Experiential learning, hands-on training, and apprenticeship are foundational elements of many of the programs offered at Okanagan College. On campus, the needs of students and industry intersect, resulting in a synergistic partnership.
“We listen to the needs of the region and respond through tangible, applied learning,” says Okanagan College President, Dr. Neil Fassina. “That close connection to the community and industry ensures our programs stay relevant and graduates are ready to meet the skill gaps of today, tomorrow, and years down the road.”
Okanagan College, which has fostered talent in the region since 1963, is the second-largest trades training institute in BC, with four campuses in the province. Graduates are primed for careers in the Central Okanagan thanks to training in areas like engineering, science, viticulture, wine studies, animation, aerospace and commercial aviation.
Applied learning and apprenticeship opportunities with more than 1,300 co-op employers help, too. The college is even encouraging future generations of students through Camp OC, where kids can take part in STEAM-oriented camps.
In 2023, thanks to funding from the Royal Bank of Canada and Accelerate Okanagan, the School of Business plans to launch its new Experiential Entrepreneurship program pending ministry approval, allowing students to not only imagine their business but set it up as well.
The School of Business faculty are also conducting applied research in areas like rural and social entrepreneurship, as well as in the non-profit sector through the Centre for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Research.
“We are incredibly heartened to see Okanagan College’s mission come to life—and while it may start in the classroom, lab or shop, it certainly doesn’t end there,” Fassina says.