Camosun's new health and wellness centre a "game-changer" says Robin Fast
Release Date: May 28, 2018
Robin Fast's memories of Camosun stretch back to the fall of 1984. "As a student, I camped outside of the Isabel Dawson building at Lansdowne to get into my classes," he says.
His efforts proved successful, and he credits the certificate he went on to earn in Camosun's Community Support Education Assistant program as the launching pad for a successful career.
"When I first came to Camosun, I just planned to do a certificate and then go to work, but the instructors were so encouraging," he says. "They noticed what you could do and were interested in what I was doing. School became kind of contagious for me after that." After earning his social work degree and developing a successful track record in community leadership positions, Fast started teaching at Camosun in 1994. He has never looked back. Currently, he serves as the Chair of the Community, Family and Child Studies department.
"It's amazing how much has changed since I first started at Camosun," he says. "And we continue to evolve and grow as a college."
Fast is excited about the changes underway at Camosun and in particular the potential of the new Centre for Health & Wellness—currently under construction at Interurban campus—to serve as a regional hub for health and human services education and innovation.
"The college has come a long way and it's really amazing to see this brand new building taking shape and to know that the kind of resources we had when I was a student, what we have now, and what we're going to have for students in a few years are just totally game-changing," he says. "The new space is going to give us a new opportunity to rethink how we're working and how we're working together, and to really promote collaboration and innovative ways of learning and teaching."
The new building will be designed for 21st century learning, provide a more interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning, and will deliver the most modern classrooms, with hands-on labs, simulation environments, support and collaboration spaces and medical equipment storage. It will bring together the majority of Camosun's health and human service programming in one location which is currently provided at multiple buildings across two campuses.
"It's a powerful vision coming from college leadership," says Fast. "The classrooms will be configured so that you can create different types of spaces for engaging learning, the multi-media technology will be strong and larger spaces mean that we can learn and teach together in variety of innovative ways. It's tremendously exciting as an educator."
Over his many years of teaching, Fast has seen first-hand the trends in the classroom and in industry towards greater collaboration. "It's the expectation now of integrated case management and an inter-professional approach, when you're working together and supporting people in community," he says. "There is collaboration required in the work that practitioners do as well as an expectation that students practice those skills hands-on in a school setting. There are so many collaboration spaces being created in the new building so that the design becomes part of the unofficial curriculum and learning culture."
Fast speaks with genuine affection for all that Camosun has given him as well as a strong desire to give back to his students. "I think one of the important concepts is this idea that everything that happens at the college is part of our curriculum," he says. "It's not just what's written down as learning outcomes, it's how we arrange the classroom, provide opportunities for applied learning and social activities, and support our students so that they are welcomed and get what they need to succeed."
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Robin Fast, Chair, Community, Family and Child Studies
Last updated: May 29, 2018 8:51 am