Douglas College to host community engagement forums

College seeks partnerships that will benefit students

By Patrick Vaillancourt, News Editor

Douglas College has announced that it will host community groups at both the New Westminster and David Lam campuses this month to see how the college could further engage the community it serves.

According to a press release, the goal is to “gather ideas about how it can maintain and build strong relationships with local organizations.”

These forums will assist college officials in establishing new opportunities for students, be it through practicums, internships, co-op placements, or other volunteer and employment opportunities. In the past, such consultations have also touched upon how students and college employees could get more involved in the community through outreach programs and assisting vulnerable populations.

Envision Financial, New Westminster Cultural Crawl, and the Fraser River Discovery Centre are just some examples of existing relationships between community groups and Douglas College.

“This is really a listening exercise. We want to hear the thoughts and opinions of leaders in the business, corporate, government, and non-profit sectors as well as other community members,” says Hazel Postma, Douglas College associate vice president, external relations.

Scott McAlpine, president of Douglas College, will also attend and is scheduled to deliver a keynote address.

Douglas College has grown a great deal in recent years, thanks in large part to the relationships it has been able to foster within the community. College administrators believe that the best way to encourage further growth is to explore opportunities within the community.

“We believe we’re doing a good job engaging with the community, but we want to learn if there’s room to improve,” says Postma. “If there are community groups looking for further support from us or who can provide new opportunities for our students or faculty, we’d like to hear about them.”

The forums are to take place on September 23 in Room 3011 at the David Lam campus in Coquitlam and on September 24 in the Aboriginal Gathering Place at the New Westminster Campus. Both forums will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and members of the public are invited to attend and participate in the consultations.

Those looking for more information or to register can email or phone 604-777-6501.