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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 Commercial Diving graduate part of historic Victoria Straits Expedition

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Joe Boucher aboard the RV Investigator during the Victoria Strait Expedition. Photo by Thierry Boyer

Joe Boucher aboard the RV Investigator during the Victoria Strait Expedition. Photo by Thierry Boyer

When Joe Boucher signed up for the Commercial Diving program at Holland College in 2008, it’s unlikely that he thought that he’d end up on board a ship off the coast of Nunavut searching for two ships that disappeared almost 170 years ago. But that’s exactly where he found himself, as part of the Victoria Straits Expedition to find the Franklin Expedition ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.

May, 1845, the two Royal Navy ships left Greenhithe, England on an expedition to map out a northwest passage that would take the ships from Europe to Asia. Under the command of Sir John Franklin, the expedition’s two ships set out with 134 officers and men. The ships had been fitted with the most up to date gear for polar exploration, including a heating system and a water distillation system; and were loaded with enough provisions to last up to three years. Franklin’s orders were to find a passage and return to England via the Pacific Ocean.

Last seen by Europeans in July of 1845, the ships never returned to England.

In 1848, a search party was sent to determine the fate of the explorers, and subsequently there were many searches. In 1850, three grave sites and relics from the expedition were located on the east coast of Beechey Island. In 1859, Lieutenant Hobson, part of searcher Francis Leopold McClintock’s expedition, discovered a note on King William Island that shed some light on the fate of the crew of the two ships. Over the years, human remains believed to be those of members of the Franklin Expedition were found, the condition of some of the bones suggesting that the lost sailors had resorted to cannibalism. Many studies and findings, including scraps of notes written by members of the expedition found by Inuit hunters over the years, have suggested that the men had succumbed to starvation, frostbite and hypothermia; but the ships themselves were never recovered.

In August of 2014, the 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition was launched. The expedition brought together public and private partners and the most sophisticated equipment in the world to search for the ships and the secrets they may contain.

This area of the Arctic waters is relatively unmapped, due to the thickness of the ice, and it somehow seems fitting that a graduate of Holland College (which is named after one of the most influential 18th Century surveyors of British North America), should participate in such an ambitious project…and have one of the coolest jobs ever.

Joe’s Story

Crew shot after the discovery of the Franklin wreck (Jonathan Moore, Ryan Harris, Joe Boucher, Chriss Ludin) at the stern of RV Investigator. Photo by Thierry Boyer

Crew shot after the discovery of the Franklin wreck (Jonathan Moore, Ryan Harris, Joe Boucher, Chriss Ludin) at the stern of RV Investigator. Photo by Thierry Boyer

I grew up in Barrie, Ontario, but I have lived mostly in Ottawa since 2002. After graduating from Holland College’s Commercial diving program in 2009, I worked for a few years as a commercial diver.  I came across a posting on the Government of Canada’s public service jobs website for an underwater dive technician position. I had the required experience, education and background, so I decided to apply. I was the successful candidate. I started working with Parks Canada in 2011. I’m an underwater archaeology technician. I am a diver with a commercial background, so I do many of the more practical tasks underwater. I also contribute to some of the underwater archaeology taking measurements, making observations, and even excavating. However, diving is really only a small part of what I do.  I work with our technologist to maintain all of our equipment, such as boats, trucks, and dive equipment. I assist with acquisitions and provide logistical support on many of our projects.  I work to ensure that our equipment is transferred from one project to another in a timely and efficient manner.  I do whatever else is asked of me, which can be very diverse, from driving a forklift around to shaking hands with our Minister, to rebuilding diving regulators.  My job, in large part, consists of doing what is needed to ensure that the archaeologists can do theirs, including offering advice or insight in areas where I may have a different perspective or understanding, based on my training and previous work experience.

Every spring, we have a meeting to discuss the next year’s work plan. We decide what projects will be undertaken and resources are assigned following these discussions. This past year, I was lucky enough to work in Gwaii Haanas National Park, The Empress of Ireland National Historic Site and, most recently, the Victoria Strait Expedition.

There were a number of vessels involved in the expedition: Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Kingston, the Arctic Research Foundation’s Martin Bergmann, the Canadian Coast Guard Vessel Sir Wilfrid Laurier and One Ocean Expedition’s One Ocean Voyager, supplied through the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.  There were also a number of small boats and other tools such as a Defence Research and Development Canada autonomous underwater vehicle.  I was berthed on board the Sir Wilfrid Laurier, and piloted Investigator, the boat that was towing the side scan sonar that found the Erebus.

Joe Boucher (helm) Jonathan Moore(standing) and Ryan Harris (side scan sonar operator seat) in RV Investigator. Photo by Thierry Boyer

Joe Boucher (helm) Jonathan Moore(standing) and Ryan Harris (side scan sonar operator seat) in RV Investigator. Photo by Thierry Boyer

It took two days to get from Ottawa to Cambridge Bay. From there, I boarded the Sir Wilfrid Laurier to begin the search. We did not go directly to the site – we searched a gradually expanding area. The route was planned out in advance.  In total, we were on board for approximately four weeks, and I believe the discovery was made during the second week aboard the vessel.

Once the discovery was made, we made several passes with the side scan sonar to acquire more diagnostic images.  After this, we used a Parks Canada ROV to “ground truth” the target to get a camera on the shipwreck and actually make sure it was what we thought it was.  After this, we dove on the wreck.  At the same time, in between dives, the Canadian Hydrographic Service used a high-tech multi-beam system to acquire very detailed 3D images of the shipwreck.

I am one of only four people present at the actual discovery, and I am one of the seven people who dove on the ship to date. It was pretty cool. I dove on the shipwreck once.  The idea was to look for unique features on the wreck which would help identify which of Franklin’s ship we had found.

