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Engaging with Students: NVIT President hosts Student Forums at the Merritt and Vancouver campuses

December 23, 2014

One of the most enjoyable aspects of being president of a post-secondary institution is the opportunity to engage with students to determine how we can make NVIT better. One of the best ways to do that is to host student forums in both the fall and spring semesters. The following are the notes and questions that were discussed in the student forums in the fall 2014.

NVITMerritt Forum Notes

President’s Student Forum – November 12th, 2014

Ken started with the Capital Projects presentation and also spoke about STSC 101. STSC 101 is a pilot program implemented to increase student success. NVIT is learning from the experience of the pilot year and will work to offer the course in the best way for students in the future.

Questions and comments from students:

1. Re: Merritt Learning Commons – why not wait until April to start construction to alleviate the disruption to students?
The budget requires that a portion of the funds be spent before the end of this fiscal year.

2. Re: Internet and Wi-Fi – access is poor especially after 3pm. Specific dead or slow zones include: the Lecture Theatre, cafeteria and the back of the library. The computers in labs are slow.
The slow internet is due to a PLNet issue and all PLNet users are affected. NVIT is working to increase our bandwidth by 10x by early next year. The new learning commons will need WAPs (wireless access points). IT is also working to develop a plan to deal with required IP addresses for all of the wireless devices on campus.

3. SOCW Culture Camp – students have recently been advised that Culture Camp has been cancelled due to funding issues. One of the main reasons one student chose SOCW at NVIT is the Culture Camp.
Ken advised that he would follow up with the Dean and DH immediately as it was his understanding that the Culture Camp would be offered every second year for 3rd and 4th year students combined. Students were not aware of this.

What about 4th year students that didn’t go last year – it’s not being offered this year?
Ken will seek clarification and will ask the Dean to communicate with the Department of Social Work and students.

4. Student Society Survey – the student society held a small survey and one of the issues that came up was moving the smoker’s gazebo farther away from the daycare – is this a possibility?
Ken asked whether the students had a suggestion on where we would move the gazebo to. It’s a possibility as we will be commencing construction of the trades building in the New Year.

5. Study time for midterms and finals – Can we arrange for the building to stay open later/longer during the week(s) leading up to midterms and finals so students can study on campus without interruption?
NVIT will definitely implement extended hours during these critical study times. Students need to discuss with Kylie their request for longer hours in the library.

6. Cold classrooms – APN and SOCW students commented on how cold their classrooms are.
Ken advised students of the shortcomings of the heating/cooling system at NVIT. Ken will have Facilities increase the base temperature of the building to try to bring the temperature of the rooms to a more comfortable level.
Can coil fan switches be put in every classroom?
Ken will explore whether this is an option.
7. Kylie shared the idea of Informed Dining and asked if students would be interested and they are.

8. Kylie asked students to share their thoughts on the cafeteria. Students mentioned they miss bannock bites on Fridays, would like to see omelets as a breakfast option, too much greasy food, and they feel that food quality has gone down a bit on some items.

Kudos to the breakfast program!!! Can we get extra-large cups in the Success Centre?

9. Kylie has received feedback that students don’t know where to find her office. A sign will be posted soon to make Kylie easier to find.

10. Non-smoking pavilion – is it possible to have a dedicated outdoor shaded space for non-smokers to study?
NVIT has been discussing the planted roof above the library and changing that into a gathering space with picnic tables.

11. STSC – transfer students should not be forced to take STSC 101 if they don’t need it. A long time NVIT student feels she should not have had to take the course. A transfer student from TRU stated that although she didn’t really want to take STSC 101, she is now glad she did and is grateful that the credits will go towards her degree. She stated that she wished TRU offered the course her first year there.
Kylie and John will be reviewing delivery options and will poll instructors and students to determine the best methods moving forward. Ken reminded students that this is a pilot year, only new NVIT students will be required to take the course in upcoming years. EdCo passed the course and its requirements on a recommendation from the Strategic Enrolment Management Committee.

12. Kurtis Pearson, President of Student Society, shared information about the Student Health and Dental Plan that will be implemented for January. Kurtis will distribute information regarding the plan and the opt out/in options in the upcoming weeks.
A student asked about programs that have registered for their whole program already (block registered – APN, PPTF etc.), how will they be assessed fees if they choose to opt in?
NVIT will have to determine how to bill these students.

13. Trades programs – will NVIT continue to offer only Trades Foundations programs?
Yes. Although NVIT is also looking at a new ITA program for Skilled General Labourer, First Year Carpentry and Level C Welding.
14. 15/SP Registration – when will registration open?
NVIT is hoping to have registration open by Nov 24th. The holdup is the implementation of the Health and Dental Plan.

15. Will NVIT offer a Bachelor Degree of Psychology?
A Bachelor of Arts Degree is on the radar.
Can students take 3rd and 4th year PSYC courses offered as part of the CHAD program?
Yes, if they meet the prerequisites or instructor permission.

