Business

Two new initiatives for Douglas College

Douglas College has launched an initiative to strengthen its ties with local organizations.

Community Connections will look to create partnerships with local businesses and non-profit organizations to give students more opportunities for work experience, practicums and community-based research.

"The hope is this will lead to innovative initiatives benefiting not just our students, who need the applied experience, but also community groups who reap the benefit of research projects around things like marketing, social media, business planning, health and wellness plans, environmental sustainability and so on," said Hazel Postma, associate vice- president of external relations in a press release. "Douglas College has always been rooted in the community and we want to expand our current connections and make sure we continue to respond to community needs.

The initiative's website, douglascollege.ca/connections, was launched on Wednesday. More information is also available by calling 604-777-6501.

Douglas College was also involved in the launching of the British Columbia Applied Research and Innovation Network (BCARIN) on Monday.

It was created by BC Colleges, which represents 11 colleges in the province as well as the New Westminster-based Justice Institute. BCARIN will connect the schools' students and faculty with business and community organizations who need help solving problems that demand skill in research and innovation.

Thor Borgford, dean of Douglas's science and technology faculty and BCARIN co-chair said it's important students have the chance to get out of the classroom to apply their skills and knowledge in the community.

"A crucial aspect of a student's education is getting exposure to real-world problems and having opportunities to work in conjunction with small and medium-size enterprises," said Borgford in a news release.

The initiative will also allow faculty to maintain their currency in their respective disciplines, said Kathy Denton, academic vice-president.

For more information on the program go to www.bcarin.ca.

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