Collaboration and partnering are important components to personal and professional success. A clear testament to this success is the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) and its insight and fortitude to partner with industry. In this post, we explore how NBCC partnered with the insurance industry, resulting in a unique and one-of-a-kind program offered in only one Canadian province — New Brunswick.
NBCC has more than 90 programs and six campuses across New Brunswick. It is renowned for its skilled and knowledgeable graduates who are contributing to the Province’s socio-economic prosperity. NBCC offers students one and two-year certificate and diploma programs covering 18 sectors including Business Administration: Insurance and Risk Management.
1. Industry Focused
“We maintain close ties with industry to ensure that we are training to meet the labour market needs.” stated Jeff Dempsey, Dean of Business, Information Technology and Hospitality. “Opportunities for applied learning are at the forefront of NBCC programming. Ninety percent of our programs contain an applied learning aspect through co-op, internships and industry practicum placements.”
2. Create Lasting and Valued Partnerships
As a result of this commitment to include industry input and consultation to enhance the student experience, 87% of their graduates are employed upon graduation.
3. Be Flexible
“Since beginning the transition to a Crown Corporation in 2010, NBCC has experienced a significant period of evolution and growth.” notes Dempsey. “In 2011 and 2012, over 1000 New Brunswickers in six regions contributed to the College’s vision and strategic plan, Imagine the Possibilities. This plan is driven by our vision of transforming lives and communities and is based on NBCC’s four commitments: to our learners, to our communities, to our people and to our stakeholders.”
4. Business Cases Drive Decisions
NBCC has a robust academic decision-making model and one of the outcomes of this model is new program ideas. In order to make a new program recommendation it must be supported by industry demand and a labour market need. NBCC is constantly collecting and analyzing data in order to support the model and allow the most well-informed decisions to be made. This data can come from surveys, labour market studies, skill requirements analysis, industry interviews and consultation, literature reviews, post-secondary education program reviews and internal NBCC consultation.
“In the case of our new Business Administration: Insurance and Risk Management program, this need was first established by an independent study of the economic impact and future growth of New Brunswick’s insurance sector.” says Dempsey. “This study forecasted strong sector and job growth and recommended initiatives to further the growth of the insurance industry in New Brunswick; one of these initiatives was the development of a Community College diploma program. NBCC responded by first confirming the need and interest from industry. Once this was confirmed the next steps were to reach out to the Insurance institute of Canada to help develop industry relevant curriculum, reach out to members of the insurance industry to act in an advisory capacity, and making resources available for the delivery of the program. We are fortunate to be under the advisement of the Co-operators, Wawanesa, TD Insurance, and Intact. We will be looking to expand our advisory group as the program matures.”
5. Really Embrace Collaboration
“Every year each of our 90 programs is reviewed with industry stakeholders to ensure that our training is meeting the needs of the labour market,” Dempsey says. “Most recently as part of this process we have begun implementing Regional Advisory Committees of local stakeholders so we can identify training needs and opportunities in our campus communities. In 2013-14, 149 industry partners were invited to participate in our academic program review to ensure we provide quality relevant programming.”
6. Focus on People
NBCC’s first commitment is to learners and to inspiring learners to make a difference. For a learner this might mean a difference in her or his own life or the lives of their families – NBCC two-year diploma completers earn $ 420,000 more over the course of their careers than those with a high school diploma. Or it could mean transforming New Brunswick communities. NBCC students, graduates and operations contribute more than $1.1 billion to the provincial economy every year.
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