It was a pretty humbling experience.  When you think that you are part of a select group of people who are the first to lay eyes on the ship in almost 200 years, it certainly does stop and make you think.  Really when I was around the ship most of the things going through my head were the still unanswered questions: How did the ship get here? What is still on board? What can we learn from the ship?  I’m very thankful to have had the opportunity to dive the vessel and hopefully future expeditions will give us the opportunity to answer many of the questions which remain.

Our team was recognized by the House of Commons when we returned from the expedition.  We received a standing ovation from the MPs, and had our photo taken with the Prime Minister.

When I was in school, I never saw myself going this direction, but it’s absolutely awesome.  Going to Holland College opened all kinds of doors for me. The program gave me many of the tools I need to do my current job.  I learned a lot about many of the tools and equipment used in diving, how things work and why they work.  It taught me the importance of a certain level of physical fitness for diving.  The program gave me knowledge and experience necessary to start my career as a commercial diver.

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I would tell other people interested in getting into this field that hard work is very important. Employers, as well as your fellow employees, will respect you more if you put forth a solid effort.  Your interpersonal skills are very important.  A career in diving often means spending long periods of time at least semi isolated with your colleagues.  You have to know how to get along with people.  Breaking into the diving industry is not easy, but the program at Holland will give you an excellent start.

Joe wasn’t the only Holland College graduate to participate in the Victoria Strait Expedition. Captain David MacIsaac and his son Daniel, graduates of the college’s Marine Training Centre, were also part of the expedition. Their stories will be posted on the blog soon.

 

Useful links

For more information about the Franklin Expedition and the efforts to find the missing ships since they disappeared in about 1845, visit the Canadian Geographic website. http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/franklin-expedition/partners.asp

 

A complete list of partners can be found here. http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/franklin-expedition/partners.asp

 

http://www.macleans.ca/society/finding-franklin-how-a-169-year-old-mystery-was-solved/

 

 

Written by Sara Underwood

January 15, 2015 at 2:10 pm

Pastry Arts students participate in Kitchen Aid For the Cure competition

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The pastry kitchen at the Tourism and Culinary Centre on the Charlottetown Waterfront was surprisingly quiet the other day, considering that seven of the Pastry Arts students were in the middle of a competition to create a signature sweet treat for Kitchen Aid.

The competition was the brainchild of Kitchen Aid/Whirlpool Territory Manager Lisa Gautreau.

“Kitchen Aid is a strong supporter of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation,” Lisa explained. “When I began my events for Kitchen Aid Cook For The Cure in New Brunswick and P.E.I. last year, I felt the need to have a sweet giveaway – something that would echo the Cook For The Cure cause and, of course, be delicious! I was having difficulty finding a local baker to help me out because, obviously, I would need hundreds of portions for some of these events and I wanted it to be something cheerful, fun and optimistic. I was at The Culinary Institute of Canada in P.E.I. one day when I happened to mention to the culinary program manager, Chef Austin Clements, and Chef Kevin Boyce the trouble I was having finding something to give away at these Cook For The Cure events and simply asked, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if we threw out a challenge to the students?’ Next thing you know, I was in the office of head Pastry Arts instructor Chef Richard Braunauer, and shortly after that, I was in front of the pastry class throwing them the challenge. Those chefs made this happen. Fast!”

The students appeared unruffled as they prepared their concoctions, all of which looked absolutely delicious when they were plated in preparation for judging. Then they left the kitchen while the adjudication took place.

Brad Hamilton and Jonathan Coates of Alpha Appliance Solutions, and Karen Mair, host of CBC’s Mainstreet, PEI’s afternoon radio show, were the judges. The three took their time sampling the students’ entries, which included Strawberry French Macaroons, Salted-Caramel Chocolate Tarts, Orange Shortbread Cookies, Bi-Layered Raspberry Marshmallow & Rose Water Fudge with White Chocolate, Lemon Cake Pops and Chocolate Filled Coconut Cakes.

The competition was close, but in the end, first place went to Keith Hanna for his recipe for Chocolate Filled Coconut Cakes . Take a look at the recipe, it includes his rationale for choosing this style of sweet…it’s really compelling! Anne Marie Woodgate’s Strawberry French Macaroons took second place, and third place went to Colbi Flanagan for her Salted Caramel Chocolate Tarts.

Keith’s biography and recipe will be posted on the Kitchen Aid website, and he will be invited to attend some of the gala events at which his sweet will be served. He also won a Kitchen Aid mixer. The runners up received Architect series 5-speed hand blenders, one of Kitchen Aid’s newest products on the market.

Chef Instructor Richard Braunauer said that participating in competitions is a good way for students to hone their skills and build their résumés.

“The students need to be organized and able to work under pressure,” he said. “A competition situation really drives that message home.”

Lisa Gautreau said that she hopes the competition will become an annual event.

“These students were keen, competitive and creative. Many of them told me that they were personally affected by breast cancer in their family and wanted to do something to help. I cannot tell you how proud I am for Kitchen Aid Cook For The Cure to be affiliated with this college and these bright young students to help our cause,” she said.

For the students, the competition was a hands-on learning experience and an opportunity to contribute to a great cause. But Lisa said she learned something from it, too.

“It may seem funny and simplistic, but this competition has taught me a valuable lesson. I have a very close friend battling breast cancer. I’ve wanted to do everything and anything to help her. But I am limited in my talents and capabilities. I am not an oncologist, a priest, a counselor, or a dietician. I am simply a lady who sells appliances. But what I can do is mobilize the people around me to inspire them to get cooking and help me raise money and awareness. I can do something worthwhile. And it will matter.”

Written by Sara Underwood

February 13, 2014 at 1:16 pm