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Local chef provides students with hands-on restaurant experience through Transitions program

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Summerside, PE – Chef Craig O’Neill at Brothers Two restaurant in Summerside has been a strong supporter of Holland College’s Transitions program for the past two years. The Transitions program’s main objective is to help senior high school students make informed decisions about their post-secondary education. Transitions mentors seek experiential learning opportunities for students in a wide variety of workplaces.

Chef Craig has been an enthusiastic partner, helping students and sharing his passion for his trade. He brings students into the restaurant, giving them hands-on learning opportunities.

He sees the value to giving high school students the opportunity to find out more about potential career paths.

“I truly feel the Transitions program is important for a lot of students, and if I had a program like this when I was younger maybe I would have fallen in love with my chosen career much sooner,” he said. The students always have an amazing time and find it to be one of their favorite experiences during the program.

Chef Craig is no ordinary cook. Not only is he an amazing chef, but when you meet him you can see how much he cares about his community. He is currently working toward his Red Seal as an apprentice at Brothers Two restaurant, and his genuine commitment to his culinary career is always appreciated by the students and has sparked the interest of some to pursue the culinary program after graduation.  Chef Craig always encourages students to be the best they can be, regardless what career path they follow.

Joan Diamond, Transitions program coordinator says Chef Craig’s enthusiasm, work ethic, and desire to share his knowledge with others are exemplary.

“Craig O’Neill is a perfect example of how one person can influence many. In this day and age, with so many careers possibilities, Craig’s contribution and that of Brothers Two Restaurant in Summerside make the world of difference to our students.”

For more information about the Transitions program, visit www.hollandcollege.com/transitions, or call Joan Diamond at (902) 629-4248. – Submitted by Jillian Jeffrey, Transitions mentor.

Written by Sara Underwood

April 3, 2017 at 2:17 pm

Posted in Students, Uncategorized

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”

Raymond Loo Memorial Garden gives Holland College students and staff a place to learn and reflect

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A barren patch of land on Holland College’s Prince of Wales Campus has been turned into an organic garden and Plein air classroom where students and staff can rediscover the therapeutic benefits of nature and take applied learning to a whole new level.

The Raymond Loo Memorial Garden is named after one of the most prominent organic farmers in Prince Edward Island. For more than 10 years, Mr. Loo welcomed students from Holland College’s Transitions program, a career exploration program for high school students, to his farm to learn more about organic farming. When Mr. Loo died of cancer two years ago, Transitions staff wanted to pay tribute to his work and vision for P.E.I. youth by providing students with an outdoor classroom where they could learn about sustainability firsthand by designing, building, planting, maintaining and harvesting an on-campus organic garden.

“Our overall goal is to remember Raymond by carrying on what he started – encouraging students to think about where their food comes from, getting them out in nature and learning what it takes to build and maintain a garden,” said Joan Diamond, Transitions coordinator for the college. “The students’ participation in these activities confirmed our hunch that students really do enjoy learning in nature, despite the fact that they don’t often get the opportunity. Even the students who started out thinking it was ‘lame’, said that they had learned a lot and felt a real sense of contributing in a meaningful way to the community.”

As the project evolved over the spring and summer months, the Transitions team realized that the garden was having a noticeable effect on the campus community as a whole. Students and staff began eating their lunches there, and the college’s youngest students, the children in the college’s Early Learning Centre, began visiting it, too.

The Transitions staff worked with instructors in the Early Learning Centre to facilitate experiential learning with the students in the garden.  Joan Diamond went into the class to talk about sustainability and the importance of knowing where one’s food comes from, and the youngsters planted seedlings indoors to transplant to the garden later.  The children had three planting beds, and the excitement was palpable as they watched their seeds grow. Eventually, they were able harvest and eat them.  They continue to enjoy their afternoon visits to what they refer to as “The Secret Garden”, where they can pick and eat strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.

As the campus community began to use the garden more, Diamond noticed a growing trend of instructors taking their classes out to the garden, and the Transitions team decided to create an outdoor learning space complete with seating, stage and podium.

This garden presents endless opportunities to educate and model environmental stewardship. One garden bed is filled with plants that attract the endangered Monarch butterfly.  This year, the Holland College library partnered with the Bedeque Bay Environmental Management team to facilitate a Monarch butterfly release in the garden.  It was a huge success.  Diamond believes that the best way to encourage a sustainable campus is by creating a sustainable culture through engaging students and staff in activities such as these.

“We want to change the way students think about food and nature, and hope to create and maintain a creative space on each of our main campuses that will allow us to continue this work as part of our Transitions environmental rotation, thus enhancing our program content and at the same time enhancing the experience for all students at each of the campuses,” she said.

The Raymond Loo Memorial Garden was created with assistance from the college’s President’s Innovation Fund.

