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Want to keep in touch with Holland College? There’s an app for that!

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app-iconBy Trish Johnston
The Office of Alumni Relations recently launched Holland College’s first mobile app. The app was designed to keep more than 35,000 alumni connected to the college and to each other.

The app, which was developed by students from the Computer Information Systems (CIS) program, provides alumni with regular updates from the college and connections to other alumni through social media. Accessing Benchmark, the Holland College Foundation magazine, staying current on the Hurricanes Athletics news, and even making a gift to the school, are now easier than ever. Alumni can also register through the app for an electronic version of their alumni card – a card that every graduate should have as the benefits continue to grow.

BJ MacLean, Learning Manager for the CIS program, headed the project in partnership with the Office of Alumni Relations.

 

staff-and-students

(Left – Right) CIS instructor B.J. MacLean discussing the app with CIS students Kyle Newcombe and Chris Signouin.

“There was a lot of learning involved, but it provided a great opportunity for us to explore this specific technology and go through the software development lifecycle,” said MacLean.

Second-year CIS students Kyle Newcombe and Chris Signouin took on the project under the guidance of MacLean.

“The technology that we used allowed us to develop the app quickly. That said, it was new to us, so we had to do a lot of research, and it didn’t always go smoothly,” said Newcombe. This project has taught me a lot of things, but mainly how important communication is,” said MacLean, noting that Kyle and Chris were highly self-motivated and were able to take on the project as a challenge.

“I was impressed with their ability to learn what was needed to successfully develop a product that met the Office of Alumni Relations’ needs. I am sure they will have ideas to improve and grow the app, which could lead to an enhancement release for students to work on next year,” said MacLean.

“Now that they’ve graduated, Kyle and Chris are moving ahead with their careers as developers, but there will be new students who will benefit from the challenge going forward.”

Sigouin added, “I hope that other students will take the opportunity to build on the app. It was a great experience to work as a team and create something that will benefit others. And, as a new alumnus myself, I appreciate having quicker access to information as well as the convenience of having the alumni card at my fingertips!”

Although developed primarily for alumni, the Office of Alumni Relations encourages anyone who would like to stay connected with Holland College to download the app which is available free of charge on both iOS (iPhone operating system) and Android platforms by searching “Holland College Alumni”

Holland College Educational Joint Venture in China: partners sharing knowledge and best practices

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More than 15 years ago, the college began developing a concept based on delivering training programs in China in partnership with local Chinese colleges. Chinese colleges recognized the need and value of implementing a hands-on training model that was very different from the traditional teaching model.

By January 2001, a formal agreement and key components of the Educational Joint Venture (EJV) had been reached with the six colleges. Formal agreements were signed in early February of 2001 as part of the Team Canada Trade Mission to China led by Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

The EJV between Holland College and the Chinese partner colleges utilizes a “3+0 in-China” delivery model whereby Chinese students who complete their three years of study in China obtain dual diplomas from their participating Chinese college and Holland College. Individual Chinese students interested in studying overseas may choose to study at Holland College after one year or two years.

Senior Administration

The commitment of the college’s management team to supporting the EJV programs has been key to the success of the partnership. Administrators from Holland College and the Chinese partner colleges visit each other regularly to share best program management practices. Face to face meetings between senior management in Canada and China help to develop an understanding of business practices and cultures, and enhance friendships, thereby ensuring ongoing development and sustainability for the EJV programs.

Holland College Instructors and Teachers in China

As an essential element of the EJV programs, each year Holland College instructors travel to partner institutions in China to deliver core courses to the students. The EJV courses are delivered in English by the Holland College instructors, which gives the students the opportunity to improve both their general and industry-specific English skills. The instructors use competency-based methodologies to familiarize students with the hands-on, skills-based educational model used in Canada.

Reviewing the Programs

Holland College’s commitment to programming and teaching excellence in Canada and China is supported by ISO policies and procedures. A Holland College curriculum consultant team visits Chinese partner colleges every year to conduct program reviews. The review includes campus and learning environment tours, observance program delivery, and meeting with students, faculty, and administration. The annual reviews, along with ongoing communication, enable Holland College and the Chinese partners to learn from each other and address areas for program improvement and modification.

EJV Best Practices Forums

Since not all Chinese instructors have the opportunity to receive training at Holland College, the college provides teacher-training in China regularly. Since 2004, the college has hosted best practice symposiums on partner campuses in China. The symposia create networking opportunities for the EJV instructors and administrators, giving them the chance to exchange their management experiences and best teaching practices.

Canada-China EJV Scholarships

In 2009, Holland College established the Canada-China EJV Scholarship to award to students for outstanding academic performance and community-mindedness. Since its inception, more than 150 students in China have earned this award.

