New Programs Mean The College Is "Growing By Degrees"

The Saint Scene

The process has taken over two years, but the provincial Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) has recently approved the launch of two Bachelor degree programs at St. Clair College.

The school’s administration has not, yet, determined the start-dates of the two programs: Business Administration-Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and Social Justice and Legal Studies.

The college's Board of Governors (BofG) endorsed the launch of the programs during its November, 2015 meeting.

All of the curriculum plans of the college were then sent to what was then the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (renamed as the MAESD between then and now) for what turned out to be a two-years-long review-and-approval process.

Here is the original description of the programs, from The Saint Scene of January, 2016:

Each program is four years (eight semesters) long in duration.

A report to the BofG, authored by Academic Vice-President Waseem Habash, described the new Business offering as "an undergraduate program that focuses on producing entrepreneurial business leaders who can facilitate and integrate information communication technology within a highly innovative business environment. This multi-disciplinary program combines the mainstream business areas of finance, marketing and management with a relevant level of technical literacy. (It) is a dynamic and progressive discipline that is core to many sectors of business ... Business leaders of tomorrow need to know how to effectively use information communication technologies to manage change and enable effective business processes ... Graduates with this unique skill-set hold a competitive advantage in this evolving field. Potential employment opportunities can be found in manufacturing, private IT businesses, government, hospitals, education, financial institutions, as well as opportunities in the corporate world. Entry-level positions such as systems analysts, team leaders, project managers, business analysts, business architects can pave the path to leadership positions in ICT."

Habash's report - and an oral presentation to the BofG by Business and Information Technology Chair Rose Mousaly (now retired) - also indicated significant need in the existing and foreseeable-future employment market for the graduates of such a program.

Also, only one other Ontario college is currently offering a similar program: Kitchener's Conestoga College, but its program concentrates also solely on instilling IT skills in Accounting students.

Mousaly noted that the program will benefit from endorsement by I.T. industrial giants IBM and Cisco Systems. Both have commended the program's proposed curriculum, and both have committed to "sponsorship" arrangements which will include no- or low-cost access to software, hardware and teaching material.

The college anticipates, conservatively, the enrolment of 20 students in the first year of the program's offering ... climbing to approximately 100 annually (in all years of study) within five years. That estimate does not include international enrolment, although it is thought that this may be quite an attractive offering to foreign students too.

The annual tuition for this program will be approximately $8,000 (that, at least, was the financial plan in 2015-16).

The revenue (tuition plus government grants) versus expenditures (mainly faculty salaries) estimate contained in Habash's report forecasts a "profit" to the college of approximately $310,000 in its first five years of operation.

The Bachelor of Applied Arts in Social Justice and Legal Studies was described in Habash's report as "the study of law and social justice, with a focus on community advocacy and activism. This multifaceted and interdisciplinary program also includes curriculum relating to aspects of criminology, sociology, social work, philosophy, political science, community capacity building, and the study of indigenous and marginalized groups. Graduates will acquire strong problem-solving and analytical skills, together with the interpersonal skills required of one seeking a leadership position in advocating for victimized and/or marginalized individuals and groups. The students will learn to critically analyze, formulate and develop strategies to address situations compromising the rights and services of those who are marginalized or without a political or social voice. The program will also include practical components, such as case studies inviting creative programming; mock mediations bringing about resolution; simulations reflective of social injustice; and an internship with a social justice, community, not-for-profit, governmental or legal organization. The curriculum will stimulate the development of an enquiring mind, increased sensitivity for inequalities, and encourage independent judgement and critical self-awareness. Graduates will be equipped to help individuals, groups, organizations and coalitions to navigate the socio-legal system, and will be prepared to pursue graduate studies" (such as law degrees, for instance).

Grads of the Community Justice Services and Paralegal programs will be eligible for automatic admission into the second year of the new program.

Only three Ontario colleges currently offer similar programs: Humber, Conestoga and Georgian. All of those, however, concentrate almost exclusively on policing, as opposed to community law and advocacy, so St. Clair's program will be unique in that regard.