16. Commendations for the great support from the APN program coordinator and the program faculty.

17. Kylie discussed SEM with a few students who put their names forward. Rae will send meeting requests to the students.

There were 17 students in attendance.

NVITVancouver Forum Notes

President’s Student Forum (NVIT-Vancouver) – November 18th, 2014

• Ken started with the Capital Projects presentation and shared some of the relevant comments from the Merritt Student Forum including questions about Culture Camp. Ken advised that clarification about Culture Camp with be available ASAP.
• Ken introduced Stephanie to speak about the Quest program, which allows students to purchase food at discounted rated at 4 lower mainland locations. NVIT has signed a partnership agreement with Quest and referral forms are available from Stephanie.
• Stephanie also mentioned that Student Society Emergency Aid applications are available and the deadline to submit is Friday, Nov 21st.
Questions and comments from students:

18. Re: Clarification of Student Society Emergency Aid – is $2000 available to each student and when is the money disbursed?
Students were advised the $2000 is shared between the applicants based on need. Once applications are submitted an adjudication committee will review the applications and determine amounts. Disbursements will be made by Dec 5th.

19. Re: Parking rates – Parking is expensive, are cheaper rates available?
The rate is set by BCIT and is the same at the Cari building as it is for BCIT students.

20. Re: Can we have catered meals every Friday for students and family?
NVIT provides the breakfast program through the Success Centre. Might be something Student Society would be interested in, encouraged student to talk to one of the society representatives.

21. Re: Is there a chance NVIT can subsidize a semester parking pass?
Referred student to Student Society and advised that U-PASS was implemented to meet the transit needs of students.

22. Re: Student Health and Dental
Student Society is developing information sheets and will distribute ASAP. Suggestion to check Camosun College Student Society info as it is the exact same plan. The NVIT Plan is an “opt-out” set up.

23. Re: Can NVIT provide Daycare at NVIT-V?
NVIT has explored this in the past, but space constraints make it difficult.

24. Re: Student Society – Crystal Howard introduced herself as a representative and spoke about Student Society. She invited students to get involved and to share ideas with representatives.

25. Re: Where is the Success Centre and where can students obtain disability services?
The Success Centre is run by Emily in the Library. The Learning Commons upgrade is meant to improve the functionality of the Success Centre.
Disability Services are available, please see Stephanie or any academic planner for assistance.
A counsellor is available on campus every Monday, appointments can be booked through Brenda.
A student commented that it takes too long to get an appointment.
Students were advised that referrals to Hey-Way-Noqu are also an option as well as the Elders. Make sure you ask for help.

26. Re: CHAD Faculty – A CHAD faculty member recently commented that they had been hired “at the last minute”.
An overview of base funding and soft funding was provided. Sometimes programs and hiring decisions are made at the last minute because they are dependent on the confirmation of soft funding.

27. Re: Student Headcount – what is the headcounts by campus?
Approximately 150 students @ NVIT-V and 500 students @ NVIT Merritt.

28. Re: Online PSYC Class – students have trouble accessing the course and the instructor has to refresh content often due to hardware/software?
Students were advised to make sure Brian and Diane know of any IT issues they may encounter (hardware or software).

29. Re: BCIT gym access – is it possible to have a couple pieces of cardio equipment somewhere on campus?
This is definitely something NVIT can look at. Space might be an issue, but we can look at it.

30. Re: Video-conference lag time
This is due to the bandwidth issue at the Merritt campus and is a top priority for the IT department.

31. Re: Thank you. A current NVIT (former UBC) student thanked Ken and Kylie for hosting a student forum. The student shared that he never had the opportunity to discuss issues with the president at UBC, in fact, he didn’t even know who the president was. The student also mentioned that he liked the small class sizes at NVIT.

32. Re: Entrepreneurial Studies – a student expressed interested in entrepreneurial pursuits.
Ken advised that NVIT has some expertise in this area and perhaps could arrange for a talk/seminar on this and similar topics.
There were 23 students in attendance.
I look forward to hosting the spring semester student forums in March. We anticipate rolling out a student satisfaction survey as part of the spring student forums. As always, students and staff are welcome to stop by and see me anytime. If I am not available, my assistant Pat can set up an appointment. All the best in 2015.

Until next time …..



Congratulations 2014 Graduates!!

May 30, 2014

Students, Elders, Chiefs, Honoured Guests and ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome to the 30th annual NVIT graduation ceremonies.
I would like to recognize the Chiefs of our five founding bands.
Chief Harvey McLeod – Upper Nicola Indian band
Chief Aaron Sam – Lower Nicola Indian Band
Grand Chief Percy Joe – Shackan Indian Band
Chief Joyce Sam – Nooaitch Indian band
Chief Lee Spahan – Coldwater Indian Band.

