BofG Briefs: OCMC, ECE, And Walking Safely

St. Clair's award-winning (times five) OCMC team. (Douglas Marketing photo)

Items that popped up during the November 26th meeting of the college’s Board of Governors included:

• Faculty observer George Vrantsidis reported that the St. Clair team participating in the recent Ontario College Marketing Competition (OCMC), hosted at Niagara College, captured two silver and two bronze medals.

Students won second place in the Job Interview (Caitlyn Cave, coached by Nicole Rourke and Anthony Mancini)  and Retail Case (Michael Hickmott and Brett Harrison, coached by Barry Rivard and Garry Glatter) contests, and thirds in Sales Presentation (Maria Juliana Carneiro De Brito, coached by Veronica Barris) and the Quiz Bowl (Ben Curtis coached by Veronica Barris and Nicole Rourke).

Marketing Professor Nicole Rourke was also presented with the OCMC’s Award of Excellence for her long-time commitment to the annual skills competition;

• A recent multi-party project in Chatham may become the template for duplication in Windsor-Essex, college President Patti France told the Board.

Earlier this fall, according to a college press release, a $20,000 donation by the Municipality of Chatham-Kent allowed St. Clair and the Lambton Kent District School Board to create a unique partnership involving students in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program and Kindergarteners at Winston Churchill Public School.

A classroom was donated by the school board to be used as an early learning lab, and the municipal funds were used by the college to furnish the room.

ece chatham
The ribbon-cutting for the new elementary school/St. Clair ECE program in Chatham-Kent.

The program focuses on building positive relationships between the children and the college students. Up to 15 Kindergarten pupils are brought into the ECE classroom with their educators to interact with the college students. The scenario is then rotated, and the college students head over to the Kindergarten classrooms to work with the children.

Brenda Huff, the ECE coordinator at St. Clair College's Chatham campus, said building relationships is a big part of the work that's done by Early Childhood Educators: "You have relationships with children. You have relationships with teachers. If you're in a school setting, you have relationships with the principal and other personnel in the school. So, they're just getting to practice that relationship-based part of our profession. And that's not minor in our work."

France praised the program as one that will benefit students of all ages. "The school children will enjoy enhanced services to foster their intellectual, emotional and social development, while the College's ECE students will obtain the workplace experience and professional mentorship that is so essential to their education. We thank Chatham-Kent's municipal government and the Lambton-Kent District School Board for including us in this innovative new partnership."

Mark Benoit, Chair, School of Academic Studies Chatham-Kent, said he is proud of the leadership shown by those behind this initiative. "I have witnessed first-hand the positive impact the new ECE learning lab has had on the elementary students and the college students. The partnership is setting an example for the province by providing an innovative approach to educating ECE students.”; and

• France commended the Student Representative Council (SRC)for its recent launch of Safe Walk – an escort program, to ensure that students (and staff) make it safely to their parked cars after evening/night classes.

Introduced earlier this month, Safe Walk sees approximately 40 student-volunteers acting as escorts to anyone who phones for the service, Monday to Friday, from 5 to 10:30 p.m., at both the South Windsor/Main and downtown campuses.

The volunteers are equipped with light-reflective vests and flashlights, and have been trained in “management of aggressive behaviour” by the college’s contracted security company. (Most of the volunteers, also, hail from such programs as Protection, Security and Investigation and Police Foundations, so they have related safety training from those curriculums.)

“Providing this service to ensure our students feel safe on campus is so fundamental to the mission of the Student Representative Council,” said SRC President Kiara Clement. “We want to ensure that having evening classes does not detour or discourage students from coming on campus to attend their classes.”

At the BofG meeting, France commended the council for introducing the program. She added that new Windsor Police Chief Pam Mizuno was also thrilled to hear about it, especially as a new safety measure in the city’s downtown commercial core.

See, also, the story about a change to the college’s English For Academic Purposes program, at

See, also, the story about the college’s annual review of its Sexual Violence Policy, at

See, also, the story about the college’s mid-year budget update, at