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March 27, 2002 12:59 PM

Applied Degrees: A Major Step Forward for Conestoga, Region

Conestoga College has earned the right to be among the first community colleges in Ontario to offer full, four-year applied degree programs.

Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Dianne Cunningham made the announcement today in Oakville, as the result of recommendations from the Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board (PEQAB). PEQAB had earlier informed the Minister that Conestoga had met all criteria necessary to institute two Bachelor of Applied Technology programs beginning in the fall of 2003.

“This is wonderful news for our region,” says College President John Tibbits. “Applied degrees clearly set
Conestoga apart as a quality institution, committed to excellence and achievement for the benefit of our students and community.”

Bachelor of Applied Technology - Integrated Advanced Manufacturing Technologies will focus on high-end
engineering skills related to an advanced manufacturing setting, combined with skills in business management.
Among the key curriculum areas are product design, process design and control, information technology, operations management, environment/health and safety, business management and entrepreneurship, and complementary studies (including liberal arts).

Bachelor of Applied Technology - Integrated Telecommunication and Computer Technologies will focus on
telecommunications-based engineering, combined with business management skills. Major areas of study are digital and computer systems, telecommunications, integrated networks, manufacturing technology, applied mathematics, business management and entrepreneurship, and complementary studies.

Both are full-time, four-year programs to be offered at the Doon campus in Kitchener, and both will have a strong component of co-op education. Initial enrolment in each program is expected to be 30, growing to 120 in each by the time the first group of students reaches the fourth year of study.

President Tibbits comments, “Applied degree programs open up opportunities for young people to stay in the community, gain valuable co-op work experience, earn internationally recognized educational credentials, consider postgraduate studies, and grow with the companies that employ them or the companies they start.”

The approved programs are in clear response to the identified needs of industry, which has worked with Conestoga throughout the proposal-development process.

President Tibbits says, “Our educational and industrial partners have been a tremendous asset in this effort.
Conestoga is fortunate to be a vital part of an area so committed to industrial growth and innovation on a global scale. Working together, we want to see the College establish a reputation for higher education that is recognized and appreciated on a worldwide scale. In this way, Conestoga can continue to be an integral part of the economic progress and development of our community, province and nation.”

He adds that Conestoga intends to develop more applied degree programs in the future, as well as pursue the goal of becoming a polytechnic institute.

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