I would also like to recognize the past Chiefs and those involved in the creation of NVIT in 1983. That vision 30 years ago is still the driving force of NVIT’s success. Their goal of increasing the number of Aboriginal students graduating from post-secondary studies remains a goal today. And this year, I am pleased to announce that we have the largest number of graduates in the history of NVIT crossing the stage today with 110 graduates.

Graduates, I also bring greetings from the Lieutenant Governor, Nicola Valley Resident, Judith Guichon, as well as MLA for Fraser Nicola Jackie Tegart. Both who send their heartfelt congratulations to all of graduates today.
For those of you who aren’t aware, NVIT has students from approximately 2/3rds of BC’s First Nations Bands. At our campus in Merritt, approximately 70% of our students come from outside of the Nicola Valley.

However, at this year’s graduation, we are excited to welcome NVIT students who completed their studies outside of our Merritt campus. We have office admin students from Greenville, up in the Nass Valley. We have a bridging to Trades student from Lillooet, We have students from Val D ’or Quebec who have studied Aboriginal Community Economic Development, we have a student from the Enowkin center in Penticton who completed Early Childhood Education, we have students from Seabird Island who completed either Early Childhood Education or Office Administration, we have one student who completed their advanced diploma in Chemical Addictions, and lastly, we have students who completed Health Care Assistant in Kamloops. And of course we have the rest of you who joined us at the NVIT campus in Merritt. Welcome and congratulations to all of you.
For this year’s graduation speech, I decided to mix it up and instead present the top 10 inspirational grad quotes of all time.

#10 – Keep Calm and Just Graduate
#9 – The journey doesn’t start at the beginning, it begins at the end.
#8 – If you can imagine it, you can achieve it, if you can dream it, you can become it.
#7 – We don’t stop going to school when we graduate
#6 – Shoot for the moon, even if you miss it you will land among the stars
#5 – If you are making mistakes, it means you are out there doing something
#4 – Life is far too important to be taken seriously
#3 – You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
#2 – Be who you are, say what you feel, those who mind, don’t matter, and those who matter, don’t mind.
#1 – And finally, the number one graduation quote is……
Thank you to Google, Wikipedia, and whomever invented copy and paste

Graduates, on behalf of all of us at NVIT, Congratulations. You are and forever will be part of the NVIT family. We are very proud of your accomplishments and thank you for allowing us to share your success.

Thanks you.


2014 Graduation Class Merritt

2014 Merritt Graduation Class


2014 Vancouver Grad Class

2014 Vancouver Graduation Class

Welcome to 2014

January 22, 2014

We are now in the second half of NVIT’s 30th anniversary! I must admit, it has been a fantastic opportunity to recognize the many partners that have played a role in NVIT’s success. From our five founding bands, to the local school district, to government ministries, and our corporate partners, these organizations have played a key role in the development of BC’s Aboriginal Public Post-Secondary Institute.

2014 promises to be an exciting year at NVIT. NVIT’s first foray into foundation trades commences February 3 with the Pre- Electrician Apprenticeship program. The applicant response to this new program has been overwhelming – more applicants than available seats. We look forward to welcoming NVIT’s newest students to the NVIT family. Other new programs being considered for 2014 include: Access to Practical Nursing, the Law Enforcement RCMP Aboriginal Cadet Training, and Aboriginal Leadership and Governance. All four of these new programs promise to offer students a unique learning experience while preparing them for future employment.

Although the new programming initiatives are exciting, NVIT is facing considerable budget challenges. Even though our student numbers meet Government requirements, NVIT will not receive additional base funding; in fact, we are facing the possibility of a funding reduction next year. With NVIT’s annual mandatory cost increases of approximately $250,000, it becomes more and more challenging to deliver the same amount of programs and services with less funding. NVIT’s Leadership Team is working hard to achieve a balanced budget and will inevitably be faced with some difficult decisions in the days ahead.

On a personal note, I am pleased to share that the NVIT Board of Governors offered, and I accepted, a new five year appointment to continue as President of NVIT. It is truly an honour to work with NVIT’s Elders Council, Board of Governors, Leadership Team, Faculty and Support Staff. The commitment of these individuals toward the success of our learners and communities makes NVIT such a special place to be part of.
Until next time …….



NVIT Celebrates 30 Years

October 30, 2013

I extend a warm welcome to all new and returning students and employees to the 2013/14 Academic Year.

It is an exciting year for NVIT as we celebrate our 30th anniversary. In preparation for this milestone, a committee of NVIT stakeholders formed to determine how best to celebrate our 30th anniversary. Their decision was not to have a one-time event, but rather celebrate throughout the Academic Year. The theme of the celebration being to recognize our community partners who have played such an important role in the development and success of NVIT and its learners.

