The Future of Success

Academic and Research Priorities

Academic and Research Priorities, 2019 and Beyond

To Make All Learning Count 

As we expand, our eye is always on the outcomes we create for learners.

Bow Valley College’s scope is growing as we find new ways to have an even larger impact on learners, our community, and Calgary’s economy. A diverse mix of people come to us with varying education, life and employment experiences seeking success through our programs in:

Applied and advanced career credentials
Upskilling & microcredentials
Foundational skills
English language learning 

The Academic and Research Priorities showcase our strategy for ensuring we attract 21st century learners and help them launch thriving careers. 

This Plan Will Change Our Future

The Academic and Research Priorities drive our commitment to setting goals, choosing initiatives, and allocating resources in ways that support Bow Valley College’s Open Doors – Open Minds Strategic Plan.

As the core of academic and research programming at Bow Valley College, the academic division is tasked with equipping learners with the skills and knowledge to further themselves. We are a diverse team that encompasses a variety of teaching, learning, and research capacity through:

• The Chiu School of Business
• The School of Community Studies
• The School of Creative Technologies
• The School of Continuing Learning
• The School of Global Access

• The School of Foundational Learning
• The School of Health and Wellness
• Research and Innovation
• Regional Stewardship

The Academic and Research Priorities direct planning for the academic division. This is different from the College’s Open Doors – Open Minds Strategic Plan and the Comprehensive Institutional Plan. The Strategic Plan communicates the vision, mission, and goals applicable to the entire organization. The Comprehensive Institutional Plan provides insight into work being done at Bow Valley College that meets the key priorities of Advanced Education.
 
As we make decisions, we will ask: Does this contribute to the Academic and Research Priorities?

Academic and Research Priorities 

The Whole Learner:  Bow Valley College facilitates the academic and personal growth of each learner through a variety of classroom and co-curricular opportunities blended with social and academic supports. Learn More

Authentic Learning:  Authentic learning means connecting learners with community and employers while delivering innovative curricular experiences. Learn More

Broadening Our Applied Research Agenda:  Our goal is to provide every learner with the chance to participate in applied research projects that give them real-world learning experiences. Learn More

Pivot-Ed:  The Pivot-Ed initiative develops and delivers short-term courses to support people in re-skilling and upskilling, and provides microcredentials as certification proving learners have demonstrated the required competencies. Learn More

A Culture of Quality: Academic Governance and Assessment :  Supporting a culture of quality and excellence, Bow Valley College academic programs adhere to multi-layered and comprehensive program quality assurance practices.
Learn More

The Whole Learner

Learners come to Bow Valley College with different backgrounds, experiences, and levels of education. They join a cohort of peers in an academic journey that encompasses shared and unique learning experiences. The College facilitates the academic and personal growth of each learner through exposure to a variety of classroom and co-curricular opportunities blended with social and academic supports.

We will serve our learners better by:

  • Ensuring equal opportunity to access services and supports by all learners including online    and face-to-face services from any of our locations
  • Connecting learners to co-curricular and social/leadership opportunities
  • Providing workplace skills and career development learning
  • Offering pathways and broadening continuing learning opportunities
  • Supporting diversity and inclusion
  • Explore alternative credentialing

 

What We're
Working On Now

Pathways: Creating better opportunities through our Career Program Pathways, new programming in Creative Technologies, university transfer, and collaborative degree initiatives.

Competency Based Education: Taking an approach that recognizes prior experience and enables learners to master skills or competencies at their own pace.

Regional Stewardship: Making a long-term difference in regional communities by developing a sustainable model to offer a suite of programs and services aligned to support the economic and social agenda of the communities in which our regional campuses are located.

Authentic learning

Interesting, relevant, immediately practical learning. That’s authentic learning at Bow Valley College. It also means connecting learners with community and employers while delivering innovative curricular experiences.

Our faculty consult with employers, community agencies, professional associations, and accreditation bodies to deepen our understanding of workforce needs. In today’s changing world of work, we need to constantly re-examine the competencies required for our graduates to thrive. We facilitate learning through exemplary teaching delivered through well-qualified faculty, supported by technology tools and outstanding multi-modal course delivery.   

We will foster authentic learning by:

  • Being learner-centred and innovative in course delivery and curriculum development
  • Investing in faculty and staff development
  • Creating opportunities for service in the community
  • Engaging the business community in applied research and work integrated learning

 
 

What We're Working On Now

Integrating Virtual Reality: Expanding the traditional classroom space through the use of digital technology.

Ignite Faculty Onboarding Program: Shaping the future of college education begins with our instructors. Ignite is our comprehensive approach to faculty orientation and development. An initial week of on-boarding continues with online and cohort learning throughout the year that emphasizes high impact instruction, applied learning, and inclusive learning environments and learning-centered practices.

Our program covers four themes:

• Enhance awareness of adult learners and the learning process
• Build intentionality in instructional practice
• Professionalize the skilled educator
• Transform teaching and learning at Bow Valley College  

Broadening Our Applied Research Agenda 

Learners benefit through applied research projects by applying their learning to the real world. Helping organizations solve problems and identify efficiencies builds practical experience that results in stronger careers.

