Starting in 2013, Camosun began a substantial endeavour to review and renew its technology programming, including: engineering technology access certificate programs, engineering technology diploma programs and engineering bridge advanced diploma programs. The majority of the programming will commence delivery on the semester system starting in September 2016.
Technology Program Changes, Benefits and Impacts
Why is Camosun changing its technology programming?
The impetus for undertaking this multi-year programming renewal has been three-fold:
- To align the delivery of technology programming with Camosun’s existing semester delivery system in order to increase organizational efficiency and student success through improved access to student services and supports, work-integrated learning opportunities (e.g. Co-op) and improved transferability of student learning.
- To identify and incorporate into our technology programs emerging and best practices in student success to help enhance student retention and progression.
- To modernize our technology programming – through program design, courses and concepts – in response to industry trends and employer needs.
What changes have occurred in technology programming at the college and how will these benefit students?
Since 2013, and up to completion of new program and course design and implementation in 2016, Camosun will have invested approximately $1.7 million in the review and redesign of its technology programs and the acquisition of new educational and training equipment and technology, in addition to a significant in-kind investment of professional development time by our engineering technology, math, sciences and English faculty.
Across an array of programs, these investments have resulted in the redesign of existing and creation of new programming. Examples of changes that have occurred include:
- improved experiential learning, new curriculum and content focused on up-to-date technologies, industry standards and practices
- new admission requirements for some programs
- renewed access certificate programs that provide learners with increased opportunities for advanced dual-credit in engineering technology diploma programming
- enhanced course transferability across Camosun and the public post-secondary system
- renewed focus on employability skills and preparation for the workplace
- newly developed project and capstone opportunities to enhance experiential learning, student retention and success through team-based approaches that reflect the workplace experience
- enhanced focus on student success in the design and allocation of theory and applied learning hours
- re-alignment of content to better meet the needs of industry and employability of graduates
- opportunity for full 4-month co-operative education placements aligned with the mainstream post-secondary co-op model
- improved access to college services and supports for students in alignment with the college-wide semester-based delivery system
Program changes and new programming have been designed to enhance quality, relevance, responsiveness to industry needs, sustainability, and student success.
How will students that complete these programs be better prepared for their next steps in education or employment?
Students in the renewed technology access certificate programs will be able to get a head start on their diploma program while enhancing their academic preparation, readiness and success. Upon completion, these students will meet the renewed program admission requirements (where applicable) while earning advanced dual-credit standing for their subsequent engineering technology diploma program, thereby reducing their tuition cost and course load for diploma programs studies.
Students in the engineering technology diploma programs and employers hiring these graduates will benefit from the new and enhanced curriculum, delivery methods and project-based opportunities that build in new technologies, enhanced focus on experiential learning, integration of employment preparation and readiness training and access to college-wide services, student success supports and co-operative education opportunities.
Students in the engineering bridge advanced diploma programs will benefit from greater opportunity for assimilation and integration of learning as the programs shift from a quarter-based to a semester-based delivery system, as well as the addition of an optional internship placement for those students moving on to pursue a co-operative education designation with their university degree.
Who has been involved in the designing the changes?
With 18 programs under review, the list of stakeholders consulted is substantial. Across the array of programming types, program review consultations were undertaken with respective stakeholders for each program which includes: students (current and graduates); industry members and employers of graduates; Program Advisory Committees; faculty members and staff across technology, math, sciences, and Co-operative Education and Career Services; universities that receive our graduates; and other colleges in western Canada that offer technology programming.
What will be the impact overall of these program changes?
These multi-year review, renewal and design efforts have focused extensively on meeting the needs of students and industry – and we’re excited about the programming and learning opportunities that have emerged in each program as a result.
In alignment with the provincial Tuition Limit Policy – where new programming exists – an assessment of and adjustment to tuition fees has been planned. New tuition fees for some courses will address some of the increasing costs associated with mounting this new programming and ensure that delivery is sustainable. Primarily, new programming exists and adjustments to course tuition fees have been identified with respect to the four technology diploma programs.
These planned course tuition changes are currently under review for their alignment with the provincial Tuition Limit Policy, as required by B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education.
When will the program changes come into effect?
The vast majority of the new programming will commence delivery on a semester delivery system, in alignment with the rest of the college, beginning September 2016.
While courses are ready to run for the fall of 2016, the tuition models have not yet been approved. To make sure that we are able to continue to offer a greatly enhanced and improved program and to not disadvantage any students who are ready to take courses this fall, Camosun will offer courses for the 2016/17 year only at current tuition rates, which are lower than what is being planned and reviewed by the Ministry of Advanced Education.
Student Support Questions
I’m unsure how the new programming will affect my ability to progress in my program. With whom can I talk about this?
Detailed program transition plans from the former quarter-based program delivery to the new semester-based program delivery have been developed for all programs. You can connect directly with your Program Chair or an Academic Advisor to discuss any questions you might have about the courses you have already taken and those that you still need to take to complete your program.
I’ve been studying part-time. What do these changes mean for me?
Detailed program transition plans from the former quarter-based program delivery to the new semester-based program delivery are being developed for all programs. You can connect directly with your Program Chair or an Academic Advisor to discuss any questions you might have about the courses you have already taken and those that you still need to take to complete your program.
What will happen if the Ministry approves the college’s planned tuition increases?
If the Ministry approves the college’s planned tuition increases, these tuition fees will come into effect starting in September 2017. Students who started their programs in September 2016 or after will be subject to the new fees.
The college strongly recommends that students moving into technologies programs financially plan for tuition changes which are planned to increase next year beginning in fall 2017. For fall 2016 only, students will be entering new technology programs at the old tuition rates.
For students that are completing a technology program that was started in fall 2015 or prior, existing tuition rates will continue to apply for each first attempt of a course.
Where can I find out what the planned tuition fees will be starting in September 2017?
Detailed program tuition fee information for each technology program is available online.
Will the new courses and programs cost me more to complete my program?
If you are a student currently in the midst of your program (that is, if you started in September 2015 or prior), the college is committed to maintaining your tuition costs at the levels that were communicated to you at the time you started the program.
If you are a new student, starting in September 2016 or after, your tuition fees will be adjusted to the planned level for the programming starting in September 2017.
I’m concerned about my ability to pay for the new tuition fees. With whom can I talk about this?
Several options exist to support students in the financial planning for their academic studies – including bursaries, grants and awards, and student loans. You are encouraged to meet with the college’s Financial Aid and Awards to help review your options.
I’m interested in taking co-op. Can I do this in the new program design?
Generally, yes. Part of the new programs designs was to enhance the access to co-op opportunities by moving to the standard semester format. Students interested in co-op should connect with the Program Chair or Academic Advisor to discuss if and how co-op or internship options fit into their specific program.