New programs for new school year

Photo by Laura Metcalfe

Rebecca Milburn, associate vice president of academics.

Crowded city buses. Loud, busy hallways. These are the signs of a new school year at Durham College. The new school year brings along with it new programs.

This year, the college has introduced six of them: Advanced Filmmaking, Advertising-Digital Media Management, Finance-Business, Finance-Business Administration, Interactive Media Design, Investigative Journalism and Documentary Production.

The additions are rooted in employer needs. Rebecca Milburn, associate vice president of academics, says it’s part of the college’s five-year plan.

“We need to be looking at not only program delivery but also keeping our programs current with curriculum changes,” she says.

The needs of employers change with time so learning strategies need to as well, she says. For example, accounting programs have been in the college system for many years, but the software used has changed and evolved over the years.

She says graduate certificate or diplomas might also be recommended based on what employers in the community need in the future.

While employers collaborate with the college concerning new programs, there are also factors Durham College needs to consider.

“Internally might depend upon if we have the equipment in place.  So, for example, we aren’t going to launch a program where we have to go buy all this equipment, we have no place to put it,” explains Milburn. She says many factors need to be considered to know if or when a program can be launched.

It might take longer to implement the programs that require updated technology or equipment. The five-year plan helps the administration understand what tasks need to be completed for the launch of a program to be successful.

An important aspect of launching a program is also the marketing and recruiting. A program might have a name change to attract more students if enrolment goals are not met.

Some programs, including the Investigative Journalism and Documentary Production program, are not being taught this year due to low enrolment. This means changes to marketing and recruiting to attract current and potential students to the program.

New programs are given time to attract students, says Milburn, so even if enrolment is low the first year it means there is still an opportunity for growth.

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Laura is a second year journalism student at Durham College. She enjoys writing for campus, current affairs, and profile for The Chronicle. She loves to read and watch educational documentaries. Her work can be seen on Riot Radio. She hopes to work for CP24.