By Avalon Doyle, Contributor
In late April, Douglas College launched a new website as part of an initiative to build upon the institution’s presence in the wider community. Community Connections is the college’s new hub for local businesses, non-profits, and students to connect, while promoting the ways in which the college is already engaging with the community.
The Community Connections team believes the initiative will foster new opportunities for students to engage in applied research, internships, and even find job placements with a variety of local businesses and non-profit organizations.
Hazel Postma, associate vice president external relations, said that while the college has already done a lot in the community, there hasn’t been a place to publicize that work. “We wanted a way to celebrate the connections we’ve already made in the community and promote how Douglas and the community work together,” said Postma. “This website is a way to showcase how Douglas responds to the community’s needs.”
The new website currently features samples of how students from programs such as commerce and business administration, health sciences, and child, family and community studies are making a difference with organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters and SOS Children’s Villages.
The idea for the website is based upon a key goal in the college’s strategic plan, which is community engagement. Postma says one aim of the website is to help bolster even more connections within the community, and garner even more opportunities for students to work locally.
One way Community Connections plans to accomplish this is by featuring the kind of work Douglas students have done by program.
“For example, if a non-profit is having trouble recruiting volunteers, they can go to our website, see the work our marketing students are already doing in the community, and find out how they can work with our students to develop recommendations or a strategic plan for their organization,” said Postma.
Lowes’ Home Improvement is one of the many great partners Postma said the college has already had the chance to work with. The hardware company is offering up 45 positions to Douglas College students this summer. Postma says this is an example of the kind of connection the college wants to celebrate in a public forum, not only for local businesses, but also for Douglas faculty and students to see how the college is working with the community.
“We are already doing a lot within the community, and we want a way to celebrate that, we want to do even more, and we want to embrace the connections we’ve already made,” said Postma.
Visit the Community Connections website to learn more at douglascollege.ca/connections.