RDC officials share future vision with the community

Red Deer College recently held its annual ‘Report to the Community’ where those connected to the school shared the vision for the school for the upcoming year.

Before Joel Ward, president and CEO for Red Deer College, spoke about the future, he took a moment to look back. He shared that later this year Red Deer College will celebrate their 50th anniversary.

“Over the past 50 years RDC has grown from a handful of students and instructors who met in the hallways of Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School to become one of the most beautiful college campuses in Canada,” said Ward “We are now one of the regions largest and most recognized institutions, employing more than 1,800 people, offering 78 programs to more than 7,000 full and part time students.”

The College has recently grown into the downtown area in order to enhance the connection to the community. The expansion of the Donald School of Business last year and the acquisition of the City Centre Stage are only the first steps of the ambitious plan to accomplish three goals.

The first goal is to establish the Donald School of Business as a premier business school, connecting learners to businesses in Central Alberta by offering applied learning experiences including co-ops and placements.

“We are serious about providing the businesses of Central Alberta with the talent they need to grow,” said Ward.

Secondly, RDC downtown plans to contribute to the cultural vibrancy of our region through the expanded use of City Centre Stage. RDC’s acquisition of this facility will enable more community theatre, and connecting students to these groups and staging productions while giving students valuable applied learning experiences.

The student art gallery and space for community artists to showcase their work will draw increasing numbers of folks downtown as well as relief pressure on the over-booked arts centre on RDC’s main campus.

“We will be announcing a full plan to our communities soon, outlining in detail our plans for this facility. But here’s what you can expect: more live theatre, more film festivals, more conferences, art shows, opportunities for students and our communities, opportunities to showcase all that is great about Central Alberta.”

Finally, RDC hopes to demonstrate their commitment to Red Deer, officials said.

“The Donald School of Business has already made a difference to the vitality of downtown and we believe that adding City Centre Stage will continue that great trend. We are committed to reaching out to all of our communities in Central Alberta. We provide programs now in 22 other communities and continue to add new sites each year.”

In the upcoming year RDC anticipates conducting more than 250 research projects in areas such as humanities, health, social science and manufacturing.

“The vision of RDC has always been bold and that’s why over 50 years we have become the learning institution of choice for Central Alberta. We have been attracting students from across the province, across the country and across the world. We are known for our scholarly work, our applied research that supports business innovation and for solutions to social issues to technological issues in our region,” said Ward. “As we coordinate together we must also send a very strong and clear message that Central Alberta, that Red Deer, is simply not a pit stop between Edmonton and Calgary. We have a lot to offer this province and this country.”