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Douglas College hosts forums to build community connections
Douglas College is looking to establish stronger relationship with community and business leaders as it strives to create opportunities for its growing student body.
Enrollment is up 7% over last fall, according to Hazel Postma, vice-president of external relations for the college, making it vitally important for the college with its two campuses, in Coquitlam and New Westminster, to keep the lines of communication open.
“We believe we’re doing a good job engaging with the community, but we want to learn if there’s room to improve. If there are community groups looking for further support from us or who can provide new opportunities for our students or faculty, we’d like to hear about them,” Postma says.
To that end the college is hosting two forum this month — one in in Room 3011 at the Coquitlam campus, 1250 Pinetree Way on Monday, Sept. 23, 4-6 p.m. and another in the the Aboriginal Gathering Place at the New Westminster campus, 700 Royal Ave., on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 4-6 p.m.
"This is really a listening exercise. We want to hear the thoughts and opinions of leaders in the business, corporate, government and non-profit sectors as well as other community members," Postma explained.
The timing couldn't be better as the college examines how it will continue to provide a meaningful college experience for students who are flocking to the two campuses in record numbers.
According to Postma, unofficial numbers suggest that fall registration is at 11,700, 7% higher than last year, with approximately 14,500 students expected to attend Douglas this year.
Those students want to get the most from their experience, Postma says, and typically Douglas uses its relationships with business and community groups to provide them with practicums, co-ops, work experience, volunteering and other opportunities.
The goal of the forum is to build on the relationships and possibly extend those experiences, she said.
Another issue that may soon be on the table is expansion. The New Westminster campus is full, even after the entire Child, Family and Community Studies with its 800 students was moved to the David Lam campus in Coquitlam.
"And our Coquitlam campus continues to get busier and with the Evergreen Line coming in 2016, making it even more accessible, it too will soon be full.”
The upcoming forums will provide more information about the opportunities for partnerships and the college's role in the community, with a keynote presentation from college president Scott McAlpine.
For more information or to register for one of the forums, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 604-777-6501.