Angus Graeme.

Angus Graeme.

Looking ahead to 2019: Selkirk College’s Angus Graeme

Castlegar News continues its series with the region’s movers and shakers

It’s a year of completing major projects and starting new initiatives, says Angus Graeme, president and CEO of Selkirk College.

Castlegar News: What are the big issues facing Selkirk College in 2019?

Graeme: The coming year is really exciting for us. We continue to see steady enrolment in most of our programs and general growth across the institution. In 2019, we will be completing our next five-year strategic plan and refocusing our efforts to attract and retain domestic student enrolments while holding steady to current international enrolment targets.

In 2019, we will see the completion of the $23-million Silver King Campus renewal project in Nelson, which has helped transform the campus into a modern learning facility with a trades focus. Less visible, but equally as important to vibrant post-secondary education in our region is our continued effort on the transition to a state-of-the-art enterprise resource system that, once completed, will transform the ways in which the college uses technology to deliver courses and programs, and conducts its operations.

We will continue to be challenged with tight budgets with year-over-year static operating grants from the provincial government, but are excited to be working with community partners to diversify the college’s services and revenue streams. To be effective in the coming year, Selkirk College will need to continue to be seen as a vital partner in regional workforce development, higher education and training, and economic and social development.

CN: From an educator’s perspective, how has the college changed in the last year? What opportunities and challenges does it face in the new year?

Selkirk College has continued to evolve this past year. Our student demographic has changed in terms of diversity, socio-economic, geographic, and demographic backgrounds; as well as range of interests, learning styles and need for mental health and learning supports. Supporting all our learners to give them the best opportunity for success continues to be our primary opportunity and responsibility. Faculty and staff continue to work hard at developing their teaching and learning approaches.

In this context, Selkirk College will need to continue to develop improvements to supporting our workforce of talented and dedicated educators and staff. We are one of the largest employers in the region, but we need to ensure that Selkirk College can attract top talent and remain a desirable place to work in the West Kootenay and Boundary.

CN: Are there any new developments/initiatives the college is undertaking in the new year?

Selkirk College has been working closely with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training to develop a proposal to expand on-campus housing for students in Castlegar and Nelson. We also continue to invest in capital, maintenance, and technology upgrades at our sites as well as advocate for further major investment, primarily at the 52-year-old Castlegar Campus.

We will also be launching new credential programs over the next 24 months in Web Application Development, Geomatics in the Workplace, Office Administration Technology, Instrumentation and Advanced Manufacturing.

Selkirk College is continuing to make a significant contribution to workforce development, innovation and applied research projects in the region that see students and faculty working closely with business, industry, and non-profit organizations to solve real world challenges while developing ideas and talent in the region.