Conservatively, Habash's report - and the oral presentation to the BofG by School of Media, Art and Design Chair Lorna McCormack - predicts an enrolment of 20 students in the program's first year of operation, climbing to approximately 80 (in all years of study) within five years.

The preliminary intention is to house this program at the downtown Centre for the Arts.

The annual tuition for this program will be approximately $8,000 (again, that was intention in 2015-16).

The revenue (tuition plus government grants) versus expenditures (mainly faculty salaries) estimate contained in Habash's report forecasts a "profit" to the college of approximately $415,000 in its first five years of operation.

Ministry guidelines for degree-level programs offered by colleges will require 50 percent of the "face-time" between students and faculty members to be delivered by instructors possessing doctorate-level (Ph.D.) degrees. Habash, Mousaly and McCormack said St. Clair currently has such qualified faculty on-staff and/or has access to prospective new professors with those credentials.

Both of the new programs, also, will have workplace components. Preliminary discussions in the related fields indicate that local businesses and agencies are prepared to accommodate students for those internships.

… AND …

During the past few months, The Scene has published info about two other new (impending) program launches. Here’s a re-cap of that info:

Two new programs have been approved for launches in September of this year: a full, two-years-long diploma program in eSports Entrepreneurship and Management, and a one-year-long graduate certificate program in Data Analytics for Business.

The rationale for the eSports (networked computer gaming) program is as follows:

• Synergies with other programming at St. Clair College to create interprofessional education opportunities and pathways;

• Increase student engagement and awareness of the EPICGenesis Centre with promotion and support of entrepreneurship;

• Support and collaboration with the Saints eSports varsity team;

• Unique programming (rare in Ontario and Canada) to assist in making St. Clair a "destination of choice" for domestic students;

• There is a growing demand for this program from the gaming generation, and there will be many future job opportunities in this field.

This program will prepare students to work in the interactive business of eSports, learning the practical business and entrepreneurial skills, and developing comprehensive and foundational knowledge of eSports, including: sports management, communications, leadership, entrepreneurship, business development and social media will be included in the courses of study.

Students will also learn a unique blend of eSports gaming topics, including: the history of eSports, game design, event and team management, broadcast and content creation, hardware and software.

Students will also participate in a variety of relevant, practical learning experiences that will allow them to integrate the knowledge gained throughout the program in the planning, development and execution of eSports experiences and projects.

Graduates will be prepared to pursue a variety of career opportunities, such as team and league managers, marketing and promotion, event management, and as eSports livestream technicians.

The budget indicates that the financial impact would see the program at a break-even position after the third year, and could provide a Net Present Value (“profit”) of $201,233 in five years.

The introduction of this program would require the college to hire (new) faculty in the first and third years of operation.

As for the new Data Analytics program …

Marketing for this program will primarily be directed towards International students.

The rationale for the program is as follows:

• Data analytics is a growing field and will provide many employment opportunities for graduates;

• Increases international enrolment;

• Closes skills gap in a growing field;

• Enhances employability skills;

• Supports local business and manufacturing bases;

• Synergies with other programming within the School of Business and Information Technology to create interprofessional education opportunities, specifically Computer Networking, Mobile Applications and Web Development.

Graduates of this program may find employment in various information technology consulting firms and within information technology fields, both in the private and public sectors. Potential employment may include data administration (DBAs), database analysts, database architects, data warehouse analysts, technical database architects and other areas dealing with "Big Data".

The financial impact of this program demonstrates that it could show a small profit in its first year, and could provide a Net Present Value (“profit”) of $1 million at the five-year mark.

The introduction of this program would require the college to hire (new) faculty in its first and second years.

Also, recently, The Scene described the new Advanced Medical Esthetics Practitioner program (see http://stclair-src.org/news/node/381).

Also currently under development, according to the May edition of “Campus Connections” (the newsletter for college employees) is a new Manufacturing Engineering Technology program. The Connections story states:

 “(Professor) Daniele DeFranceschi is currently developing courses that offer hands-on industrial training in the manufacturing processes for plastic injection, metal stamped components, including tool design, assembly processes and quality control. Our graduates will be well-equipped with the knowledge and skills to find employment as manufacturing process specialists, operations managers, tool designers, quality control experts, and manufacturing technologists.”