Red River College signs support agreement for Canadian Armed Forces members and Veterans

Article / May 3, 2019 / Project number: 19-0133

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By Lieutenant Stacie Nelles, 38 Canadian Brigade Group Public Affairs

Winnipeg, Manitoba — A program that allows military skills and training to count towards academic credits at post-secondary institutions is expanding to include Red River College (RRC) in Winnipeg.

Colonel Nigel Whittaker, Assistant Chief of Staff Support for 3rd Canadian Division, and Lieutenant Colonel John Groves, Deputy Commander of 38 Canadian Brigade Group, attended a signing ceremony at RRC in Winnipeg on April 4, 2019.

The ceremony recognizes Red River College as the newest post-secondary institution to join the National Advanced Placement and Prior Learning Program (N-APPL), which applies the skills and accomplishments of military training and experience towards academic credentials at various post-secondary institutions. RRC is the first institution in the province of Manitoba to join this federal program.

Dr. Christine Watson, Vice President, Academic at Red River College and Master of Ceremonies for the event, said that Business Administration is the first curriculum that has been mapped out for RRC.

"We recognize, honour, and value the training and experience that military members bring to post-secondary education ... and that the military has already invested a great deal of time, effort, and money into training and into the dedication of the professional and personal growth of these members."

Dr. Watson added that the College wants to do the same by offering advanced standing to serving Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and Veterans, meaning qualified students would begin the two-year program already ahead by one to two semesters.

In January 2017, 3rd Canadian Division made a commitment to support the N-APPL program by signing a memorandum of understanding on behalf of the CAF. Colonel Whittaker points out that since then, the program has grown in Western Canada and nationally.

“This investment in our most precious asset – our people – is important to us, particularly in the Reserve Force. We recognize that every investment we can encourage our members to make in their broader professional development will pay back handsomely, in that they are more likely to find a successful civilian career to complement their reserve military career.”

Present at the ceremony to sign the document alongside Col Whittaker was Paul Vogt, President and CEO of RRC. He explained that several students who attend RRC programs are veterans of the Reserve and Regular Force.

“Not only does this partnership formally recognize military service," he said, “it allows the College to offer a broad talent pool for employers and open new career paths for Canadians who serve our country.”

Leadership, communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and resilience – traits that become a natural part of a CAF member's life with time – are all skills that transfer from a military career to civilian education and are eagerly anticipated by civilian employers.

“All of these soldiers are honoured and proud to do what they do, and of who they are,” said Lieutenant Colonel Groves.

He continued, “As an Army Reserve formation that traverses three provinces, 38 CBG understands that the benefits of strong, healthy relationships are necessary and essential to our success as an institution. As a stakeholder in this partnership, it is important to enrich our collective objective of achieving professional competence through education and training.”

“Advancing professional self-development and taking charge of that journey is key to moving forward in one’s plan to achieve the academic credentials needed to reach their current or future career goals,” he concluded.

The National Advanced Placement and Prior Learning Program at RRC is open to Reservists, Regular Force members, and Veterans in Manitoba.

N-APPL has 19 partner and affiliate institutions across the county. Please refer to Related Links for more information.

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