Parkland College Year in Review 2013
Parkland College enjoyed a banner year in 2013. The College marked its 40th anniversary, celebrated the progress of the Trades and Technology Centre capital campaign, struck several new partnerships, and solidified its commitment to students with record investments in its scholarship fund.
Parkland College launched its 40th Anniversary celebrations on Jan. 15. Parkland was the first college to open in Saskatchewan in May of 1973. To commemorate its 40th Anniversary, the College produced a retrospective video featuring some of the people who played a key role in launching the provincial college system.
Parkland College also announced in January a major educational partnership with the University of Belize. The three-year project, alongside Lakeland College and Bow Valley College in Alberta, will solidify education in Belize with a focus on sharing the colleges' expertise on agriculture, entrepreneurship, and forming links with industry.
Dr. Fay Myers, President of Parkland College, was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. This commemorative medal marks the 60th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne. The Government of Canada celebrated this milestone by honouring 60,000 outstanding Canadians for their contributions or distinguished service to their fellow citizens, to their community and to their country.
Parkland College signed the first of three new memoranda of understanding with local First Nations, establishing a formal relationship with Okanese First Nation near Balcarres. Similar agreements were made official in April with Peepeekisis Cree Nation and in December with Keeseekoose First Nation. The affiliations seek to improve labour market participation among members of the First Nations through Essential Skills programs, Adult Basic Education, and specific skills training linked to industry and jobs.
The College signed an MOU with East Central Research Foundation that allows the partners to pursue agricultural applied research projects near Yorkton. A field day in July featured research on new canola and soybean varieties, demonstrations on grasses and legumes, and testing of seed brakes. The results of these projects were presented to industry partners in November.
On Mar. 20, the Government of Saskatchewan revealed its 2013-14 budget, which contained $1 million for the planning and design phases of the Trades and Technology Centre in Yorkton. This investment signified approval for the facility's development and enabled Parkland College to move forward with finalized designs and construction plans.
The College awarded over $68,000 in internal scholarships to 70 students from across East Central Saskatchewan on March 27. It marked the second consecutive academic year in which Parkland College has awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships.
A special scholarship fundraiser on Apr. 6 netted almost $6,000 for the College's scholarship fund. "An Evening in Africa" featured live drumming and dancing performances, New York-style fashion shows, and numerous African-inspired appetizers and beverages.
Parkland College launched its Buy A Brick campaign at Yorkton Spring Expo. The campaign offers engraved bricks to individuals, families, community groups, and businesses as a way to help build the Trades and Technology Centre. A feature wall in one of the facility's wings will display the community's engraved bricks, which can be ordered online at giving.parklandcollege.sk.ca.
Parkland College announced it would sponsor the uniforms of the city's first cricket club, the Yorkers. The Yorkers played their inaugural season in the Saskatchewan Cricket League over the summer. They are the first team from outside Regina or Saskatoon to compete in the league. Several international students enrolled at the College played for the Yorkers.
Representatives from First Nations around Saskatchewan toured the College's Emergency Services Training Site near Melville on May 27. The open house brought visitors from several communities including the Sakimay and Cowessess First Nations, the City of Regina, and the File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council. Parkland College offers the only full-time professional firefighter training program in Saskatchewan. The Training Site has received several enhancements to provide an improved learning experience for students.
A special event in Melville on June 20 officially marked Parkland College's 40th Anniversary. With free coffee, tea, and "birthday" cake for all in attendance, it was one way for the College to say thank you and share the festivities with the community.
The next day, Parkland College hosted its most successful Dollars for Scholars Golf Classic to date. The tournament at Deer Park Golf Course raised over $28,000 for scholarships – a record for the event. It was nearly a sell-out: 128 golfers participated and almost 180 sponsors helped make it the best event yet.
PotashCorp presented a cheque on July 4 for $1.225 million in support of the Trades and Technology Centre. The gift was the culmination of a matching grant announcement that kicked off the College's capital campaign in 2012.
The College unveiled a unique studentship agreement with Yorkton Tribal Council that will provide local First Nations learners with access to up to $300,000 in scholarships over the next five years. The distribution of the funds will increase over the term of the deal to coincide with the opening of the Trades and Technology Centre in the fall of 2015. These awards will be presented to applicants from YTC's six member First Nations. Georgeanne Genaille, a Business Year I student, is the first recipient of this award.