The 30th anniversary kicked off on September 1st with a new branding campaign. Everything NVIT now includes the 30th anniversary branding including our billboard, letterhead, campus décor, and clothing. On September 11th, NVIT celebrated our 3rd annual community celebration day. NVIT opened its doors to the community, and welcomed our students and staff from our Burnaby campus. As part of the ceremony, we had the opportunity to recognize a number of our partners including:

Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO) 

President Ken Tourand with Cando President Paul Donald

BC Aboriginal Mining and Training Association (BCAMTA)
BCAMTA Representative Laurie Davis

Johnson controls
Tim Walden and Ray Amos from Johnson Controls

School District 58
School District 58 representatives Bob Peacock, Kevin Black and Steve McNiven 
Mercer HR Consulting
Mercer representative Fatima Di Biase

Langara College
Clayton Munro from Langara College

 Helew’u’ Daycare Society
Helew’u’ Daycare Society Chairperson Denyse Oswald-Finch

Corporate Classic Caters
Corporate Classic Caters representative was our very own Maxine

NVIT will continue to recognize our community partners at various events throughout the year, and will wrap up at our 2014 graduation ceremony.

On Wednesday September 25th and Saturday September 28th, NVIT celebrated our students by awarding more than $65,000 in cash and gifts during our annual awards ceremonies held at both our Burnaby and Merritt campuses. . During the ceremonies, we also recognized award donors who have supported our students as part of our 30th anniversary celebrations.

Looking forward to the coming year, we have a number of exciting new initiatives. NVIT will be exploring new program offerings in access to practical nursing, Aboriginal leadership and governance, and in partnership with the RCMP, a new Aboriginal Cadet Development Program.

In closing, I sincerely acknowledge the efforts and achievements of NVIT’s faculty, staff, Elders Council, and administration who consistently work hard on behalf of our students. NVIT would not have enjoyed the success of the last 30 years without your perseverance and commitment.

Until next time…


2012/13 NVIT Results Summary

July 8, 2013

Each year the Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology requires institutions to submit an institutional accountability plan and report. As part of the annual submission, NVIT reports on each of our goals in our strategic plan, and the results that we have accomplished over the last year that assist in achieving those goals.

I am pleased to present our results summary as the summer edition to the NVIT president’s blog.

A. Student-Centered

Goal 1: Satisfied and Engaged Students.Student Centered

Strategy: Create an environment where students are actively engaged in, and satisfied with learning, campus life and governance.

– Promote student engagement and ensure student voice is heard;
–  Explore how existing facilities can be more student friendly;
–  Improve and enhance student support services;
–  Explore additional ways to celebrate our student’s success.

–  Student Outcomes Survey Results show NVIT students have a high level of satisfaction with their educational experience;
–  The Student Satisfaction Survey is conducted in alternate years (scheduled for 2013);
–  Student involvement in Education Council, Board of Governors and committees continues;
–  Course evaluation aggregate results are reviewed and compared by Deans and Vice-President Academic;
–  Held four (4) students forums (two at each campus);
–  Explored library learning commons concept and design with all NVIT stakeholders;
–  Annual Successful Start-Up and Student Orientation activities;
–  Leadership Team conducted in-class visits;
–  Renewed vision for Student Success Centre;
–  Various community-building events hosted at both campuses (drum-making, pot lucks etc.).

Goal 2: Policies and Practices Conducive to a Student-Centered Learning Environment.

Strategy: Create policies and practices that are conducive to a student centered experience.

–  Review existing policies, identify gaps, and design new policies;
–  Create a collective understanding of what student centered means to NVIT;
–  Create a Student Centered culture throughout the institute.

–  A policy review was initiated and completed in 2013;
–  A successful Speaker Series was completed in 2012/13 with themes tied to NVIT’s strategic direction of being student-centered (Dr. Wanda Wuttunee, Clarence Louie, Dr. Richard Wagamese, George Karaphillis, Dr. Jo Ann Archibald, Dr. David Natcher);
–  Exploring various student-centred policies (deferred grades, attendance etc.);
–  Implemented Five-Year cycle of Program Reviews, beginning with Administrative Studies and Justice Studies;
–  Student forums specific to Strategic Enrolment Management initiatives and Portal usability.

Goal 3: Dedicated Employees that Enhance a Student-Centered Learning Environment.

Strategy: Recruit and retain employees with a commitment to a student-centered learning environment.

–  Refine hiring practices to reflect dedication to Student Centered Learning;
–  Articulate and communicate expectations to current employees;
–  Train, support and acknowledge employees who exemplify a student-centered philosophy.

–  Course evaluation aggregate results show continuous improvement and increasing satisfaction in student assessment of courses and instructors;
–  Employee hiring practices focus on Student Centered employees;
–  An orientation package for new employees (including sessional instructors) with a focus on Student Centered approaches is under development;
–  Plans are underway for Professional Development activities to be shared with the NVIT community;
–  Creation of a new Strategic Enrolment Management Committee with membership representative of student, faculty, staff and Elders.

Goal 4: Clear Academic and Career Pathways Tailored for Each Student.

Create an infrastructure that supports student academic career pathways.

–  Work with external agencies to support students through an on-campus presence;
–  Examine feasibility of a student employment centre;
–  Ensure high quality academic planning delivered in a relevant mode for students.

