Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Lockdown drills slated for mid-September

In mid-September, Douglas College will hold lockdown drills at both the New Westminster and Coquitlam campuses to show you how to stay safe in the event of a violent intruder on campus.

What will the drills be like?

An announcement will come over the PA system letting you know the drill is about to begin.
  • Approximately one minute later, a lockdown alert will be issued over the PA. Follow the instructions announced and immediately go to the nearest room. Once inside:
  • Lock and barricade the door.
  • Close and cover windows.
  • Turn out all lights and audio equipment.
  • Stay low and stay quiet.
  • Turn cellphones to silent.
If you are in an open space, such as the cafeteria or concourse, follow the directions of College personnel. If you are outside when the drill starts, or is in progress, remain outside and move away from the building.
Once the drill is over, you will receive an all-clear message. Upon receiving the all-clear message, it is OK to return to your regular campus activities.

Why are we doing this?

 At Douglas College we take your personal safety on our campuses seriously. Although an incident of serious violence on campus is unlikely, we must take steps to plan, practise and prepare.

When will the drills happen?

 We’ll advise you of the specific date of the drills closer to the event.

How should I prepare?

Visit for details about the College's Lockdown Procedures.
Check out the Lockdown Procedures posted in all classrooms and meeting rooms.
Sign up for DC Alerts, an emergency communication system which sends alerts to your email and mobile phone in case of an emergency situation on campus.

Still have questions?

Contact Nancy Constable, Director, Safety, Security and Risk Management, at 604 527 5828.
You can also watch our lockdown preparation video here:

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Enter for a chance to win an iPad mini at Welcome Week

Glauce Fleury
Communications and Publications Specialist, CEIT

What do you think of starting your semester with a brand-new iPad mini?

You can enter for a chance to win an iPad mini by simply coming to Welcome Week on Sept. 6 and interacting with the Centre for Educational and Information Technology (CEIT). The event is hosted by Student Engagement until Sept. 8.

To enter, come to the CEIT table in the New West concourse or Coquitlam atrium on Sept. 6, 9am-3pm, get a copy of 7 Things You Need to Know about CEIT Services and engage in a quick activity. The winner will be contacted by Sept. 9.

If you’re new at Douglas, come learn how to log in to the College computers and Wi-Fi. If you’re a returning student, come get updates about recent changes to Office 365, which has been offered for free since last semester. You’ll also have the chance to meet our new Students Helping Students assistants - Computing Science and Information Systems students hired by CEIT to help you with ID cards, logins, computer functionality, printing, wireless and connectivity.

If you’re interested in more detailed information about the IT services available on campus, go GET IT - IT Services for Students. If you need any help, you can email, call or text the Students Helping Students service (in New West, and 604 396 4475; in Coquitlam, and 604 306 4777). If you can’t reach them, try the CEIT Help Desk ( or 604 527 5330).


Monday, August 29, 2016

Douglas College student named CRA student ambassador

A Douglas College student has been named student ambassador to the Canada Revenue Agency with a goal to encourage co-op experience.

Simran Kaur was selected for the position while working at the CRA during her own Co-operative Education placement. The second-year Computing Science and Information Systems student took a position with the CRA to develop her confidence, and problem-solving and organizational skills.

Co-operative Education (co-op) integrates academic studies with related work experience. After completing the first half of a diploma, degree or university transfer program, co-op students alternate semesters of classroom studies with semesters of paid, full-time employment.

“I wanted to explore the opportunities offered, and co-op is the gateway for students to enhance their employment opportunities,” Kaur said.

Now, the Indian-born international student will share her experience with other students to encourage them to take on the challenges and opportunities that come with a co-op placement.

Along with the position of student ambassador, Kaur will continue her work with the CRA part time until she graduates from the CSIS program. Her goal after graduation is to work as a data analyst for the CRA.

“The CRA has a wide range of opportunities available across the country. My co-op experience gave me an idea of what I would like to pursue and how to move in that direction,” Kaur said.

In her role as student ambassador, Kaur will promote the CRA positions available to students on campus and encourage them to get a head start in their career of choice with co-op.

“I’ll be providing information on the student hiring program, sharing my experience working in the public service, acting as a liaison between Douglas College and the CRA and increasing awareness about positions at the CRA,” Kaur said.

And there’s no one better for the role. Kaur’s experience at her placement has made her a believer in co-op. She credits Douglas College with helping her land two positions – one with the College’s Centre for Educational and Information Techonology and her current one with the CRA.

“Co-op has been a great resource, helping me with applications, resumes and interview tips, as well as assisting when I had questions,” Kaur said. “They have played a major role in my success.” Read more...

