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October 29, 2008 9:17 AM

World-Class Recognition for Conestoga Program

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The International Facility Management Association Foundation, which oversees the degree program recognition process for the organization, has just named one of Conestoga's four-year degree programs, Architecture - Project and Facility Management, as one of only 13 IFMA-recognized programs in the world, and the only one in Canada.

This recognition places Conestoga alongside institutions such as Brigham Young University, Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Pratt Institute, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hanze University (Netherlands) and Leeds Metropolitan University.

The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) is based in Houston, Texas, has 19,500 members in 125 chapters and councils in 65 countries, and performs vital tasks in the facilities management field: certifying managers, conducting research, presenting professional development opportunities and conferences, and officially recognizing IFMA-approved degree programs.

The announcement was made before a special assembly at Conestogas Doon campus in Kitchener, involving program students and faculty, a number of graduates and College representatives. IFMA President David Brady and Director of Academic Affairs Charlie Claar presented the official recognition certificate to Conestoga President John Tibbits.

President Brady indicated that graduates of the Conestoga program now will be able to write their Certified Facility Manager professional examinations one year earlier than graduates of non-recognized programs. Conestoga also receives mention and endorsement for the program on the IFMA website and in the organizations publications.

IFMA at this time recognizes the need for an additional 10,000 new facility management professionals annually, Brady said. He indicated that the IFMAs phenomenal growth - it began in 1980 with only eleven members - demonstrates the growing worldwide importance of the area, as we develop an increasingly sophisticated and technologically advanced built environment.

In accepting the recognition, President Tibbits stated, Conestoga believes in finding new and better ways to serve our community and meet our mandate as an outstanding, comprehensive polytechnic institute. This recognition is a great honour for our students and faculty. We see it as evidence that we are relevant and excellent in our delivery of degree programs.

He added that as a result of the IFMA recognition, post-secondary institutions in England and the Netherlands are approaching Conestoga about possible co-op opportunities, exchange programs and articulation arrangements for further studies.

Architecture - Project and Facility Management began in 2003, as one of Conestoga's first three four-year degree programs. It leads to a Bachelor of Applied Technology, and the second graduating class will be honoured at Conestoga's fall Convocation ceremonies on November 1.

Contact: Julia Biedermann, 519-748-5220, ext. 3212, jbiedermann@conestogac.on.ca.

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