We will continue to leverage our research strength in the areas of teaching and learning, immigrant advancement, health and wellness, community studies, childhood development, social innovation and social entrepreneurship, while broadening our research agenda by: 

  • Involving learners in applied research projects – making it a key component of our learning strategy and facilitating knowledge mobilization
  • Weaving applied research into curriculum and coursework
  • Engaging industry and the business community to identify potential clients
  • Developing interdisciplinary applied research opportunities to include learners from different program areas
  •  

What We're
Working On Now

Including Learners in Research: A major part of our applied research agenda is involving learners and engaging the employer community to solve practical problems relevant to organizations. Collaborative research projects will involve a learner, faculty member, and partner organization.  
In addition to weaving applied research into curriculum and coursework, and expanding work integrated learning opportunities, Bow Valley College has centres of research with established expertise and practices to support learner involvement in applied research:

• Research and Innovation  
• Centre for Early Development and Applied Research (CEDAR)
• Adult Literacy and Essential Skills Research Institute (School of Foundational Learning)
• Research and Development (School of Global Access)
 
Tri-Council Research: Bow Valley College has been successful in acquiring Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) grants and will explore opportunities with the other Tri-Council research agencies – the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).
Research and training supported through the Government of Canada to date include three SSHRC funded projects:

• Enhancing Wellbeing and Civic Engagement of Immigrant Women Retirees
• Social Innovation on the Ground: Accessible and Evidence-based Tools for Social Innovators
• Bringing Hearts and Minds Together: Co-Creating Lifelong Learning Materials for Caregivers of Indigenous Children 

Pivot-Ed

The Pivot-Ed initiative develops and delivers short-term courses to support people in re-skilling and upskilling, and provides microcredentials as certification proving learners have demonstrated the required competencies.

Bow Valley College will also explore the potential of joint diplomas and degrees in partnership with universities. Creating a credible, flexible model for content consumption, skills acquisition, skill and competency assessment, and alternative credentialing will help our learners ladder up to more traditional credentials. 

What We're
Working On Now

Microcredentials: Beginning with the IBM Skills Academy, our latest partnership with IBM, the College is offering short-term programs teaching beginner to advanced information technology training which earn our learners digital badges, rather than credits. Alternative credentialing provides job seekers and learners access to new skills or ones that may enhance their current skillset in a shorter period of time. Microcredentials augment existing education, experience, and skills, and we are proudly partnering with Credly’s digital credentialing platform to create our badges and certifications.

Tech Skills to Employment: We will offer short-term training under the Information and Communication Technology Integrated Training Project funded by Alberta Labour. Through this initiative, 50 underemployed or unemployed Albertans will be provided 16 weeks of IT training complemented by 10 weeks of work placement in a related field.

A Culture of Quality: Academic Governance and Assessment

Supporting a culture of quality and excellence, Bow Valley College academic programs adhere to multi-layered and comprehensive program quality assurance practices. We will support academic governance and assessment by:

  • Following the Academic Program Development and Management Policy and Procedures
  • Ensuring vigorous analysis of new program ideas and potential for market
  • Complying with policies and procedures that govern program evaluation, credentials, curriculum, and grading
  • Adopting best practices in continuous improvement to optimize internal processes
  • Maintaining accreditation compliance with external agencies and governing bodies

It means we’re ensuring sustainability, high-quality standards, and recognition of our academic credentials amongst other Canadian institutions and internationally.
We’ve got a reputation to maintain, after all.  

What We're
Working On Now

Quality Assurance: Program quality and graduate outcomes are vital to the success of our learners when they invest in a program at Bow Valley College. Developing a comprehensive Program Quality Assurance Framework that encompasses program evaluation, curriculum review, and program costing models not only keeps our content current and learners equipped with in-demand skills – it ensures we are being sustainable and operationally efficient. Having a means to define our excellence, and demonstrate and communicate the quality of our programming means a better program for learners and a better educational partner for industry.
Process Improvement Through Lean Initiatives: To grow and evolve into a complex and efficient comprehensive college, some of the ways we have been doing business and operating will benefit from process improvements and taking a lean approach to how we do our work. Projects will include academic scheduling, space utilization, timesheets, testing for prospective and current learners, and annual planning timelines.
Curriculum Management System: To support programming that reflects today’s workforce needs, we will explore solutions to manage and provide governance over our curriculum development, review, and management processes.

Watch What We Can Achieve

As we embark on exciting new endeavours, our entrepreneurial spirit and drive to achieve the best for our learners will help us continue to be a sought-after destination for high-achievers across the globe.

Keep an eye on Bow Valley College over the next few months as we roll out our ambitious new programs and projects aimed at enhancing learner success.

Some things will make a bigger splash than others, but know that research, innovation and excellence have woven their way into everything we do, both in the classroom and in the real world.