Alberta’s colleges are ready to respond to the Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs strategy by continuing to provide adaptable, relevant, hands-on training that prepares students to support Alberta’s employers and economy. The strategy, released by the Ministry of Advanced Education on Thursday, supports the work already being done by the province’s 11 Comprehensive Community Colleges.
Located in all regions of the province, Alberta’s colleges provide access to education and a variety of educational opportunities to all Albertans. Alberta’s colleges work closely with industry partners to ensure their applied degree, diploma, certificate and apprenticeship programs provide both the technical skills and the employability competencies needed to prepare students to enjoy fulfilling lives and careers.
“The Alberta 2030 strategy allows us to reflect on the work already being done to support students and industry, and to explore opportunities for increased support and collaboration,” says Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO. “We are proud of our industry-driven education and applied research, and we know we are well-positioned to deliver on the province’s post-secondary needs now and into the future.”
Alberta’s colleges are committed to making post-secondary education affordable and accessible for all Albertans at all stages of their post-secondary journey. From providing dual credit programming that allows high school students to begin building employable skills, to upgrading opportunities that prepare students to enter the post-secondary system, to creating microcredentials that help experienced workers upskill or re-skill to meet industry demand, Alberta’s colleges take education beyond traditional programming by ensuring students have access to high quality post-secondary opportunities.
“Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs not only reimagines our post-secondary system but also identifies concrete actions required to improve our system and benefit students, employers and Albertans as a whole,” says Nancy Broadbent, Portage College President and CEO. “Portage College is looking forward to collaborating with government and other post-secondary institutions for the betterment of our communities.”
Hands-on training and industry involvement have long been a staple of education in Alberta’s colleges. Colleges work with industry advisory councils to ensure students are learning the skills they need to enter industry and begin successful and fulfilling careers. Those skills are reinforced by hands-on practicums and placements present in the vast majority of Alberta’s college programs. Investment in industry-standard and emerging technologies ensure students are prepared from the first day they enter a workplace environment.
“RDC is supportive of the future vision identified in the government's Alberta 2030 vision, and we look forward to future collaboration with the Ministry,” says Dr. Peter Nunoda, Red Deer College President. “We've expanded programming recently, as demonstrated by our newly announced Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences degree. As we look ahead, we're excited to enhance our opportunities and continue growing our partnerships to support students in their future careers.”
In addition to training workers, Alberta’s colleges also play a key role in solving industry challenges through applied research and innovative partnerships. Three Alberta colleges ranked among Canada’s top 50 research colleges in 2020, as institutions attract top researchers from around the world and provide students the opportunity to be involved in meaningful, industry-driven research. Four of Alberta’s colleges host Technology Access Centres, which support small- and medium-sized enterprises by providing fee-for-service applied research and innovation services to solve industry challenges and provide specialized training.
“Alberta's colleges play a critical role in the prosperity of our province,” says Stuart Cullum, Olds College President. “Through industry-focused education, training and applied research, we are delivering the skilled workforce and innovative advancements that Alberta’s economy needs.”
Alberta’s colleges welcome the opportunity to continue working with the Ministry of Advanced Education to collaboratively support students, industry and communities throughout the province.
Alberta’s 11 Comprehensive Community Colleges (Bow Valley College, Grande Prairie Regional College, Keyano College, Lakeland College, Lethbridge College, Medicine Hat College, NorQuest College, Northern Lakes College, Olds College, Portage College and Red Deer College) meet the needs of more than 55,000 learners across the entire province, providing relevant, high-quality programs that benefit both local and provincial economies.