Why RRC is adding the word 'polytechnic' to its name

Source: Jamie Dowsett/CTV News

Red River College, Manitoba’s largest college, is embracing a new identity and adding the world ‘polytechnic’ to its name.

Red River College Polytechnic, or RRC Polytech, made the announcement on Tuesday, saying the school will expand in areas that are the pillars of a polytechnic education –applied research and work-integrated learning.

Fred Meier, president and CEO of RRC Polytech, said they are making this change for a couple of reasons, including to emphasize what the school is and what its strengths are.

“We’re very successful at getting our graduates into the labour market,” he said.

“We work for very closely with business and industry, not-for-profit industries as well, to get graduates ready for their careers.”

He said the change is also about the college’s future, and where it’s headed.

“We need to be nimble and agile and have an ability to respond to where the labour market is going,” Meier said.

RRC Polytech explained that the polytechnic model allows the school to build on its foundation as a post-secondary institute and expand its current offering.

For students, this education model means more choices, flexible options and opportunities to gain skills, according to the college. For staff and industry partners, it means developing a workforce that meets current and future needs, as well as more partnerships and applied research collaborations.

“Polytechnic is a term that’s used around the globe to identify institutions just like RRC Polytech,” Meier said.

“Ones that are focused very much on meeting the labour market demands.”

Meier added that polytechnics use “deep theoretical learning in addition to applied learning to get people ready for the labour market.”

RRC Polytech noted that its new direction was influenced by stakeholders and community partners, who participated in the creation of a five-year strategic plan.

This plan provides a roadmap for how the school’s commitments will position RRC Polytechnic to respond to what Manitoba needs. The college’s commitments include transforming learning models to meet emerging needs; committing to truth and reconciliation; pursuing diversity and inclusion; strengthening its partnerships.

RRC Polytech said these commitments help it to meet the needs of industries, employers and communities, build collaborations, and deconstruct colonial and biased assumptions.