There is a lot happening at Canada’s polytechnics. Our blog offers perspectives on the exciting work underway on campuses and in Ottawa. Do you have a polytechnic story to tell? Share it with us!

Polytechnic Alumni Spotlight: ApplyBoard Co-founders, Meti and Massi Basiri

Polytechnic institutions offer expert-led, industry-relevant training for high-performance talent. In this Q&A series, graduates from across our member institutions discuss how a polytechnic education helped propel their success in diverse fields.

Polytechnics Canada sat down with Meti and Massi Basiri, two 2014 graduates of Conestoga College’s Business Administration – Marketing Advanced Diploma Program and Fitness and Health Promotion Diploma Program. They are co-founders of ApplyBoard, the world’s largest online platform for international student recruitment and one of the fastest growing technology companies in Canada. The pair has also been named to three different Forbes 30 Under 30 lists. In this interview, Meti and Massi explain how their education at Conestoga provided them with the skills needed to found a unicorn start-up.

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2022: The year in review

As 2022 comes to a close, we are facing a post-pandemic reality that needs polytechnic education more than ever. Among the solutions they offer, polytechnics help address labour shortages and pressing climate change challenges. They are helping business partners overcome obstacles to innovation and offering students state-of-the-art training spaces. They also ensure the values of equity, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of their work, finding new ways to reach broader audiences and underrepresented communities.

We have identified a few examples of the impact our members made this year:

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Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the future of Canada’s mining sector

As the Canadian government invests in the critical minerals sector, building partnerships is key. One important factor will be finding opportunities to innovate, improve sustainability and equip the sector’s workforce for the future.

Polytechnics Canada sat down with Dr. Robin Smith, Academic Chair of Applied Research Operations, School of Mining, Energy and Manufacturing and School of Natural Resources and Built Environment, Paul Labbe, Research Chair, School of Mining, Energy and Manufacturing and Dr. Terry Peckham, Director and Research Chair, Digital Integration Centre of Excellence (DICE) to discuss how Saskatchewan Polytechnic is rising to the occasion.

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Conestoga’s School of Trades & Apprenticeship is building tomorrow’s talent

With Ontario facing skilled trades shortages, there’s a movement afoot to attract young talent. At Conestoga College, skilled trades and apprenticeship training have long been a focus. Students at their School of Trades and Apprenticeship benefit from partnerships with local, national and international companies which guide programs and offer experiential placements across the Construction, Motive Power, Industrial and Service sectors.

Polytechnics Canada checked in with Suzanne Moyer, Dean of Trades & Apprenticeship, and Tony Thoma, Executive Dean, Engineering, Technology, Trades & Apprenticeship, to discuss current initiatives to boost the skilled trades workforce.

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Work-integrated learning at Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Polytechnics are leaders in the delivery of experiential education, providing diverse work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities from applied research and capstone projects to interactive simulations and apprenticeships.  To stay ahead of the curve, polytechnics continuously refine and improve programs in response to learner and industry needs.

At Saskatchewan Polytechnic, the commitment to hands-on experiential learning opportunities ensures graduates are work-ready.  Partnerships with organizations like Riipen and the Business + Higher Education Roundtable illustrate an ongoing effort to strengthen opportunities for learners.

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Red River College Polytechnic embraces innovation to transform disruption into opportunity

When Red River College changed its name to Red River College Polytechnic this past October, we made a resounding commitment to an education model that acts as a direct link between labour market needs, student talent, and applied research partnerships. 

In some ways, the name change was a mere formality. RRC has been a polytechnic for years. However, in another, more critical way, officially calling ourselves a polytechnic signaled a bold step forward – and that’s in our commitment to innovate.  

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A new era of healthcare training: the 2021 applied learning model at Seneca

Providing learners with the practical experience and skills to excel in their industry is a key strength of Canada’s polytechnics.  In the healthcare field, this applied approach prepares graduates to interact with patients.  While restrictions on in-person training have eased over the past few months, safety is still top of mind in Seneca’s labs and classrooms.  The challenge now is finding the right balance between hands-on opportunities and using technology to deliver substantive clinical training remotely.

Polytechnics Canada chatted with Sharon Cassar, the Academic Chair for Seneca’s School of Nursing, to find out what this looks like in practice.

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Work-integrated learning at George Brown College

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations in virtually every sector have needed to adapt and pivot, implementing new practices and technologies to support sustainability and growth.  Rapid changes accelerated labour challenges that Canadian companies were facing even before the pandemic, including the urgent need for upskilling and the search for new talent.

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2021: The year in review

It was a year of innovation, collaboration and for one institution, a new name. As I reflect on all that has been accomplished in 2021, it is clear that our members rose to the challenges of the pandemic and, at the same time, actively contributed to efforts to combat climate change, advance Indigenous reconciliation and enable inclusive recovery. 

Here are a few highlights that stood out for me: 

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