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Georgian University Partnership Centre to expand degree programs

Published on Friday, Feb. 12, 2016

Georgian College will immediately begin planning for 11 new degree programs, as recommended in a new report on the future of degree studies in Simcoe County.

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has confirmed the central role played by Georgian’s University Partnership Centre in degree program delivery in central Ontario. This allows immediate planning of eleven new degree offerings – five Georgian degrees and six degree-diplomas in partnership with Lakehead University. In addition, Georgian will look for new university partners.

“We are delighted with this green light to move forward on our innovative plans,” says Georgian President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes. “Our partnerships have been a success story for our students and our communities, and collaboration will continue to be our focus. Our goal is to provide real-world education combining academics and practical skills in degree studies that meet the needs of the 21st century.”

The decision follows a Ministry report which recommends a five-year framework for degree studies offered by Georgian, Lakehead and Laurentian University in Simcoe County. In the wake of this report, Laurentian announced it is leaving Barrie and dissolving its partnership with Georgian.

Georgian will work closely with the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and University (MTCU) and Laurentian during the transition.

“We are committed to ensuring students are our top priority in every aspect of the transition from this partnership, and in the renewal and expansion of our University Partnership Centre into the future,” says West-Moynes.

Since 2003, the University Partnership Centre has been formally recognized by MTCU as a cost-effective model for expanding access to postsecondary education through collaboration and credit transfer. Its central vision is to provide choice and flexibility in degree studies in innovative ways. This includes collaborative university degrees, Georgian’s own degrees, and transfer agreements with 500 universities across Canada and world-wide.
Students can save time and money with improved pathways and the availability of more transfer credit options – in some cases moving from diplomas to degrees with full recognition of their college credits. While servicing the direct from high school market, the centre also meets a great need of mature students who may be unable to relocate elsewhere for degree studies because of home, work and family commitments.

Centre for Teaching, Learning and Academic Excellence posts 15,000th tweet

Published on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016

A word collage featuring words such as learning, students, teaching, rodrigo, etc.

The Centre for Teaching, Learning and Academic Excellence (CTLA) just posted its 15,000th tweet.

The Twitter account was created more than four years ago and has been used to share teaching and learning resources from around the world with the Georgian community. @GeorgianCTLAE also shares news, celebrates Georgian accomplishments and promotes CTLAE workshops and events.

CTLAE created this word cloud of the 15,000 tweets to celebrate this milestone.


Aboriginal restaurant, fine food and better hockey bag are winners of exCite! entrepreneurship competition

Published on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016


Brandon Pitawanakwat is the first-place winner of the February 2016 exCite! entrepreneurship competition.
Brandon Pitawanakwat is the first-place winner of the January 2016 exCite! entrepreneurship competition.

Brandon Pitawanakwat is working hard to see his dream come true – the Crowned Eagle, a restaurant in Collingwood that will specialize in Aboriginal fine food.

Pitawanakwat, a Georgian College student, is the first-place winner in the latest exC!te Experience competition offered through Georgian’s Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (HBEC).

exC!te allows participants to pitch their real-world business ideas to a panel of judges who offer not only prizes but also expert advice on entrants’ business plans. A total of 25 entrepreneurs participated in the most recent competition. The application deadline for the next round of pitches is coming up fast, on Friday, Feb. 19.

Pitawanakwat, co-owner in the restaurant with his mother Joanne Bradshaw, says their business plan is almost complete.

“We are in the planning stages, looking forward to accessing market research through the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre to find the right location for our restaurant, “ he said. “It will be an upscale restaurant focusing exclusively on Aboriginal cuisine,” he said.

Two competitors tied for second place. One of them is Monica Roe of Crooked Tree Fine Foods in Collingwood. She learned about the competition by attending some of Georgian’s food entrepreneurship events.

“I am in my first year of business and have been managing food production from home.  I graduated from the Business Enterprise Resource Network Self-Employment Assessment program and quickly transitioned to accessing HBEC support and workshops in Collingwood,” she said.

Her business specializes in organic sprouted tree nut cheese spreads and crackers.

