Sunday, April 26, 2009

Red River College surpasses U of W as Manitoba's second-largest campus: Free Press

RRC President Jeff Zabudsky. Photographed by Phil Hossack, Winnipeg Free Press.

The Winnipeg Free Press has some journalistic love for Red River College in today's paper.

Nick Martin's article, "Core Values: RRC keeps growing downtown while expanding programs," has some new anecdotes about Red River College:
  • RRC has surpassed the U of W in terms of being Manitoba's second-largest post-secondary institution, with over 10,000 full-time students.
  • RRC President Jeff Zabudsky views RRC as a downtown campus in the spirit of U of T and McGill.
  • The takeover of the Union Bank Tower by RRC isn't, as yet, "done;" apparently the college is still waiting for federal funding that would turn the tower into residences and a Culinary Arts school. Uh - hello - can we get a move on, people? I'm craving some inexpensive and tasty veal tar-tar...
When I graduated from Red River College's Creative Communications program (the program in which I now teach) over 15 years ago, there was still a somewhat snooty attitude about "college versus university," so it's great to see how the downtown campus and the college's "core values" have changed that mindset in a relatively short time.

Based on my own experience, the college environment's practical, hands-on approach to learning, tight connections to the outside job world, and instructors who continue to talk with and support students after they graduate, is what sets RRC apart. A vibrant, downtown campus community is the icing on the cake.

This is my sixth year as an instructor at Red River College's downtown campus; as I like to say: "I came with the new campus." It's interesting to remember that the CreComm class that year didn't want to come downtown - it was too dangerous, parking was too expensive, and there was nowhere to eat lunch. Believe it or not, that year's students started a petition to finish their education at the old campus, so they could avoid these "insurmountable obstacles."

What a difference six years makes.

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