Changes planned to make Humber a global leader

by | Mar 21, 2018 | Campus News, News

Corrine Johnston, the Director of Strategic Planning and Institutional Analysis, stands with Humber President Chris Whitaker during the town hall. Work-integrated and experiential learning were topics of discussion. (Caitlyn Clancey)

Caitlyn Clancey

News Reporter

Corrine Johnston envisions Humber College becoming a leader among the world’s polytechnic institutions in its pursuit of high quality education.

The director of Strategic Planning and Institutional Analysis hosted a town hall Wednesday to outline proposed strategic plans which includes a global reach for students.

She said the 2018-2023 draft strategic plan, which has been in development for a year, includes four main themes: career-focused graduates, flexible education, health and inclusive community and an innovative and quality campus.

“Humber’s new vision is to transform post-secondary education as a leading global polytechnic institution,” she said. “Its mission is to engage with industry and community to develop global citizens with the knowledge and skills to lead and innovate.”

Johnston said the plan is to transform education with meaningful work-integrated learning and experiential learning for all students.

“We want to bring work-integrated learning to a whole new level,” Johnston said. “We really need to think more broadly in terms of interdisciplinary, international, virtual, mobile – all of these kinds of opportunities to expand work experience for our students.

“Our faculty aren’t able to be everything to everyone,” she said. “We need to have a balance between industry teaching, applied research and partnership experience. We’re not going to find that in one individual.”

In order to prepare students for innovation, the plan suggests integrating applied research training and opportunities into the curriculum of all degree programs, as well as developing industry partnerships that will benefit both the students and those industries, Johnston said.

Flexible education requires using technology to allow students the freedom to be able to study in ways that best suit them, she said. This requires offering choices in how, what, when and where they learn, enhancing mobility among students, Johnston said, .

As part of creating a healthy and inclusive community, she proposed Humber adopt the 2015 Okanagan Charter, which calls for post-secondary schools to embed health strategies and approaches for student health and wellbeing in all aspects of school culture on local and global levels. Johnston also said this would include identifying at-risk students and intervening early.

“Health is all of our responsibility,” she said. “And health means everything that we do in our lives, including the environment that we work in, we go to school in and we play in.”

Humber also plans to lead the province in the development of sustainable campuses and will seek to achieve this by developing a new sustainability plan, Johnston said.

The final strategic element to the plan is to create an innovative and quality campus focusing on engaging in continuous improvement of both academic and administrative processes and programs, she said.

College President Chris Whitaker said the plan is still a work in progress and encouraged those who attended the meeting to offer their input in order to strengthen the prospective strategies and shape Humber’s future.

“If we don’t get people excited, if people can’t see themselves in the strategic plan and feel that they have input then it’s much harder for people to be engaged in delivering on the results of that plan,” he said.

The next step for the strategic plan will be presenting to the Board of Governors between March and May and implementing a post-approval communication plan in September.