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Okanagan College year in review

Okanagan College looks back on 2021
Aerial view of the Kelowna campus. (Okanagan College photo)

Okanagan College is committed to transforming lives and communities – and our learning has undergone significant transformation as well this year.

Online learning, hybrid classes with labs and shop, virtual events.

Student life and learning evolved quickly to respond to the pandemic, and through it all, Okanagan College and employees and students adapted to achieve their learning and educational goals.

This fall, though, provincial post-secondary institutions planned for the return to in-person classes. Preparing campuses for a return of the learning community took an enormous effort on the part of Okanagan College employees, who worked tirelessly with regional and provincial health officials to safely bring people back.

The result? Bustling campuses with energetic and enthusiastic students who were keen to connect with peers and professors.

The campus vibe was electric.

This came after a particularly challenging summer. People collectively reckoned with Canada’s colonial history when the remains of 215 children were confirmed in unmarked graves at a former residential school in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc territory – the beginning of many confirmations.

Inside look at new Kelowna campus Health Sciences Centre. (Okanagan College photo)
Inside look at new Kelowna campus Health Sciences Centre. (Okanagan College photo)

As an educational institution, the college reaffirmed its commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and exploring how to work with and learn from Indigenous communities. As a symbolic act, OC launched the “I Pledge” campaign on its website, encouraging employees, students and the broader to community to read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and commit to small acts of reconciliation within their own spheres. You, too, can pledge online at

Despite the challenging year, the OC learning community continued to make significant strides. Enactus OC was recognized as one of the top four teams in the country after an impressive finish at the national finals on the strength of three projects.

OC also launched its first new degree in 15 years, with the Applied Bachelor of Arts: Community Research and Evaluation.

This innovative program blends the social sciences like Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work with research skills, to give arts students the tools needed to work directly with community organizations in the region on societal problems. As OC and our communities emerge into 2022, excitement is on the horizon: the new strategic plan will be rolled out.

The document charts a course for the next decade at Okanagan College, based on values of community, respect, courage, relationships, excellence and, as always, putting students first.

READ MORE: Okanagan College Health Sciences Centre in need of funds

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