Parkland College is joining dozens of other Canadian organizations and post-secondary institutions in celebrating International Development Week (IDW) from Feb. 2 to Feb. 8.
IDW aims to provide a national forum for the Government of Canada and its partners to communicate international development results and challenges. It also provides many opportunities for Canadians, especially youth, to be informed about, and involved in, international development. The theme for 2014 is “We are Making a Difference”.
For its part, Parkland College is in the midst of a multi-year educational partnership with Alberta’s Lakeland College, Bow Valley College, and the University of Belize. The focus of the project is the development of an Associate Degree in Applied Agriculture to be delivered by the University of Belize Central Farm Campus.
The project works with university staff to improve instructional design techniques, employer-driven learning outcomes, as well as to integrate entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, and gender equity throughout the project. Parkland College is assuming the lead role on gender mainstreaming strategies, developing training and materials for career guidance, and social marketing strategies and implementation.
“This project is a great endeavour for the College,” said Kami DePape, Parkland College’s Director of Academics and Student Services. “It gives us an opportunity to gain international experience, share best practices, and support the development of another institution.”
DePape travelled to Belize in April 2013 to meet with leaders in the agriculture industry and the education sector and to launch the partnership. Two representatives from the University of Belize enjoyed a successful visit to Parkland College in November to learn about career counselling techniques, workshop facilitation, and retention strategies. The next component of this project takes place this month in the Eastern Caribbean island nation of Saint Lucia. Parkland College’s head counsellor Carol Bobowski will represent the College and its Canadian partners at a Career Guidance Workshop and Partnership Forum. This workshop will focus on best practices, developing and implementing new programs, and how to measure results and effectiveness.
“The goal is to share experiences and bring new ideas back to the College,” DePape said.
This project is made possible through funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and is managed through the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC). Similar opportunities will appear in the coming years as more than a dozen new projects are to be launched in 2014, primarily in the Caribbean and South America. Parkland College will have a chance to review the project opportunities to determine if any would be a good fit for the College and its partners.
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.
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