Conestoga investing in strategic growth and the future of our community
Conestoga College is making substantial investments in both personnel and facilities this year to address growing demand for career-ready graduates with the skills and knowledge to serve the workforce needs of local communities.
“Conestoga continues to experience substantial enrolment growth, particularly in terms of international students,” said President John Tibbits (right). “These strategic reinvestments will support continued excellence in teaching and learning, enhance the learning environment, contribute to student success and bolster our capacity in applied research to serve industry and community needs now and into the future.”
More than 14,000 full-time students, including over 4,000 international students from more than 80 countries, were enrolled at Conestoga in 2017-18. Projections for the new academic year indicate continued enrolment growth as the college is increasingly seen as a destination of choice for students from around the world.
Recruitment is now underway to fill some of the approximately 100 new full-time positions to be established this year across the college’s network of campuses in Kitchener, Cambridge, Waterloo, Guelph, Brantford and Ingersoll.
Plans include the establishment of 32 new full-time faculty positions, bringing the total number of full-time faculty hirings since 2012 to almost 140. Full-time faculty at Conestoga were responsible for approximately 70 per cent of all teaching contact hours in full-time programs in Fall 2017: that compares to 49 per cent across the Ontario college system as a whole.
In addition to bolstering the full-time faculty contingent, the college will also add approximately 70 new positions across a range of service and resource areas to support teaching and learning, contribute to student success and build essential capacity to serve the needs of students, industry partners and the community.
By 2019, Conestoga is expected to have more than 1,200 full-time employees focused on the delivery of quality programming and services across the college’s growing network of campuses. Continued expansion of programs and facilities is expected to provide even more full-time employment and job opportunities for the future.
“This is an exciting time in the history of Conestoga, as we look ahead to the continued expansion of programs and facilities that will provide more opportunities for students as well as additional full-time employment in the future,” President Tibbits continued.
Projects now underway include:
• Expansion of the Waterloo campus to be completed for Fall 2018. The 155,000 sq. ft. expansion, supported through the Government of Canada’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, will host state-of-the-art facilities for the School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts, provide enhanced capacity for the delivery of information and communications technology programming, and deliver a full range of services to support new Canadians and individuals in transition in their efforts to build successful futures.
• A new Applied Research Hub in the Gaslight District in Cambridge to be opened in 2018. The new facility, developed with support from the City of Cambridge, will deliver applied research solutions for smart manufacturing, cybersecurity and e-waste recycling. Co-located with business incubator Grand Innovations and the city’s Business Enterprise and Economic Development offices, the research hub will support innovation and industry competitiveness while providing real-world, experiential learning opportunities for students.
• Expansion of programming in Brantford beginning in Fall 2018 through the addition of new programs and facilities to serve the needs of students and the community.
• A new campus in Milton to be established in partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University. Announced in April 2018, the new campus will focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) programming, and provide up to 2,000 undergraduate spaces in five to 10 years. Program delivery is scheduled to begin in Fall 2019.
In addition to these projects, Conestoga will also invest in new equipment, upgraded classrooms and facility improvements across all campuses to enhance the teaching and learning experience and support student success.
Future developments include the construction of a new student centre at the Doon campus as well as significant renovations to the main building’s A-wing.
“The need for quality, career-focused education and training that prepares both individuals and businesses for success in a rapidly changing world has never been greater,” said President Tibbits. “The important reinvestments in the 2018-19 budget set Conestoga on the path to be a world-class leader in polytechnic education as we continue to build essential capacity to meet the needs of our dynamic community.”