More higher learning opportunities in central Alberta
Red Deer College is poised to become Alberta’s newest polytechnic, ensuring residents have access to a wide variety of learning options close to home now and in the future.
Becoming a polytechnic enables Red Deer College to better align programming with local student, business and industry needs – including high-quality degrees, apprenticeship education and diploma programs.
Alberta’s government worked in partnership with Red Deer College and student leaders to determine the most flexible and best-fit model for central Alberta, with a goal of ensuring students have access to the education they need and employers in the region have access to the talent they need.
“I am thrilled that Red Deer College will become central Alberta’s polytechnic institution, best positioning it to provide residents with the wide range of educational options they need to build rewarding careers – right in their community. Ensuring all Albertans have access to opportunities to build their skills for in-demand local jobs empowers people to achieve success close to home, helps strengthen and grow communities, as well as attracting investment to the province.”
Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education
Red Deer College and the students, faculty and staff on campus play a key role in the community and local economy. The college began operations in 1964, and since then has expanded its offerings to include more than 100 programs across a range of credentials. With strong connections to business, innovation, health care, non-profits and many other organizations, Red Deer College and its students have an important role in the culture and vibrancy of the central Alberta region. The partnerships, work-integrated learning and collaboration already in place will continue to be enhanced through the polytechnic model.
“We are very supportive of the polytechnic designation because this model will allow us to build on our strengths to become an ever more innovative institution that will best serve our students, partners, industry and community members. Becoming a polytechnic achieves all of the goals we have had for many years, and it allows us to consider exciting new possibilities for the future.”
Guy Pelletier, chair, Red Deer College Board of Governors
“The breadth of programs and credentials we will offer as a polytechnic institution are exactly what this region needs. By offering students applied and work-integrated learning across all programs – from trades to our own degrees – we will assist graduates to achieve their goals and be highly employable within the ever-changing needs of the labour market. This is the ideal future for our institution.”
Peter Nunoda, president, Red Deer College
“Red Deer is ready for a polytechnic. Students of central Alberta want to learn and live close to their support systems. We need to stop the brain drain and focus on what really matters most – making sure our population is well-educated and remains in this region.”
Savannah Snow, president, Students’ Association of Red Deer College
Red Deer is Alberta’s third largest city and a key social and economic hub for central Alberta. By shifting Red Deer College to a polytechnic and supporting expanded programming to include new degree and apprenticeship opportunities, we are ensuring students have the skills they need to build rewarding careers and employers have the talented workforce they need to grow the economy.
“Red Deer city council, our community and our region remain dedicated to supporting Red Deer College, students and staff who work every day to ensure RDC remains a key competitive post-secondary institution. We need to be a competitive contender in keeping and attracting new population to our city, and one of the most promising means of doing so is through the development of a skilled labour force, offering a broader spectrum of career options locally, and attracting a population who will stay and strengthen our local economy through their future contributions in various sectors.”
Tara Veer, mayor, City of Red Deer
These changes also align with the goals of the Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs strategy, and were considered as part of consultations to form the strategy.
An official new name for the institution has not yet been chosen but is expected to be announced in the coming months. Alberta’s government will continue to work with Red Deer College to ensure a successful path to polytechnic status.
Polytechnic status in Alberta enables institutions to offer apprenticeship education along with degree, diploma and certificate programs.
Red Deer College is currently approved to offer three degree programs, including the recently approved bachelor of science in biological sciences degree.
The institution has also put forward four degree program proposals to Advanced Education for program approval review. These include:
bachelor of arts (psychology)
bachelor of science (psychology)
bachelor of business administration
bachelor of education
The Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs strategy is a transformational vision and direction for Alberta’s higher education system, which will develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce, strengthen innovation and commercialization of research and forge stronger relationships between employers and post-secondary institutions.