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Four Ontario colleges sign agreement to work in collaboration


* This news release has been posted on behalf of Confederation College

(Thunder Bay, Nov. 5, 2012) – Confederation College signed a Memorandum of Understanding today creating a partnership with Northern College in Timmins, Collège Boréal in Sudbury and Fleming College located in Peterborough and City of Kawartha Lakes.  The agreement reinforces a collaborative approach to delivering programs in environmental and the natural resources fields.

The agreement enhances the scope of learning opportunities and supports to residents and communities of northern Ontario.  It paves the way for cooperative programming that is jointly delivered and designed to minimize the need for students to physically transfer colleges to graduate.

The four colleges are committed to developing collaborative opportunities and will share information such as best practices in teaching and learning, organizational sustainability and community engagement.  It also provides an opportunity to share curriculum, courses and programming tools.

“By combining our resources, we are able to provide a broader range of options for students pursuing a career in the environment and natural resources fields” said Confederation College President Jim Madder. “This collaborative approach enhances opportunities for students to further their education and prepare them for employment.”

Fleming College President, Tony Tilly was at Confederation College to sign the agreement.

“We are excited to bring to the partnership our strength in 25 environmental and natural resource sciences programs. At Fleming College, we are always looking for ways to break down barriers to learning. This new agreement advances our shared goal of ensuring the best, most progressive learning experience possible for students from across Ontario” said Tilly.

The Presidents from Northern College and Collège Boréal participated in today’s signing via video.

“One of the hallmarks of Northern College is our commitment to collaboration with other institutions,” said Fred Gibbons, President of Northern College. “We truly espouse the ideals of ongoing partnerships and look forward to finding new ways to better serve our students and our communities.”

President Denis Hubert-Dutrisac of, Collège Boréal agreed. “This collaboration provides Collège Boréal with a unique opportunity to share its expertise in high technology and applied research in the field of environment. Benefiting from the vast knowledge shared by all partners in the project, Collège Boréal reiterates the values of such collaboration between colleges as stated in its Strategic Mandate Agreement tabled last September with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities” said Hubert-Dutrisac.

The Province of Ontario is in the process of reviewing ways in which postsecondary education is delivered with a focus on a collaborative approach designed to increase productivity. This agreement provides a venue to offer shared services with a mindset for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Minister Michael Gravelle shared his enthusiasm at the announcement. “I am absolutely thrilled that this agreement will provide expanded learning opportunities for northern Ontarians in the field of Natural Resources. As both the Minister of Natural Resources and a northern MPP, I know first-hand the many benefits and enormous potential Ontario’s mining and resource based industries bring to our province. This collaboration will enhance our already world class learning institutions and provide an unparalleled experience for students across the north” said Gravelle.

Bill Mauro, MPP, Thunder Bay – Atikokan expressed his congratulations to the four colleges for working together.  “Congratulations for proactively working to enhance learning opportunities for residents of northern Ontario” said Mauro. “Working in collaboration with other colleges will allow each learning institution to leverage the resources of the others and advance the interests of the student population to benefit us all.”

Natural resourced based industries are the foundation for much of the economy in northern Ontario.  Enhancing educational opportunities in this sector is crucial to support the anticipated job growth in the emerging mining and resource based industries that are experiencing significant retirements.  

Michael Nitz, Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Board Chair added “we have been working to strategically link students and employers to ensure our region benefits from our resource development. This announcement should prove a significant move forward in establishing partnerships to deliver on this opportunity.”

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For further information contact:

Kristen Oliver, Communications Assistant/Writer (807) 475-6485 or koliver3@confederationc.on.ca    or

Jennifer Schoffer, Marketing Supervisor (807) 475-6137 or jschoffe@confederationc.on.ca

 Confederation College has been serving the citizens of northwestern Ontario since 1967 meeting the educational needs of students in a catchment area of some 550,000 square kilometres. Along with its main campus in Thunder Bay, Confederation College has eight regional sites located in Dryden, Fort Frances, Geraldton, Kenora, Marathon, Sioux Lookout, Red Lake and Wawa. 

Confederation College delivers exceptional education and training to an average of 11,400 combined full and part time students per year and currently has a total of 600 full and part time employees.  Confederation’s regional economic impact and contribution is valued at $ 800 million annually.