–  Through NVIT’s Community Based Assessment project learners who participate in assessment are provided a tailored education plan. Communities are provided a report that highlights the educational opportunities and needs within their community;
–  Degree Audit use (students and faculty) has increased;
–  Student kiosks installed by IT department to support students using self-service;
–  Increased presence on campus for community agencies through events (Career Fairs etc.) and by contract (e.g. Counseling on campus);
–  Partnerships established with industry including an on-campus presence for British Columbia Aboriginal Mine Training Association (BCAMTA), ASETS and Highland Valley Copper (HVC);
–  Negotiation of accreditation, affiliation, and other MOU’s and block transfer agreements (FNFMB, TRU-SOCW, UFV, Selkirk and IAHLA’s etc.);
–  Commenced BCCAT’s reciprocal transfer agreements as receiving institute.

Goal 5: Holistic Student Support Services
Strategy: Acknowledge and support traditional Indigenous practices in services for students.

–  Embrace traditional knowledge in delivery of services and programs;
–  Continue to integrate Elders in the delivery of services to students;
–  Enhance the Aboriginal culture throughout the institute.

–  Elders are scheduled on campus during academic year. Their activities are reported to the Board at each meeting;
–  Cultural events are scheduled at both campuses and highlighted on the myNVIT portal;
–  Discussions continue on the feasibility to run a Spring/Summer institute on campus in Merritt;
–  Offered Holistic Medicine Wheel course;
– Integration of culture into partnership signings, graduations, etc.

B. Academic Excellence Academic Excellence

Goal 1: Reputable as a School of Excellence

Strategy: Strive for excellence and relevance in teaching, student support, curriculum and graduates.

–  Create an Education Plan that clarifies the academic direction and standards of the institute;
–  Promote and share professional development opportunities for all employees ;
–  Celebrate graduates and alumni;
–  Develop a research and development plan;
–  Tell our story to celebrate current research accomplishments.

–  Evidenced-based and integrated Education Plan under construction;
–  Alumni stories are being collected and shared;
–  30-Year Anniversary Committee – Our Story;
–  Graduations held at both campuses as well as in communities;
–  Faculty and Leadership Team engage in professional development activities to promote Aboriginal education;
–  Participate in Provincial, National and International committees that promote, advocate, and capacity-strengthening the Aboriginal and mainstream system;
–  NVIT has reciprocal partnerships with other post-secondary institutions.

Goal 2: Excellent Academic Standards

Strategy: Deliver academic programs that are transferable and recognized and are supported by academic policies that meet or exceed industry standards.

–  Enhance professional development and best practices in teaching for faculty;
–  Continue to promote academic excellence when hiring employees;
–  Continue 5-year cycle for program reviews;
–  Implement and maintain program advisory committee for all programs.

–  The number of Block Transfer Agreements has increased;
–  A new cycle of program reviews has started with two launched in the 2012/13 year (Administrative Studies and Justice Studies);
–  Department Heads have implemented a review and revision cycle for existing course outlines;
–  Program Advisory Committees have been created for Law Enforcement Preparation, Chemical Addictions (UFV) and Social Work;
–  Increased Professional Development funds available for through new Collective Agreement;
–  Search underway for two new Associate Deans.

Goal 3: Superior Quality of Instruction

Strategies: Ensure that NVIT has qualified and committed faculty supported by high quality, flexible and innovative approaches and instructional support.

–  Recruit and retain highly qualified faculty who have a commitment to the teaching and learning experience;
–  Ensure information technology and teaching methodologies are current and innovative.

–  Course evaluation aggregate results show continuous improvement in student assessment of courses and instructors;
–  Continue to create an inventory of faculty professional development achievements and create an opportunity for faculty to share those experiences;
–  Hiring in 2012/13 shows an increased number of highly qualified instructors teaching NVIT courses;
–  The three integrated plans: Technology, SEM and Education, have been created and presented to the Board.

C. Community RelevanceCommunity Revelance

Goal 1: Certified Programs and Services that Meet the Needs of Aboriginal Communities

Strategies: Develop mechanisms to understand community needs for programs and services.

–  Explore and implement ways to engage the Aboriginal communities of BC;
–  Develop an environmental scan methodology to create dialogue and determine program and service needs;
–  Include community needs from Strategic Enrolment Management plan in the annual Education Plan;
–  Provide consistent services to communities engaging with NVIT;
–  Explore a framework for NVIT to become the Indigenous Language Institute.

–  In 2012/13, the number of Bands represented in Student population is 133;
–  In 2012/13 the number of locations/communities where NVIT delivered courses is 32;
–  Through the Community Based Assessment Project NVIT visited 22 communities and assessed 161 prospective learners;
–  Reports on Prospects, Applicants, Registrants and Graduates geo-coded by Band and to be made available to Bands;
–  Participation in Language conferences and meetings.

