Parkland College is pleased to announce that it has entered into a major educational partnership with the University of Belize – Central Farm Campus, Lakeland College (Lloydminster and Vermilion, AB), and Bow Valley College (Calgary, AB). The project seeks to solidify competency-based education training in Belize with a focus on sharing the colleges’ expertise on agriculture, entrepreneurship, and forming links with industry.
The three-year partnership in the Caribbean nation will officially launch on April 1, 2013. The project is being funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC).
Parkland College will be a partner in the consortium to develop a new Associate Degree in Applied Agriculture to be delivered by the University of Belize. The project will work with university staff to improve instructional design techniques, employer-driven learning outcomes, as well as integrate entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, and gender equity throughout the project.
“A key aspect of this project is revamping the University of Belize’s agricultural curriculum to support student transitions to employment,” said William Litchfield, Director of Advancement at Parkland College. “In addition to curriculum support there will be significant time spent sharing best practices in academic advising, environmental stewardship, entrepreneurship, and attracting female students into non-traditional agricultural opportunities.”
Litchfield stated that Parkland College has a long history of working with local communities to support economic growth through education. The College will share its best practices with its partners to support the University of Belize’s growth and development.
The ACCC’s International Partnerships program offers opportunities for members, like Parkland College, to establish connections with institutions in developing countries. Through these partnerships, Canadian institutions share experience in educational programs tailored to applied learning and meeting community labour market challenges.
“This is a great opportunity for Parkland College,” Litchfield noted. “Lakeland College will lead the Canadian institutional partnership, and we are very excited to work with the University of Belize to further develop it as a premier educational provider in the Caribbean.” He added that Parkland College is assuming the lead role on gender mainstreaming strategies, developing training and materials for career guidance, and social marketing strategies and implementation.
The University of Belize has several campuses spread throughout the country. Its inland Central Farm Campus features a diverse mixed farm operation, providing students with hands-on training in livestock, field crops, and resource marketing. The partnership with the Canadian colleges aims to share information across the Caribbean to boost recruitment and promotion of agricultural programs.
“We look forward to working together with our partners on this project,” Litchfield said. “There’s a lot we can offer to make this partnership a success. But we’re also excited to be an active learner to better serve our students, communities and businesses in East Central Saskatchewan.”
Since its inception in 1973, Parkland College has worked to expand the philosophy of life-long learning in East Central Saskatchewan. Among the seven basic principles upon which the community college system was founded is the idea that programs are to be developed in response to the needs of the community. Today, Parkland College offers a broad spectrum of educational services from trades training and high school upgrading to the province’s most diverse off-campus university offerings.
For more information contact:
Director of Advancement