Items of interest from President Patti France’s monthly report to the Board of Governors during its June 27th meeting included these:
• St. Clair College is delighted to share an exciting partnership with Centro Studi Italiani, located in Urbania, Italy.
In March 2023, Michael Silvaggi, Vice President Academic and Registrar, and Nate Veltkamp, Director of International Education, visited and toured Centro Studi Italiani’s three locations in Urbania, Milan and Genoa, exploring available educational opportunities in Italy for St. Clair College students and faculty. During this visit, Silvaggi and Carlo Amedeo Pasotto, Founder and President of Centro Studi Italiani, signed an official memorandum of understanding and collaboration between our two institutions.
On May 20, our first cohort from St. Clair left Canada to travel to Italy (photo at top of this article). Eighteen students from the Culinary Management program took part in Centro Studi Italiani’s culinary experiential program entitled "Tasty Italia: Flavours and Colours of Authentic Italy". The program focused on social, economic, and environmental justice of Italy's culinary heritage. This exciting and impactful student experience was subsidized by St. Clair’s scholarship funding. Students were afforded the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Italian food and wine industries under the new “Start Here Go Anywhere” global scholarship. During their stay in Urbania, the students studied the Italian language, attended meetings and seminars with food and wine experts, visited a local truffle producer, took part in a traditional Italian pizza-making class, visited the medieval town of Gubbio in the Umbria Region of Italy, and savoured typical local products. The group proceeded to visit the Emilia Romagna region, where they toured the world-renowned “Food Valley of Italy” (Modena and surroundings). Here they had the opportunity to further explore the culinary richness of Italy by visiting top-level food companies and organizations. The program ended in Rome, where students had the opportunity to learn about the ancient Roman culture and admire the wonders of the Eternal City.
The college looks forward to building new exciting educational opportunities in Italy through ongoing experiential learning initiatives, and creating brand awareness in Europe in support of our overall international strategic plan.
• The Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual Chatham Mayor’s Address on May 25 at the Retro Suites Hotel. President France was honoured to introduce Mayor Darren Canniff to a full house. Mayor Canniff shared his future visions for the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.
• Provincial Premier Doug Ford was in Windsor on June 12 to tour the LiUNA! 625 Training Centre, and to visit with a group of Women’s Enterprise Skills Training (WEST) students. He was joined by Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation and Minister of Francophone Affairs, and Parliamentary Assistants Andrew Dowie and Trevor Jones. Premier Ford delivered a special congratulatory message to the Construction Craft Worker Level I apprentice class, and extended his personal compliments to each student as they received their graduation certificates. The Premier also spoke with a Women’s Enterprise Skills Training (WEST) group ready to begin its construction skills training on June 19 at the state-of-the-art facility in conjunction with the “Empower Women for Employment” program. As a long-time partner and supporter of WEST, President France was asked on-hand to provide the college’s support.
• The accompanying graph is a year-over-year comparison of the college’s enrolment during the Spring 2023 semester as compared to Spring 2022. In total, the college has seen a year-over-year increase of 916 students.
• Over 100 children from at-risk communities in Windsor attended a special field trip on June 17 as part of our extended outreach for recruitment and community engagement. MH100, a local organization that helps disadvantaged youth, along with its partners, are hosting monthly events at the college with the goal of inspiring them to pursue postsecondary education. MH100 plans to host another day of interactive learning in July that will be focused on exploring STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
• There are many campus improvement and beautification projects under development at the Windsor Campus at the moment:
- Peace Parkette: The grassy triangle in the middle of the campus will be transformed into a parkette, complete with a network of sidewalks and a peace statue. The sidewalks will mimic the peace statue design, and will be a fun and collaborative space for staff and students. The area will be well lit, benches will be plentiful, and a large peace sign statue will sit in the middle of the space. Sidewalks will connect with the rest of the campus. Construction will commence in the summer.
– Pedestrian Corridor: A look ahead … Designs are currently underway to transform the road between the main building and Toldo Health Science Building into a pedestrian corridor to compliment expanded parking lots and a one-way service vehicle laneway. The current two-way traffic roadway will be removed from circulation and be replaced with a pedestrian corridor on the north side of the road and a one-way service vehicle road on the south side of the road. This will enhance the pedestrian experience, while still allowing access to our grounds and receiving areas in that location. Construction would begin in the spring of 2024 if designs are approved.
• Essex-Windsor Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has approved the donation of surplus ambulances to the college’s Paramedic program. At the County of Essex’s Council Meeting on June 21, they approved the donation: one in 2023 and another in 2024. Essex-Windsor EMS has worked closely with the college on strategies to help increase student intake in the Paramedic program. The donation of the surplus ambulances will benefit not only future Paramedic students at the college but other programs such as the Automotive Powertrain program. Maintenance and repair of ambulances is a specialized field, and the current model is an excellent tool for students to become familiar with.
• St. Clair College has acquired the Unibuddy platform to assist in student engagement and support. Unibuddy is an educational technology company that provides a platform which allows prospective and current students to connect with student ambassadors and alumni from the same or similar courses, providing a peer-to-peer support network, enabling prospective students to learn about life at a particular institution, including course information, accommodation and student life. The platform features one-to-one messaging, group chat and video calling, as well as a range of tools for student ambassadors to manage their interactions with prospective students. In 2022, Unibuddy launched its newest community product to help higher education institutions create belonging, and to help students connect with each other over common interests.
• To increase awareness and to promote information, the college is in the process of creating three mandatory training modules for students which are 20 minutes in duration each. The modules are:
1. Academic Integrity and Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities
2. Sexual Violence Prevention and Reporting (Covers Consent and Bill 26)
3. Emergency Response
Once finalized, the training modules will be uploaded to Blackboard and IT will load them to all student accounts. A communication will be issued on August 1, to all registered students. The messaging will include the requirement that training must be completed by November 30, 2023; otherwise, students cannot register for their next semester. Bursaries will be offered as an incentive to complete the training early.
Also during the Board meeting, the annual report of the college’s Alumni Association was presented, by Vice-President of College Communications and Community Relations John Fairley. Among its highlights:
– in 2022-23, the association provided $206,000 in “community outreach” funding to local organizations, in the form of sponsorships and philanthropic gifts;
– it also provided funding totalling $58,000 to current students (including $10,000 to those at St. Clair’s sister school in the Toronto area, the Ace Acumen Academy), by co-sponsoring activities with student associations and supporting campus clubs;
– it bankrolled Saints Gaming (esports) as that group’s major patron, to the tune of $160,000;
– its $186,000 in endowments funded 34 scholarships during the past year;
– it welcomed 7,700 new graduates into the association during 2022-23 Convocation sessions, bringing the total number of St. Clair alumni in the college’s 56-years-old history to 130,000-plus; and
– it will introduce a new app sometime this coming year to provide discounts to alumni from participating local merchants.
MORE BOARD OF GOVERNORS MEETING STORIES:
• Under-enrolled programs suspended, and a few new ones launched: https://news.stclair-src.org/need-know-news/low-enrolment-leads-first-year-suspensions-some-programs
• The college will soon have a whistleblower policy: https://news.stclair-src.org/need-know-news/college-sets-policy-whistleblowers
• College prepares for change to provincial funding formula: https://news.stclair-src.org/need-know-news/colleges-prepares-new-provincial-funding-formula