Red Deer College poised to become Alberta’s newest polytechnic

Red Deer College is poised to become Alberta’s newest polytechnic, ensuring residents have access to a wide variety of learning options close to home now and in the future.

Becoming a polytechnic enables Red Deer College to better align programming with local student, business and industry needs – including high-quality degrees, apprenticeship education and diploma programs.

Alberta’s government worked in partnership with Red Deer College and student leaders to determine the most flexible and best-fit model for central Alberta, with a goal of ensuring students have access to the education they need and employers in the region have access to the talent they need.

“Ensuring all Albertans have access to opportunities to build their skills for in-demand local jobs empowers people to achieve success close to home, helps strengthen and grow communities, as well as attracting investment to the province,” said Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education.

Red Deer College and the students, faculty and staff on campus play a key role in the community and local economy. The college began operations in 1964, and since then has expanded its offerings to include more than 100 programs across a range of credentials. With strong connections to business, innovation, health care, non-profits and many other organizations, Red Deer College and its students have an important role in the culture and vibrancy of the central Alberta region. The partnerships, work-integrated learning and collaboration already in place will continue to be enhanced through the polytechnic model.

“Red Deer city council, our community and our region remain dedicated to supporting Red Deer College, students and staff who work every day to ensure RDC remains a key competitive post-secondary institution,” said Tara Veer, mayor, City of Red Deer.

“We need to be a competitive contender in keeping and attracting new population to our city, and one of the most promising means of doing so is through the development of a skilled labour force, offering a broader spectrum of career options locally, and attracting a population who will stay and strengthen our local economy through their future contributions in various sectors.”

Red Deer is Alberta’s third largest city and a key social and economic hub for central Alberta. By shifting Red Deer College to a polytechnic and supporting expanded programming to include new degree and apprenticeship opportunities, we are ensuring students have the skills they need to build rewarding careers and employers have the talented workforce they need to grow the economy.

An official new name for the institution has not yet been chosen but is expected to be announced in the coming months. Alberta’s government will continue to work with Red Deer College to ensure a successful path to polytechnic status.