Fleming College will receive $1,100,909 and Trent University is receiving $916,992 to support 11 projects which are part of the province’s Virtual Learning Strategy. Announced last December, the strategy will support 400 projects that will create or adapt digital content, equip faculty and students with skills and resources to teach and learn online and identify educational technologies to support online courses and programs.
Fleming is developing a series of eight micro-credential courses in the field of virtual reality. Working with other education institutions, subject matter experts, industry partners and employers, this series will prepare learners with the high-demand skills and competencies employers are looking for in the industry.
“As many aspects of our lives and learning have transitioned to online over the past year, we have had to adapt quickly,” said Fleming president Maureen Adamson. “The investment from the Ontario government will help Fleming dedicate more resources towards virtual learning to prepare for a future of hybrid delivery and provide more options for students.”
Trent University is creating a micro-credential course in nursing leadership to help nursing students prepare for a leadership role in the health-care environment.
“These projects will build on and advance the skills and capacity of students and faculty at Trent through multi-media channels, such as virtual lab sessions, career development, and knowledge communication skills,” said Dr. Cathy Bruce, vice-president of research and innovation at Trent. “The projects that are being led at Trent University contribute to the training of knowledgeable and highly qualified personnel that will in turn support post-pandemic economy recovery.”
The announcement was made jointly by Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith and Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott.
“People’s lives are busy; working full time and raising families. They don’t always have the time to enroll in part-time courses in person to sharpen their skills or knowledge,” Smith said.
“In our rapidly changing economy, access to these online resources will support workers in their professional development and growth.”
The funding is part of the $70-million Virtual Learning Strategy which included $21.4 million announced in the 2021 provincial budget.
“These exciting projects will help people develop in-demand skills by providing access to innovative educational technologies and better position them in the workforce,” said Scott.
Ontario’s minister of colleges and universities Ross Romano added: “Ensuring that Ontario’s postsecondary institutions offer responsive and flexible digital courses and programs will help students build the skills and competencies they need to be competitive in today’s economy. Our Virtual Learning Strategy is aimed at creating a platform that will allow all post-secondary institutions to compete in the new and necessary environment of learning from home.”