BCIT has tremendous strength
Nearly 50,000 learners are pursuing credentials ranging from certificates and diplomas to bachelor’s and master’s degrees and we proudly serve more than 190,000 alumni. Our five campuses with their state-of-the-art aerospace, marine, and other specialized facilities create a unique learning environment. Ninety-eight per cent of our degree graduates are employed within two years of leaving BCIT. Of those employed, ninety-four per cent of employed apprentice completers and eighty-four per cent of employed diploma and certificate graduates work in their field of study. We have close relationships with industry, interacting with over 700 leaders and practitioners through our Program Advisory Committees. We achieve high levels of student satisfaction and are a destination for learners from other institutions across the province.
Our previous Strategic Plan, established in 2014, asserted that, “The world needs more BCIT.” Under that plan, we enhanced the quality of our education and recognition of our credentials. We took steps to internationalize our student body and improve employee engagement, and we created a framework for the development of the Burnaby campus. We have a solid foundation from which to build.
Two years after the development of this plan, the world is at a critical inflection point. As a result of COVID-19, we are experiencing a dramatic acceleration of existing trends.
But several challenges were also highlighted during the planning process initiated in 2017. Our faculty and staff are proud to work at BCIT, but many did not feel fully empowered. Legacy processes and systems constrained our effectiveness and agility and made it difficult to collaborate. Against the backdrop of ongoing domestic post-secondary enrolment decline as the Canadian population ages, BCIT was facing competition from regional peers. And, while we had strengthened our brand, we continued to struggle with misconceptions about our portfolio of offerings, even within the province.
In addition to reinforcing institutional productivity and resilience in the face of these complexities, the Strategic Plan was designed to capitalize on opportunity. The most important attribute that employers are seeking, according to our 2018 survey1, is adaptability. Critical thinking, interpersonal skills, and the ability to work independently come next, followed by the capacity to hit the ground running. In short, employers are seeking a combination of technical skills, 21st century competence, and practical experience.
Multiple industry studies have substantiated the underlying increase in the importance of human and digital skills development to enable learner agility. Our education model is perfectly aligned to deliver against these expectations, and we are uniquely positioned to work in partnership with industry in this delivery. And our unequivocal focus on student outcomes and experience ensures that we adapt continuously to exceed the evolving needs of both learners and employers.
1. Proprietary online survey conducted by BCIT in September – October 2018; n=420 [107 non-affiliated employers and 313 members of BCIT’s Program Advisory Committees]