Goal 2: Sustained Relationships/ Partnerships Among NVIT, First Nations communities, and Aboriginal Organizations – Provincially, Nationally and Internationally

Strategies: Develop and sustain strategic and positive relationships with local, national and global Indigenous organizations {and integrate those relationships into the NVIT community).

–  Enhance the current relationship with IAHLA and integrate into the NVIT community;
–  Explore new relationships/ partnerships with Aboriginal organizations;
–  Explore post-secondary relationships/partnerships with indigenous people of the world;
–  Enhance relationships with Provincial and National Aboriginal organizations.

–  NVIT has increased the number of new partnerships and Memorandum of Understandings with public post-secondary institutions and IAHLAs;
–  NVIT has increased the number of new and strengthened existing partnerships with provincial and national organizations;
–  NVIT has increased opportunities for raising awareness of NVIT on the National and International Indigenous stage.
–  NVIT hosted a successful Association of Canadian Community College (ACCC) Indigenous Forum as part of the conference.

Goal 3: Established Relationships/Partnerships with Government, Business, Industry and Other Stakeholders

Strategies: Develop and sustain strategic and positive relationships with government, industry and other stakeholders.

–  Maintain and improve relationship with Provincial government and BCAIU;
–  Create new relationship with Federal government (AANDC);
–  Develop and sustain positive relationships with Aboriginal leadership (AFN, Leadership Council, MNBC) of NVIT;
–  Explore business and industry relationships with organizations supportive of Aboriginal education;
–  Explore relationships with other post-secondary institutions supportive of Aboriginal education;
–  Maintain a presence at the provincial professional tables (e.g. academic leaders, senior finance, student services and IT) to ensure currency and NVIT’s reputation as a leader in Aboriginal education.

–  NVIT Leadership Team has maintained a sustained presence at provincial senior leaders’ groups (e.g. Partners Table, Presidents Council, AEIT Joint Committee, SFAO, SAAF, CSSAL, IAHLA, FNWAC etc.);
–  Maintained or increased awareness with Aboriginal leadership groups;
–  NVIT maintained a strong presence with First Nations Education Steering Committee;
–  Annual meeting with Chiefs of Five Founding Bands.

Goal 4: Continued Advocacy for Literacy, Numeracy, and Skill Attainment in Communities

Strategies: Provide advocacy and support for the need for literacy, numeracy and skill attainment in Aboriginal communities.

–  Inform others of the significant needs/opportunities in Aboriginal communities;
–  Deliver program and support services that addresses the literacy, numeracy and skill attainment needs in Aboriginal Communities.

–  Expanded opportunities for prospective learners to enroll in ABE, Employment Skills and Bridging to Trades both on and off campus;
–  Through the Community Based Assessment Project visited 22 communities and assessed 161 prospective learners;
–  Worked in partnership with Seabird on a CALP partnership;
–  Offered nested literacy level ABE on campus;
–  Offered leadership and advanced skills courses to FNFMB and Spayum and partnered with BCAMTA for mining skills development;
–  Acquisition of mobile computer lab and delivery in communities.

D. Organizational EffectivenessOrganizational Effectiveness

Goal 1: Enhanced Organizational Culture that Supports Evidence-Based Planning and Decision-Making

Strategy: Create a culture of accountability and decision-making based on evidence while respecting the indigenous nature of the institute.

–  Establish the NVIT Strategic Plan and integrate it into NVIT’s operational planning;
–  Review policies and procedures to ensure relevance and currency;
–  Creation of Operational plans (Strategic Enrolment Management, Information Technology, and Education) that are congruent and integrated.

–  Strategic and NVIT operational plan published;
–  Frameworks for institutional integrated plans (SEM, Technology and Education) created;
–  New policies created and key policies and procedures reviewed and renewed to enhance organizational effectiveness.

Goal 2: Trusted Financial Processes that are Transparent, Efficient, and Financially Viable

Strategy: Ensure that financial processes meet provincial requirements and are transparent and support the financial accountability and viability of NVIT.

–  Develop annual reporting timelines and mechanisms that meet accountability and audit requirements;
–  Create a broader understanding of everyone’s role in financial accountability;
–  Create annual plans for financial accountability.

–  The 2013/14 Budget process was intrinsically linked to the Strategic Plan;
–  Quarterly Financial and FTE reports presented to Board in the Management Discussion & Analysis (MD&A) report;;
–  Program Costing Data (cost per FTE) is prepared for Leadership Team and reviewed annually;
–  Budget Officer roles and responsibilities document prepared and distributed;
–  Implemented PSAB accounting standards.

Goal 3: Established and Positive Working Environment

Strategy: Create and model a respectful and positive working environment.

–  Improve employee morale and communications;
–  Enhance relationships between campuses;
–  Define and promote communication channels that encourage multi-directional relevant communication.

–  Increased in-house training and development opportunities;
–  Portal Team Sites use increased in 2012/13 over 2011/12;
–  NVIT has subscribed to the Blue Jeans video-conferencing service creating an additional avenue for video conference meetings between campuses;
–  Supportive environment for cross campus dialogue.