EJV English Competition

All EJV programs start with an English preparatory year to ready students to study in English. In 2010, Holland College and the Chinese partners held the inaugural EJV English Speaking Competitions. The competition encourages students to improve their English; enhances their competency and research skills; creates networking opportunities for Chinese instructors and students; and facilitates the exchange of best practices in English between institutions. Each Chinese college selects two EJV students to participate in the competition.

Plans for the Future

Currently, there are close to 1,520 students enrolled in the Accounting Technology, Automotive Technology, Business Administration Business Manager Profile, Computer Information Systems, Computer Networking Technology, Early Childhood Care and Education, Electromechanical Technology, Golf Club Management, International Hospitality Management, and Marketing and Advertising Management programs in Chengdu Technological University, Zhenjiang College, Hainan College of Vocation and Technique, Xuchang University, Anyang Normal University, Jiangxi University of Science and Technology Nanchang Campus, Shangrao Normal University, Guiyang Vocational and Technical College and Chongqing Zuxia Software Training Institution.

Holland College looks forward to expanding its program offerings with its EJV partners, and forging new relationships with other institutions in China in the coming years.  Plans are being developed to add programs such as Energy Systems Engineering Technology, Human Services, Graphic Design, Culinary Arts, and Construction Technology and Management to the EJV list of offerings.

FAST FACTS

Between 2001 and 2016:

  • 33 Holland College senior management staff and administrators visited China
  • 130 Chinese partner colleges’ senior management staff and administrators visited Holland College
  • 70 Holland College faculty taught in China, 25% are from industry
  • 95 Chinese instructors received instructional training at Holland College in Prince Edward Island
  • 300 Chinese faculty participated in the best practice symposiums held in China
  • 180 Chinese students received Canada-China Educational Joint Venture Scholarship from Holland College
  • In total, 5, 148 Chinese students have been enrolled in 10 different programs at 11 Chinese institutions since 2001
  • All of the students have employment by the time they graduate

Written by Sara Underwood

December 5, 2016 at 1:42 pm

Holland College Paramedicine students participate in one of a kind applied research project

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There’s an 11-vehicle pile-up on the old runway. A body is sprawled across the ground next to a crushed motorcycle as a wisp of smoke spirals upward. A cable snakes away from a downed power pole. People with injuries ranging from broken bones to head wounds sit in the twisted wreckage or wander around as though dazed. Propane tanks are scattered on the ground. The smell of diesel fuel hangs in the air.

The only sound is the buzz of a UAV, or drone, as it hovers over the scene.

A voice cuts through the buzzing, coming from a built-in speaker onboard the UAV.

“If you can walk, please wave your hand.”

Two of the injured wave their hands.

“Move toward the grass,” the voice instructs them. The two men move away from the wreckage onto the grass that fringes the runway.

“If you are conscious, but can’t get out of your car, please wave,” the voice continues. A few more of the injured signal that they have heard and can respond to the request.

The UAV turns and flies toward a tent some metres away, softly landing on a concrete pad as a paramedicine student accompanied by a preceptor and an adjudicator walks confidently toward the wreckage.

This is a simulation of a mass casualty incident held on an unused runway at Slemon Park, part of a unique applied research project.

Dr. Trevor Jain, medical director of the Holland College paramedicine programs, program director for the new Bachelor of Science in Paramedicine program at UPEI, and chief researcher for the project, explains why it is unique.

“There is anecdotal information about people using UAVs during mass casualty incidents and natural disasters to see what’s going on, but there hasn’t been any research done on the efficacy of using UAV technology as an assessment tool. This is the first applied research in this field in the world,” he says.

The project, which is being led by Holland College’s applied research department, includes UPEI, the Canadian Armed Forces, Island EMS, industry partner Skymetro and some 70 people.

Students from both first and second year Primary Care Paramedicine program were given three tasks. First, to assess the scene to identify potential hazards, second, to triage the injured, and third, to allocate resources. Half of the students performed these tasks the usual way, by walking around the scene; the other half assessed the scene using information collected by the UAV piloted by a trained technician. In the case of the triage exercise, the students using the information from the UAV would then proceed to the site to finish triaging and to allocate resources. These exercises were conducted in daylight and at night to gather as much data as possible.

By using UAVs to do the initial site assessment, first responders are not exposed to hazardous materials, unstable structures such as overturned cars, potentially explosive materials, or armed assailants. The purpose of the research is to determine whether first responders using UAV technology could accurately assess situations remotely in the same amount of time or less than they do by walking through a site.

When the research is complete, first responders will be able to determine whether the addition of a UAV and trained technician to their mass casualty incident team would be beneficial for their team, and for the injured.

Atlantic Police Academy instructor dances for Hospice PEI

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When Rick Blouin attended a local fundraiser a couple of years ago, he never suspected that he would end up as a contestant in the popular Dancing with the Stars event, but he’s spent the last few weeks preparing to do just that with his dance partner and trainer, Tricia Boland.

