dresses by Monday, February 3, for use in an upcoming special event.

The REDress Campus Campaign will take place from Monday, February 10 to Friday, February 14. This on-campus project and week of related events is inspired by The REDress Project created by Métis multidisciplinary artist Jaime Black as an aesthetic response to the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People (MMIWG2S) in Canada. The REDress Campus Campaign aims to raise awareness, generate conversation, inspire action and honour those who have been affected by the historic and ongoing MMIWG2S crisis.

Red dresses will be collected by the FPIC until February 3 and can be brought directly to the Centre or dropped off at the FPIC table in The Pit, Gordon Willey building, Oshawa campus, during the Champions of Action information fair on Tuesday, January 28 from noon to 2 p.m., part of DC’s first annual Social Justice Week (January 28 to 30).

The FPIC is located in Room 141 of the Centre for Collaborative Education at the college’s Oshawa campus. Anyone looking for more information is encouraged to stop by the Centre or email indigenous@durhamcollege.ca.

More details about The Red Dress Project at DC and its related events will follow.


Centre for Success helps more than 130 students complete their secondary schooling, kick starting their post-secondary studies

On January 16, surrounded by proud family members and friends, more than 130 students celebrated the completion of Durham College’s (DC) Centre for Success (CFS) program during a special ceremony at the Oshawa campus. Designed to help on-risk secondary school students complete their high school academic requirements in a college setting, the CFS provides its students with access to smaller class sizes, flexible schedules and increased one-to-one access to teachers.

As a part of DC’s School-College-Work Initiative (SCWI), the program is funded by the Ministry of Education, and allows students to participate in post-secondary courses and apprenticeship training, earning dual credits that count towards both their high school diploma and their post-secondary diploma or apprenticeship certification. Students may earn at least one and potentially more college credits during their time in the CFS, which will help them get ahead at most of the 24 colleges across Ontario.

Now in its thirteenth year, the SCWI is a partnership between DC and four local school boards – Durham District School Board, Kawartha Pine Ridge School District Board, Durham Catholic District School Board and the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic School Board.

“I am beyond proud of the accomplishments of our students,” said Robert Wager, director, SCWI and Academic Upgrading. “They have faced obstacles head on, dedicated themselves to their studies and I have no doubt they will continue to succeed wherever their academic journey may take them. It’s also important to note that this program not be possible without the unwavering encouragement and support from Durham College President Don Lovisa, as well as the amazing teachers in the program and the Ministry of Education.”

The 2019-2020 school year is the second that the program has been run out of the new Centre for Collaborative Education, which opened its doors to students last year.


Construction begins on Durham College’s Whitby campus Phase IV expansion

On January 16, Durham College (DC) employees, students and members of the broader community gathered at the Whitby campus to celebrate the start of construction on its Phase IV expansion, which has been designed to shine a spotlight on skilled trades training, innovation and education.

Also in attendance were Member of Parliament for Whitby, Ryan Turnbull; Member of Provincial Parliament, Lorne Coe; John Henry, chair for the Regional Municipality of Durham; and Whitby Deputy Mayor Steve Yamada, who, along with DC President Don Lovisa, spoke of the challenges currently facing skilled trades.

“The college continuously hears from its partners that they need more skilled workers and would like new programs developed to focus on emerging industries,” said Lovisa. “Yet in spite of our current efforts, the ability to keep up with the demand remains a challenge due to the physical space constraints at the Whitby campus. For example, the student population has increased by 130 per cent in the past 10 years.”

Given the skilled labour shortage at the regional, provincial and national level, the timing of this new project could not be better. Colleges Ontario forecasts that by 2030 the province will face a skilled labour shortage of more than 500,000 workers.

When it comes to skilled trades at DC, data from the last three years was recently studied, looking at seats available compared to applications for nine trades programs. It was found there were approximately 2,400 seats available, yet the college received approximately 7,000 applications for these programs.

To address this demand, the college has been undertaking development and diversification in Whitby since 2009. Phase IV will result in a 60,000 square-foot expansion, allowing DC to increase its student intake in Whitby by 700 to 750 over three to five years.

“More space will allow the college to focus on high-priority industries – DC’s post-secondary Electrical Engineering Technician, Electrical Techniques, Mechanical Technician – Elevating Devices and Mechanical Techniques – Plumbing programs, as well as the Electrician – Construction and Maintenance, Elevating Devices Mechanic and Plumber apprenticeship programs,” said Rebecca Milburn, executive dean of the School of Skilled Trades, Apprenticeship and Renewable Technology and principal at the Whitby campus. “Once complete, this expansion will significantly increase DC’s industrial skilled trades training capacity, while also creating more opportunities to participate in applied research projects to advance innovation and knowledge.”

The following are some of the unique features of the expansion:

  • A double-height shop lab to address the specialized needs of both the mechanical and construction programs. Home to a two-storey building model, the lab will allow plumbing students to work underneath it while elevating devices students will be able to work in an easily accessible dual-level elevator shaft.
  • Classrooms with moveable walls and furniture to accommodate various configurations.
  • Training labs with dedicated space and equipment for a range of post-secondary and apprenticeship programs.
  • Student touchdown spaces.
  • A fitness centre.
  • A food services facility.

Partnering with DC to help fund the expansion is the Town of Whitby, who is generously contributing $1 million over a five-year period to support the construction. A Building for Skills capital campaign will also be launched shortly to generate additional donations.

More information about the Phase IV expansion, as well as construction progress updates can be found at www.durhamcollege.ca/skills.


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!


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.