Goal 4: Shared Policies and Practices that Promote Organizational Effectiveness and Student-Centered Learning

Strategy: Develop organizational policies and practices that enhance organizational effectiveness and student-centered learning while creating a culture of innovation, flexibility and responsiveness.

–  Review existing policies and practices for organizational effectiveness and student centered learning;
–  Promote a culture of innovation, flexibility and responsiveness in effective student-centered learning practices;
–  Engage employees in a shared understanding of policies and processes and in determining new ways to meet student needs.

–  Board Bylaws and policies were reviewed and updated;
–  Departmental reports and plans were tied to Strategic and Operational Plans;
–  Developed innovative new processes and approaches to learning and student support.
–  Quarterly President and Vice President reports directly linked to Strategic Plan.
–  Created a competency based matrix to be integrated in all exempt employee job descriptions and evaluations.
Goal 5: Recognized Strategic Relationships with Provincial, National and International Partners who Actively Support NVIT.

Strategy: Promote and strengthen existing relationships with Provincial, National and International partners.

–  Promote and strengthen existing relationships with Aboriginal Partners;
–  Promote and strengthen existing relationships with BC’s First Nations communities;
–  Promote and strengthen relationships with other post-secondary institutes;
–  Engage with local communities in order to build and sustain relationships.

–  Increased number of relevant Memorandums of Understanding/Affiliations with PSI and Aboriginal organizations;
–  Increased collaboration with internal and external stakeholders;
–  Maintained presence at Partner’s Table;
–  Maintained or increased presence with Aboriginal leadership groups;
–  Maintained presence at provincial senior leaders’ groups (e.g. Presidents Council, SFAO, SAAF, CSSAL);
–  Maintained or enhanced relationships with Five Founding Bands;
–  Increased or strengthened new or existing partnerships with provincial and national and international organizations (NAIHL and ACCC and BCAMTA, AHEC and Rural Community College Alliance);
–  Social Work accreditation through CASWE and accreditation through FNWAC;
–  Vice President – chair of IAHLA;
–  President – chairing ACCC Indigenous Protocol Initiative.

Until next time ……


Student Forum Feedback Update

January 25, 2013

Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.Pope John XXIII

At NVIT we often ask ourselves, “What unexplored opportunities exist to further support student achievement?”  Even though our qualified faculty continue to do an excellent job in the classroom, and the staff consistently prioritize and offer quality student service, I often wonder whether there are other supports our students require to fully experience success with their NVIT experience.

At NVIT, we host student forums to discover these unexplored opportunities.  We want to hear the suggestions and concerns from students – the student voice is a priority! Whether the student feedback is incident specific, such as the roofing project at the Vancouver campus or challenges at the student residence; or, alternatively, more general in nature – without that student voice, NVIT is challenged with identifying what is relevant to our unique student body.

During NVIT’s fall semester; we hosted student forums at both the Merritt and Vancouver campuses. These forums provide opportunities for students to share with NVIT what efforts are working, and what areas we can further explore that may assist students in recognizing success. The following table summarizes the feedback received from our two student forums.

 Student Forum Feedback – Fall 2012 (Merritt and Vancouver)





Student society representation in Vancouver


Recruit NVITV students to sit on Student Society



Moodle sign in- Both on campus and off

Frank and Amanda

Training for instructors. Ensure systems are working   properly


On-going training for students and employees

Smudging inside NVITV


Amanda to discuss with BCIT.

Exploring areas of the campus that will not bother   other students/guests.  Possible location beside the elder’s area.

Extend computer lab hours at NVITV


Amanda to discuss with BCIT and security

Completed.  Hours have been arranged with   building security, extended until 12pm.

Drumming workshop

Jordan/Student Society

Explore interest and cost.

Date to be determined with Phil in the new   year.  We already have drum kits in stock and ready to go.

BRTR schedule – Too compact and changes frequently


Speak with BTRT instructors


Issues with ITA essential skills and Plato servers


Move students off the ITA servers and onto the   BCAMTA site

John is working with BCAMTA to address this.

Program specific student forums

Warren and John

Discuss with department Heads

Discussed at Department Head meeting. Will be   considered next semester.

Survey in Office support area. What is it for?


Investigated – Ihala Survey. Nothing to do with NVIT


No further action required

BRTR Assessments – Students doing 3 separate   assessments


Exploring whether we can use the results from one   test for the others.

John will explore whether the results from the one   test can be used. It was determined that the different tests were used for   different reasons.

Instructor office hours be more varied

Warren and John

Discuss at next department Head meeting

Discussed with Department Heads.

Residence phone issues and no emergency button   available


Work with IT and CLC to resolve. Possibly common   phone in lounge area.

