Posted by Lew Ford on Jan 22, 2018
Karen Redman introduced Dr. John Tibits, an honourary member of our club as well as our guest speaker.

John presented to the members a detailed and amazing success story about Conestoga College. He started with some historical facts, indicating that the college started with fewer then 200 students 50 years ago and now serves tens of thousands students on campuses that are scattered from Waterloo to Brantford and Milton to Stratford.
Programs are offered at  four differed levels from basic upgrade to degree. All programs are designed to help students to be able to meet their needs and the needs of businesses and industries in the community. Success has been indicated by the students who indicate satisfaction at 94% and the employers indicating 97%. All of this happening in an approach that stresses a need for a high graduation rate.
Smith, a U of W researcher’s survey indicates the importance of an educational institution that helps both younger and older students to adapt and become indispensable to local community is beneficial to all. About 65% of the first year students are not coming directly from high school. A high percentage of the students come from the community and return into employment in the community. Even though there has been a large growth in the number of graduates, community needs are still not being met.
Significant growth is evident at the Waterloo campus as a $58 million expansion/upgrade is taking place and going to be used to consolidate IT, culinary/food/hospitality/access and immigration programs. A class room up grade is costing approximately $50,000.
The Brantford campus will increase the amount of programming including basic up grading and a cheese institute.
International Students are providing a significant benefit to our community in that many are bringing a high level of education to Canada where they are upgrading their skills for employment, in many cases, right here in our community. In addition most of these 4000 students are contributing about $8000 per student or $32,000,000 per year to our economy.
Conestoga  College and the various universities are not in competion for students but rather complementing each other’s programs. For entry into some engineering programs at U of W, students must have high school graduation levels in the 90%. As a result large numbers of would be engineers are denied entrance. The college is now making alternate programs available in applied engineering that are available to some of those denied entry at U of W.
The College has formed partnerships with various corporations and businesses to develop research and training programs that will improve the quality and efficiency of the delivery of  services/products.
Responses to Questions:
Online programs are offered as well in some programs
Academic Freedom, as requested by the union, required that the control of curriculum be by staff. Should this happen the ability to respond to community and corporate needs would not have the necessary input. The freedom of expression is already ensured by law and not needed in a contract.
Our speaker was thanked by Richard Bruckeder