Jeff Texmo, another Georgian student, tied with Roe for second place with his product, the Ultimate Gear Organizer. It’s a unique pull-out sports bag for storing hockey equipment.

“I have been working on this product for the past four years and have accessed mentorship and support through the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre,” Texmo said. “It started with people inquiring and wanting to get their hands on my product, and that inspired me to locate a manufacturing plant and seek out business advice.”

The Ultimate Gear Organizer is market-ready. Texmo has created a website with an e-business voucher grant through Ontario Centres of Excellence funding in partnership with Georgian College’s Centre for Applied Research and Innovation. He will be launching the website and associated social media soon.

Marc Francis’ proposal for Ride On, an indoor bike park, won third place. Francis, a Georgian College student, has been an enthusiastic member of Power Up a mentorship group sponsored by HBEC.

“Taking part in the exC!te experience through HBEC gave me an opportunity that doesn’t arise very often. I encourage all my friends and classmates at Georgian to participate in it,” he said.

“It’s not about the prize but more about the experience. The benefit was having influential people (panelist and judges) see me and hear my dream. My business plan is developed and I am actively seeking financing and the ‘right’ location.”

Learn more about the current exCite! competition  .

Ontario urged to invest in college-based applied research

Published on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016

An instructor and a student look at a computer screen.
Georgian’s Centre for Applied Research and Innovation connects industry and community partners with faculty and student researchers.

Georgian College and its counterparts across the province are calling for the Ontario government to make upfront investments of $30 million into market-driven research to promote industry clusters throughout the province.

“Colleges play a central role in real-world research that helps businesses become more innovative,” said MaryLynn West-Moynes, President and CEO of Georgian College. “A commitment to enhance innovation in Ontario should be a priority in this year’s provincial budget.” Continue reading

AMI and Georgian College plan food entrepreneurship conference March 3 and 4

Published on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016

Food entrepreneurship conferenceFood entrepreneurs from across Ontario interested in moving their businesses forward won’t want to miss a unique two-day conference in Barrie March 3 and 4.

“Food Entrepreneurs: Building Ontario innovation one product at a time” will offer food business owners practical information on overseeing and executing strategy, product idea viability, collaborating for growth, food safety culture, innovation, and more.

The two-day event is offered by the Agri-Food Management Institute (AMI) in partnership with Georgian College and local municipalities and economic development partners, as well as the County of Simcoe and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

The conference is being held at the Barrie Campus of Georgian College on March 4, preceded by pre-conference seminars at the Kempenfelt Conference Centre in nearby Innisfil on March 3.

The pre-conference seminars will introduce new entrants or newly established businesses to food safety regulations and food nutrition labelling considerations.

The conference includes a “Made in Ontario Showcase” where successful entrepreneurs will share the stories of how they developed their businesses, display their products and provide products for sample and sale.

Input supply companies and a “business development alley” with supporting organizations such as Community Futures, AMI and Georgian who work to help businesses increase their competitiveness

Concurrent breakout sessions will be tailored to two streams of learning: established and newly established businesses.

Plenary sessions will speak to innovation and the future of food, while pitch sessions will help entrepreneurs looking for tips on pitching a new product or business to possible investors, buyers, distributors and/or partners.

The “Connection Café” will allow participants to get the most out of their conference experience by joining in on a facilitated networking session to network and look for input from their peers on burning issues impacting their operations or business planning.

Georgian College and its Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre are leaders in sector to provide events and training for food and beverage entrepreneurs. Georgian and HBEC work with local municipalities and economic development partners, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), and local leaders in the food sector.

The Agri-food Management Institute (AMI) promotes new ways of thinking about agribusiness management and aims to increase awareness, understanding and adoption of beneficial business management practices by Ontario agri-food and agri-based producers and processors.

Learn more, email or call 705.728.1968, ext. 1774.

Ready to sign up? Register now.

Duckworth St. (Barrie) closing at night Feb. 9 to 12

Published on Thursday, Feb. 04, 2016

Road closedDuckworth St. in Barrie will be closed in both directions at the Highway 400 bridge for three consecutive nights next week. No traffic will be permitted under the existing bridge and in the vicinity of the new bridge under construction; however, access to highway ramps will remain open. Continue reading

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