English as Second Language students were grouped geographically and had the opportunity to share information about their home countries. Fatima Luqman, Acting Program Chair of the Academic Skills Development Department, stated “What I truly love about International Day is that it’s a chance for our students to host a celebration meant to showcase their cultural heritage, by creating interactive displays and activities highlighting music, dance, food, and traditions of their countries and to celebrate the College’s cultural diversity”.
|Each year governments around the world are challenged to balance their budgets, and it seems each year they look at the same two solutions – either increasing taxes or reducing government spending by reducing services. Yet, there is a third alternative, and that is to find more creative and innovative ways of delivering programs and services.|
The following paragraphs describe six related activities that will create a cultural paradigm shift.
Introduce such new tools as Social Impact Bonds and expand the use of current tools such as public-private partnerships, pilot projects, and demonstration projects. Each of these should be used to introduce and explore new innovative and creative ways to deliver current programs and services. They should also approach this in a more efficient and effective manner that clearly realizes actual financial savings to the overall government budget.
Challenge all public and private programs and service providers (including health care, education, higher education, and social services) to propose more innovative and creative ways of providing current services that ensure the level and quality of service, yet clearly reduces the actual cost. The first step in this regard is to have each department conduct a basic analysis of all programs and services delivered on its behalf to determine unit costs. For example, what does it cost to replace a knee or deliver a year of education. This basic analysis will help make providers, department personnel, elected officials, and the public more aware of what the actual cost is for each program and service. It will also help to determine where they are getting the best bang of the taxpayer’s buck.
Ensure that the public is able to make more informed and objective decisions of where to obtain government sponsored programs and services in health, education, social sciences, etc. by establishing a public website for each department. Each website will provide comparative and objective information about each provider. This will further increase accountability and make government more transparent.
Move away from an essentially singular provider of programs and services, such as in education and health care to one where the public has many choices of public and private providers. Establish a policy stating that where the public goes, so does the government’s financial support. This change will create a competitive environment that focuses service providers’ attention more on quality of service and customer satisfaction.
Challenge all individuals who are responsible for either monitoring or delivering programs and services to strengthen their leadership, management, and innovative skills.
Celebrate and reward government department personnel as well as specific organizations and individuals who clearly contribute to the creation of this new culture.
It is firmly believed that by taking the above action, the government will create a new paradigm shift in how service providers approach budgets and deliver service.
Recently the Alberta Solicitor General’s Department started requiring anyone who wished to be employed as a Security Guard, Loss Prevention Officer, Body Guard, In-House Security Personnel, Dog Patroller, or Alarm Responder to complete its new Alberta Basic Security Training (ABST) course and then pass a new provincial exam. Although individuals who are already employed in this industry are not affected, all new personnel are required to complete this training and exam. There are some 10,000 people working in this field in Alberta.
|It has become clear to me that some of the media in this province seem to consider the new Premier a left-leaning Liberal or worse. In fact, they had me believing a lot of their rhetoric until I took the time to visit her website (AlisonRedford.ca). Although my personal interest is in one policy arena, I decided to read every section and every word on her site. What I learned really impressed me. She not only shared broad views and visions but went on to make specific policy statements such as:|
Of course, if this were all you received a report on, you would think that Alison Redford was only focused on social issues. However, if you went on to read the many other policy statements on her website, you would develop a different perception.
For example, she wants a citizen-centered government (customer focused – wow, that would be neat) that is much more transparent and accountable. She wants to reduce duplication and improve service efficiency (therefore reduce spending). To be more specific, she goes on to state that she wants to:
Move to outcome-based performance measures (great idea, let’s focus on results)
The new Premier is committed to the new pipeline to the west coast and to make business and job growth her highest priority. Of course it is a matter of perception but I believe she will be a leader that keeps an effective balance between our province’s social needs and our fiscal future. This doesn’t sound like a socialist to me.
Dr. J.T. (Tom) Snell
Prestigious International Accounting Body Recognizes Columbia College’s Business Management Program
Columbia College today announced that the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has completed a formal review of its Diploma in Business Management Program and granted it accreditation. This prestigious body was founded over 100 years ago under a Royal Charter in the United Kingdom. It is the largest and fastest-growing international accountancy body in the world with 424,000 students and 147,000 members in over 170 countries. It offers premium qualifications to people around the world who seek a rewarding career in accounting, finance and management. It works to achieve and promote the highest professional, ethical and governance standards and advance the public interest.
Calgary college performs above average in all key measures
Columbia College today announced the results of an important international study that looked at the degree students are engaged in their education. The Community College Survey of Student Engagement, conducted annually by the University of Texas includes most two year public and private colleges in the United States as well as a number of colleges in Canada. Columbia College performed above average on all five measures of student engagement. In addition, Columbia scored in the top ten per cent of colleges in North America in two critical areas of student engagement; they are academic challenge and active collaborative learning.
Columbia College is proud to recognize the Community Support Services Department (CSSD) for achieving the CET Level 2 Accreditation. This accreditation was presented during the CSSD Open House.
This program is for adults with developmental disabilities and enables all students to participate in the community in either work, volunteer, and/or recreational settings.
Manuel Rumbaoa, Service Coordinator for Columbia College Access program talks about what the program entails. The Access program is part of the Community Support Services Department which works with adults with developmental disabilities.
Also included in the video is some of our students talking about what they think about the program.