Rick, a police inspector at the Atlantic Police Academy, said he first became aware of the competition when he and his wife went to one of the Hospice PEI’s fundraisers a while back.

“We attended the Dancing with the Stars event a couple of years ago, and had a great time,” Blouin said. “After the competition was over, we all got up and danced, and I really enjoyed it. So when they contacted me about being part of the event, I thought it would be fun.”

Fun, but not easy. During the first few practices, he spent a lot of time looking at his feet and counting off the steps. Now, he and Trish glide around the floor effortlessly. Oddly enough, his passion for martial arts probably helped him prepare. Both require concentration and coordination, although probably there are fewer toes stepped on in martial arts.

Rick, who comes from South Rustico, and his wife and children operate a hobby farm in Grand River. He said the funds raised from Dancing with the Stars support the work of Hospice PEI, a cause close to his heart.

“Our family has experienced far too many young family members pass too soon, so I was pleased to be able to support Hospice PEI,” he said.

Rick’s goal is to raise $1,000. Each dollar donated equates to one vote in the competition. To donate to Rick’s Hospice PEI Dancing with the Stars page. Tickets have sold out for the event, which takes place October 22 at Rodd Royalty Inn.

Written by Sara Underwood

October 12, 2016 at 10:01 am

Very distinguished Prince of Wales College alumnus visits Holland College

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A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of hosting a very distinguished alumnus of Prince of Wales College, Dr. Lewis Woolner. At the age of 101 (he’ll be 102 next month), Dr. Woolner must surely be one of the oldest, if not the oldest, living alumnus of Prince of Wales College. We thought he might be interested in taking a tour of the Charlottetown Centre, originally the location of the Prince of Wales College. The building was constructed in 1932 to replace the previous building, which burned down in 1931, and would have been about four years old by the time Dr. Woolner graduated.

Dr. Woolner usually gets around with the help of a walker, but with all of the construction work that’s going on in the main entrance and in the old auditorium (which is being transformed into a performance hall for the college’s School of Performing Arts, a partnership with Confederation Centre of the Arts), we deemed it safer to show him around in a wheelchair.

The retired pathologist, who spent his career at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota after earning a medical degree at Dalhousie University, returns to his native Prince Edward Island just about every year to reconnect with his family and his roots. It was an extraordinary experience to watch Dr. Woolner sifting through his memories, and to see his face light up when something struck a chord.

Some parts of the Charlottetown Centre remain almost as they were when the building was first opened. In one of our Accounting Technology classrooms, there is a beautiful set of floor to ceiling cabinets and drawers. This area used to be a physics lab back in the Prince of Wales College days, and so was certainly a space in which Dr. Woolner would have spent a great deal of time.

He remembers walking to the college from West Royalty, where he roomed with his aunt and uncle, and he remembers walking past the 1911 Jail every day on his way here. The wheelchair proved useful, as once he had seen the Accounting Technology classroom and the performance hall, he wanted to go around the outside of the building to see the doorway through which he would have entered on most days,  on the Kent Street side of the building.

Finally, we showed him the newer part of the Prince of Wales Campus, the lovely courtyard and the quadrangle bordered by Glendenning Hall, the Centre for Applied Science and Technology, and the Centre for Community Engagement.

The Prince of Wales Campus has been a busy spot since Dr. Woolner’s visit. The first year students were here for an orientation. There were more than a thousand students from campuses and centres across the province in the Centre for Community Development and in the quad and courtyard getting to know each other and soaking up the college’s vibe. The average age of Holland College is about 24, although there are students as young as 18 and there are many mature students as well. They will spend the next year or two honing their skills and acquiring the knowledge they need to enter their chosen fields; most of them will look back at the time they have spent here fondly, and will form friendships that will last for decades. But it’s doubtful that many of them will be back to visit the campus in 80 years! We hope that Dr. Woolner will visit us again next summer.

Holland College Early Learning Centre pilots ArtsSmarts project

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Image courtesy of Marlene Harding

Image courtesy of Marlene Harding

The staff and children in Holland College’s Early Learning Centre participated in a unique ArtsSmarts PEI project recently. ArtsSmarts is dedicated to improving the lives and learning capacity of Canadian children by injecting arts into school based programs. This project was focused on Early Childhood, the first of its kind in Prince Edward Island, as ArtsSmarts projects are typically undertaken with school-aged children. This time, the participants were only 1-5 years old.

The concept for the project was developed by Vicki AllenCook and Helena Essery, from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, and guest artist Julia Sauvé. The team worked with the children to determine how to create an art project that would support the objectives of the provincial early learning framework curriculum. After observing the youngsters at play and listening to their conversations and questions, the concept of “The Dance of the Butterfly” emerged.

