A couple of weeks ago I was invited to attend the MacEwan President’s Reception held at the Robbins Health Learning Centre. Hosted by retiring president Dr. Paul Byrne, the event was an opportunity for the roughly 50 people in attendance to get an update on what the university has been up to. One of the things that Dr. Byrne was very excited to talk about was MacEwan’s positive showing in The Globe and Mail’s Canadian University Report. We were reminded that John Day became Chair of MacEwan’s Board of Governors in July, and Dr. Byrne shared some of the achievements from the last year. Aside from that, the evening had three main areas of focus – new programs, the Bachelor of Music, and the Single Sustainable Campus Project.
One of MacEwan’s newest degrees is the Bachelor of Communication Studies (BCS):
“The BCS prepares graduates for strategic roles in business, traditional and new media, not-for-profit and public sector organizations. Graduates of the BCS program will have a variety of career opportunities to choose from, including communications advisor, consultant, producer, writer, editor, journalist, reporter, or commentator.”
The BCS starts in September 2011 along with a new Accounting major in the Bachelor of Commerce program, and a new Arts and Cultural Management diploma. New programs have been a major area of focus for MacEwan lately, as evidenced by the broad array of “We have a [program] for that.” advertisements that have appeared around the city. They now offer around 70 programs.
Another new program is the Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Contemporary Popular Music, one of the few music programs in Canada to focus on jazz and contemporary music. When the full program is up and running, it will have 350 students. MacEwan will continue to offer its Music Diploma program as well. Music students from the school kept us entertained throughout the evening!
Though officials in attendance didn’t spend much time talking about it, the Single Sustainable Campus Project was definitely a focus, with information displays and a looping video available for everyone to look at. This video is a great introduction to and overview of the project:
The project will occur in three phases over the course of 20 years. The Centre for the Arts and Communications, currently located in the west end, will move downtown first, to a new home at the corner of 112 Street and 104 Avenue. The programs at South Campus will move next, followed by Alberta College Campus programs. One of the driving forces behind the project is enrollment. MacEwan currently has around 32,000 students, and that number is expected to grow significantly over the next decade. Sustainability, student satisfaction, and the LRT expansion are some of the other key factors. MacEwan received a $1 million Knowledge and Infrastructure Program (KIP) grant last year to kickstart the project, and is continuing to explore logistics and additional funding opportunities.
Grant MacEwan University is an important part of Edmonton’s strong slate of education options, so it’s great to see the school growing and succeeding. You can follow MacEwan on Twitter and on Facebook.