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.

Student Union Breakfast program gives students a great start to their day

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Business student Amanda Myers, left, and Sport and Leisure student Angelle LeBlanc prepare the breakfast bags for students to pick up.

Business student Amanda Myers, left, and Sport and Leisure student Angelle LeBlanc prepare the breakfast bags for students to pick up.

Brown paper bags are lined up on the counter in the foyer of the Charlottetown Centre. As students come through the doors, they pick up a bag to take with them to their classrooms. For many of them, they wouldn’t have eaten anything this morning if it weren’t for the Holland College Student Union’s new breakfast program.

Monday to Friday, student volunteers hand out healthy breakfasts in five Holland College centres and campuses across the Island.

The program is possible because of a donation of $5,000 from the PEI Credit Unions, according to Greg Gairns, General Manager of the Holland College Student Union.

“The demand for food from students is growing every year, and when the Credit Union heard about this idea, they initiated a partnership. This summer they agree to come on board, and we’re very grateful. Without the Credit Union’s assistance, we couldn’t get the program off the ground.”

(L-R) Beth Harris, Breakfast Program Coordinator; Doug Bridges from PEI Credit Unions, and David Campbell, Student Union President.

(L-R) Beth Harris, Breakfast Program Coordinator; Doug Bridges from PEI Credit Unions, and David Campbell, Student Union President.

“We are so pleased to partner with Holland College for the breakfast program”, said Doug Bridges from PEI Credit Unions.   “Holland College has campuses and we have offices in many of the same locations,   and the breakfast program is a way for credit unions to support students in need.”

The Student Union purchases the food at local grocery stores, and student volunteers put the breakfasts together each morning for the students.

The campuses involved are West Prince Campus, Waterfront Campus, Prince of Wales Campus, Tourism and Culinary Centre, and Georgetown Centre.

 

Written by Sara Underwood

December 2, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Friendship formed in language class leads to business development opportunities

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Shanying and Torsten

Photo courtesy Yvette Doucette, PEI Newcomers Association.

When Shanying Wang was looking for someone to be director of sales for Reito Industrial Products, the company that he established when he moved to Prince Edward Island from China, he had to look no further than his Enhanced Employability Essential Language Skills (EEELS) classmates to find the perfect candidate. Torsten Kutterer, who moved to the Island with his wife, Anja Nied-Kutterer, from Germany, had the expertise and skills that Shan Ying was looking for.

At first glance, it seems like an unusual pairing – the tall German gentleman and the slight Chinese businessman – but it’s working very well for both of them.

Shanying’s company, Reito Industrial Products, uses several Chinese manufacturing partners to create precision castings in metals and plastics. Primarily focused on the furniture, auto and construction industries, the company can also service other areas. One of the company’s main customers is the prestigious German furniture manufacturer Walter Knoll.

Shanying came to P.E.I. under the Provincial Nominee Program with his parents, his wife, and their teenaged daughter. The couple had a pleasant surprise just after they moved here, when they discovered that they were expecting a new baby.

“He is eight months old now,” Shanying said, laughing, “and we tell people, ‘he is an Islander’!”

Shanying holds a bachelor degree in Polymer Science; and as a factory owner in China, he has extensive experience working with an international clientele.

“Before we came to Canada, we would have to wait to meet people, but now we can meet them face to face, which is best.”

Given that he already has some heavy-hitting clients in German, Shanying wanted to find a business development person who would be able to represent the company competently in that country. Enter Torsten.

Torsten came to the Island as a skilled immigrant. He said he and his wife Anja were looking for a change in their lives, and were planning to go to British Columbia when they left Germany. But a few weeks before their departure date, a chance meeting with friend of a friend made them rethink their decision.

“We were hosting a wine tasting party, and one of the guest brought along a friend, who was from Souris, P.E.I. When he heard we were planning to come to Canada, he convinced us to consider P.E.I. instead,” he explained.

After thoughtful consideration, the couple decided to come here. Anja enrolled in Holland College’s Pastry Arts program at The Culinary Institute of Canada, where she excelled. By the time she graduated, she had obtained employment with a local coffee house. Torsten, in the meantime, was attending language training at Holland College. The men became friends in the classroom, and are now working together.

They said the business classes that Holland College offers to students in its language training program were immensely helpful. Torsten emphasized that language training is crucial to assimilating to one’s new home.

Shanying agreed, adding that while the ability to communicate is vital, there are other ways newcomers can find their niche in this province.

“Maybe you can’t communicate, but you can show the skills you have. I play soccer and pool, so that has helped me make new friends,” he said.

Torsten, who plays soccer and tennis, agrees.

“Don’t be shy. Go out and talk to people!”

Written by Sara Underwood

September 11, 2015 at 11:30 am