"Convocation 2012" Speech
Good afternoon graduates, guests, family, friends, and fellow staff members;
It’s an honor and a privilege to welcome you to Academy Canada’s 2012 convocation. Today is a day of recognition as we acknowledge the success and achievement of this year’s graduating class; success that has come through personal sacrifice, perseverance, and dedication. To the Graduates; I hope that today will be an occasion that you remember fondly for the rest of your lives.
It’s is also an important day for parents, partners, family and friends. This achievement is one that is seldom managed without the support of those nearest to us and today is a celebration which you are very much a part of, too!
We are united today by a shared sense of pride in achievement. The college is proud of its graduates and we hope you are equally proud to be joining a community of alumni that is over 25-years old and 26,000 strong. We hope you will take confidence from that long history which shows Academy Canada graduates have gone on to great success.
Robert Gallagher said that change is inevitable. As you stand on the border of moving into life beyond Academy Canada, change will be inevitable! It is very rewarding to see that you, our graduating class of 2012, have completed another important and inevitable step in life-long learning. It’s inevitable that you will face new and exciting challenges in the months and years ahead.
I hope that your experience and post-secondary education serve you well. Academy Canada has become a leader in providing a training system that combines solid academic experience with practical hands-on training. One of the key elements that contribute to our success is the great network of partnerships and alliances. Our relationships with government representatives, advisors, employers, accreditation bodies, professional associations, and advocates have helped the college improve every single day.
As an example, over the last 5 years, Academy Canada has successfully completed over 20 accreditation/compliance visits from the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Education, Provincial Apprenticeship and Certification Board (PACB), and Canadian Education and Training Accreditation Commission (CETAC).
Academy Canada has also been proud to have its community volunteer efforts recognized on a regular basis. Whether it is stated in one of the many simple thank you cards received or through winning the “Premiers Award” as the region’s most outstanding organization, the College is grateful to be active contributors to this great province. Academy Canada students, faculty, alumni, and staff have donated more than 200,000 volunteer hours province wide to organizations including; Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Skills Canada, Western School District, Canadian Cancer Society, Provincial Apprenticeship and Certification Board, Campus Community Initiative, Heart & Stroke Association, Easter Seals, Special Olympics Newfoundland and Labrador, "Steps For Life", Habitat for Humanity, Canadian Blood Services, Canadian Red Cross, and the Janeway Children's Hospital Foundation.
The other true measure of Academy Canada's success is graduate employability. That is why Academy Canada tracks employment and labor market information at a campus level as well as relying on third party reports such as the Millennium Scholarship Foundation, Survey of Canadian Career College Graduates, and Government of Newfoundland and Labrador "Career Search" publications for stats. These reports regularly show that alumni enjoy great success in finding gainful, high paying employment within their field.
Academy Canada's students, faculty, and staff are pleased to have built an organization that we can all be proud of. Without relying on any taxpayer money investment, we have delivered over 32,000 training hours, employed 500 people and provided them with 80,000 person work hours. We have also contributed over $100 million to Newfoundland and Labrador's economy.
Academy Canada has recently partnered with the City of Corner Brook, Memorial University (Grenfell Campus), and the College of the North Atlantic to form a “Campus City Committee” – with the hopes of turning Corner Brook, NL, into a “College Town.” The City of Corner Brook has identified post-secondary students as an important element of its culture and economy, and together with the three institutions, is striving to make the City as welcoming and rewarding as possible for students.
I’m also pleased to announce the recent signing of our Articulation Agreement with Cape Breton University. This agreement essentially provides graduates of Academy Canada’s Business Administration program with advanced standing towards Cape Breton University’s Bachelor of Business Administration. Academy Canada’s Business Administration graduates will be granted 40% of the credits required for successful completion of Cape Breton University’s Bachelor of Business Administration degree program.
It is obvious that cooperation between educational institutions for the purpose of providing opportunities for students to maximize their learning experiences is alive and well in Atlantic Canada! That, I assure you, isn’t a bad start as we prepare for our next 25 years!
Partnerships and incentives like these demonstrate Academy Canada’s dedication and commitment to improve opportunities for our students, and ultimately our graduates. As you graduate from your chosen programs and move on to shape your future you should be proud that you are a graduate of Academy Canada and a member of an alumni 26,000 strong.
On behalf of myself and everyone at Academy Canada, I hope you enjoy your day today and I wish you every success for the future. Congratulations and good luck!