Joint Operating committee meeting will be held in   January

Fitness equipment in student residence


Explore options

Joint Operating committee meeting will be held in   January

Student residence forums – No communication


Discuss options with CLC


Joint Operating committee meeting will be held in   January

Temperature in Building is cold

Ken and Sheila

Johnson Controls to explore options

Cool set point raised across the building

BRTR students love the Program and instructors


Pass feedback onto instructors

Completed. Trades faculty looking forward to program   review.

Noise level in library – No quiet area


Talked with library staff.

Quiet zone at the back. Staff aware of concerns

Why is there no ATM on campus


Previously explored with banks. Not enough students.   Need 1500 students on campus


No action required

Process if you students have concerns with   instructors


Outlined process at the student forum


Drum making class at NVIT


Explore this and other campus activities in   conjunction with student centre


Planning underway for Spring semester

Sports activities


Gym night on Tuesdays 7 – 9pm. Exploring other ideas

Complete. See Events Schedule posted on portal, TV   announcement and at various locations across campus.

FAC course offered at NVIT


Explore feasibility of hosting the FAC course

NVIT has attempted to offer this course but had   minimal interest. We will explore again in 2013.

Level c welding offered in Merritt

Ken and John

Continue to get approval for new trades trailer

Talks underway with ministry staff

Heavy Equipment Operator Course


Program Approval received from Board

Going to ED CO in December. Hope to offer in 2013

UBCO SW program closed


Talk with UBCO around possibility of sending   students to NVIT

Warren and Elaine to visit UBCO in January 2013

Residential construction program


No funding for this program

No further action required

Alumni association. Consider using past students for   recruitment



Has been done a bit in the past. Explore   feasibility.


Kylie will consider options and will include in the   strategic enrolment plan if it is found to be cost effective.

Fireplace not on


Copper Valley Mechanical called on to fix the   problem

Completed – Fireplace now on.


With a commitment to remain student-centered, NVIT strives to be responsive to student needs. Focusing on ensuring NVIT remains relevant to our students is critical and as such we look forward to hosting another student forum at each of the Merritt and Vancouver campuses in March to once again hear from our students. Should you be unable to attend a form and wish to provide feedback, please note you can email and/or directly contact me – , or Kylie Thomas –  I strongly encourage you to join us and assist in all efforts to make NVIT your NVIT.   I hope everyone has a successful spring semester and looking forward to NVIT graduation days in May – a time to celebrate the achievements of our students.

Until next time……


Welcome Back

October 4, 2012

On behalf of the NVIT Board of Governors, and the NVIT Leadership Team, I would like to extend a warm welcome back to all of our employees and students. The 2012-2013 Academic Year is shaping up to be a fantastic year. With record enrolment at both our Merritt and Vancouver campuses, the fall semester has started with full classes and an excellent positive vibe at both campuses.

While we all enjoyed a great summer vacation with fantastic weather, NVIT was able to continue developing partnerships with other post-secondary institutions over the last four months. Partnership agreements have now been signed with University of the Fraser Valley, Northern Lights College, Selkirk College, Heiltsuk College, Simon Fraser University, the Native Education College, and the Justice Institute of BC. The purpose of these partnership agreements is to allow students to seamlessly transfer to and from NVIT into these other post-secondary institutions. NVIT is currently working on finalizing partnerships with Thompson Rivers University   and Okanagan College.

NVIT President Ken Tourand and Justice Institute President Jack McGee sign the partnership agreement at the NVIT Vancouver campus.

NVIT President Ken Tourand and Selkirk College President Angus Graeme sign a partnership agreement in Selkirk College’s Aboriginal gathering centre.

NVIT`s 3rd annual Community Celebration Day was held on Wednesday September 12th. A BBQ lunch and live entertainment by the Ken McCoy band was on the agenda as once again the community of Merritt was invited to NVIT for lunch and a tour of the campus. Students and staff from the Vancouver campus were bussed up and friends from NVIT came from Vancouver, Calgary, Kelowna, and Kamloops to help us celebrate.  The afternoon was capped off with a recognition ceremony of the NVIT Elders Council, both past and current members.

On October 1st, NVIT had the opportunity to welcome an additional 30 students into our Office Admin, and Bridging to Trades program. A BBQ was held and the new students were treated to a mini student orientation. Its very exciting to be offering the office admin program in both Merritt and Kamloops, and to once again have trades students back on campus.

I would like to acknowledge the efforts of all faculty and staff who helped out with our awards ceremony. This year NVIT awarded over $70,000 to more than 50 deserving students.  At the Vancouver campus we were fortunate enough to combine the awards ceremony with the Elders recognition ceremony. In Merritt we welcomed many family and friends on a Saturday afternoon and filled the lecture theatre.

I have also been fortunate enough to visit many classes and meet many students during the first week of classes. One of my main messages to the students was to get involved. The Education Council, the NVIT Board of Governors, the NVIT Student Society, and the upcoming student forums are all excellent ways for students to get involved at NVIT.

It has been a fabulous start to the semester. I hope you all have a great year.

Until next time….