Image courtesy of Marlene Harding

Image courtesy of Marlene Harding

“Preschool children are often interested in the life cycle of the butterfly,” Susan Ashley, faculty liaison between the Early Learning Centre and Holland College’s Early Childhood Care and Education program explained. “This project explored the life cycle through visual arts, music, drama, creative movement, and dance. Encouraging even the youngest children to use their imaginations is essential to their development as creative thinkers.”

Well-known dancer Julia Sauvé developed a music and movement piece for the infants and young toddlers using variations of the children’s song Eency Weency Spider. The 2- to 5-year-olds learned elements of dance and performance as they played various roles: the hungry caterpillar, the sleepy chrysalis, and the soaring butterfly searching for nectar.

Image courtesy of Marlene Harding

Image courtesy of Marlene Harding

The children made their own antennae and wings, and used their nap time blankets in an interpretative dance. Staff, students from the Early Childhood Care and Education program and the children worked with Julia as they interpreted the transformation.

“The children performed for each other, which made the entire project very relaxed and non-threatening,” Susan said. “And to celebrate the success of their performance, the event ended with a grand dance party!”

Image courtesy of Marlene Harding

Image courtesy of Marlene Harding

Suzanne MacKenzie, Director of the Early Learning Center, said that the project was well worth the time and effort expended by everyone.

“To watch this project come together was an incredible experience. It flowed from a creative vision, to the inclusion of all children, incorporating the education and developmental pieces, followed by the implementation of the final dance and celebration. The additional pleasure of the experience was the breath-taking photos and video that will be forever treasured by many. I have a great deal of respect for those involved in this project and their beautiful talents.”

The information about the project is part of an ArtsSmarts exhibit in the Gallery of Confederation Centre of the Arts. The Early Learning Centre hopes to participate in a similar project in the future, and to see the ArtsSmarts initiative introduced into more early learning centres across the Island.

Image courtesy of Marlene Harding

Image courtesy of Marlene Harding

Written by Sara Underwood

May 11, 2015 at 3:33 pm

Heritage Retrofit Carpentry program hosts Australian visitor

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Robert Brodie (left) and Josh Silver during Roberts recent visit to P.E.I.

Robert Brodie (left) and Josh Silver during Robert’s recent visit to P.E.I.

Holland College’s Heritage Retrofit Carpentry instructor Josh Silver hosted a visitor for Down Under recently, when Robert Brodie from Swinburne University of Technology, located in Melbourne, Australia, visited the program.

Robert is traveling across North America to study how specialized skills are certified in Canada and the United States, research that is being funded by a fellowship from the International Specialized Skills Institute. The institute is an independent organization that works with Australian governments, industry and education institutions to enable people to hone their skills and experience in traditional trades and professions, and in leading-edge technologies.

In addition to visiting Holland College, Robert has visited Algonquin College in Perth, Ontario; Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton; and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary.

In each location he reviews the curriculum, teaching styles, and delivery methods for carpentry programs. The purpose of gathering this information is to develop the parameters for a higher qualification in the field of carpentry in Australia.

“You can get a degree in building in Australia, but it’s not a skills-based program. This training would be for a tradesperson who wants to distinguish themselves from other tradespeople,” he said.

In Canada, apprentices work toward becoming journeymen, and may choose to earn their Red Seal, a nationwide credential that gives tradespeople the ability to work anywhere in Canada without further testing or certification. In Australia, Robert explained, there is no such credential.

“In Australia we have a national training package, and so someone who trains in South Australia can take their qualification to Queensland and it will be the same; because it’s a nationally recognized training qualification.

“In heritage work, of which there’s plenty in Australia as well, how do we know that you can do that work and that you understand what’s required to work on a heritage building? So my philosophy is to create something above standard qualifications. So if there were a restoration of a heritage building, you would need to be on a register.”

This credential would raise the profile of tradespeople who have qualified for it.

“They’ll have a higher product knowledge than required just to become a standard tradesperson,” Robert said.

“We need to create some prestige for the trades in order to attract people to the trades and for the community to actually hold us in greater esteem.”

At the end of the year, Robert will present his research to the International Specialized Skills Institute, and it will be presented to government for consideration and hopefully used to shape a new credential for accomplished carpenters.

He said there are many similarities between the Heritage Retrofit Carpentry program at Holland College and the program he teaches in Australia. Plans are underway to exchange assignments between Robert in Australia and Josh’s Heritage Retrofit Carpentry students here.

“What we’ve discovered is that we’re alike in many ways,” he reflected. “We both feel that we’ve got a future together, albeit that we’re on opposite sides of the world…we think that there’s room for some collaboration. What we teach is essentially the same.”

Written by Sara Underwood

October 1, 2014 at 10:44 am