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Vancouver Latin American Film Festival comes to Douglas College Sept. 8

The Vancouver Latin American Film Festival returns to Douglas College on Sept. 8.

The annual event promotes Latin American cinema in Vancouver and encourages dialogue among cultures, while exploring and celebrating the art of contemporary Latin American and Latin-Canadian film making.

This year's screening at the College will feature Camino a La Paz (Road to La Paz) from Argentina. The film follows the story of an unemployed man who starts a private car service and takes an older Arab man, Jalil, on a long-distance journey from Buenos Aires to La Paz that will change their lives. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles. The concept of the film - by Brazilin director Glauber Rocha - is based on the film Entranced Earth 1967.

The film will screen at 4:30pm at the New Westminster Campus in Lecture Theatre N2201. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Douglas College ELLA student to lead staff at new Vancouver restaurant

A former English Language Learning and Acquisition (ELLA) student will be heading the team behind the new restaurant located in the soon-to-be completed Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver.

Eric Yang was hired as the general manager of famed Chinese fine-dining restaurant Mott32. The Hospitality Management grad has come a long way from his first day in Canada.

“When I first came here at 19, I struggled with the language, but the ELLA program at Douglas College helped me,” Yang said.

Yang heard about Douglas College while a student in China, where he was born and raised. The presentation – made by International Marketing and Recruitment Manager David Chen – resonated with him as he was looking for a seamless transition when he moved to Canada.

“I wanted to learn the language and learn about the culture before diving into a big university,” Yang said. “Douglas College was perfect for that. There’s a real connection between students and staff, and you develop personal relationships and networks.

“When I came to Canada, I started from scratch and the International team really took me under their wing.”

Through the ELLA program, Yang was able to boost his English proficiency and establish a core group of support that helped him navigate at the College.

After testing the waters with political science – which he deemed “too dry” – Yang began to inquire about the hospitality industry, leading him to the Douglas College Hospitality Management Certificate.

Through the hands-on training he received in the program, Yang was able to land positions at prestigious establishments in Vancouver, including the Four Seasons, Shangri-La and now, Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver.

“It was really practical. The program was more like training for the real world,” Yang said. “When I started actually working in the industry, I was at the bottom of the bottom. But with what I learned at Douglas College, and the constructive criticism I received, I started moving up.”

Now, Yang is gearing up for the launch of the anticipated Mott32, when he will take the skills he learned to the main stage. And there will be some familiar faces cheering him on.

“The ELLA team really care about my success and even now, six years later, there is still a strong connection,” Yang said. Read more...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Douglas College introduces gender-neutral washrooms

Douglas College is creating a more inclusive space for students, staff and faculty with the introduction of gender-neutral washrooms.

All single-stall washrooms at both the Coquitlam and New Westminster campuses are now barrier-free.

The change was spurred by former Douglas College Student Union Pride Liaison Milo Leraar and former Douglas College student Brett Collins, who advocated for the creation of the barrier-free washrooms. The two students connected with College instructor Jaime Yard in 2013 through her Anthropology of Gender and Sexuality class and found an avid supporter.

“Students, faculty and staff need to know that they can get their biological needs met on campus without hassle. This is a big piece in making our campuses safe and inclusive places to learn and work,” Yard said.

The duo then connected with Markus McIntyre – then of SFU’s Out on Campus – to run a professional development workshop for Douglas College Faculty on LGBTQ positive spaces in classrooms. The workshop was attended by more than 35 faculty who supported the plea for barrier-free washrooms.

“I'm a student, a researcher, and queer. I constantly ask ’is this place safe for me?’ and worry that if I misjudge that I’ll suffer the consequences,” Collins said. “My time at Douglas had me hearing other students with similar concerns and experiences. I felt that if I could do anything to change this I should.”

After Leraar graduated with an Associate of Arts Degree, Collins continued the advocacy work with members of the DSU Pride Collective. With the help of volunteers, Collins and Yard assessed the state of all washrooms on the New Westminster Campus and made recommendations.

“All of the multi-stall washrooms are still marked with the traditional for male and female symbols. We take this to mean that anyone who identifies as male or as female is welcome to access these facilities,” Yard said.

The perfect opportunity to change the single-stall washrooms to inclusive, gender-neutral washrooms came when the College’s Facilities department was leading a project to update the signage at both campuses. After consultation with a variety of groups, all washroom signage was changed this spring.

“The message is that Douglas College is not a place for policing gender. We want people to have options on campus, and don't believe that you should have to declare your sex or gender to go to the washroom,” Yard said. Read more...

Friday, August 5, 2016

Douglas College Financial Services Diploma student gaining hands-on experience

A Douglas College student is getting a head start in her industry thanks to the skills and experience gained from her classes.

Financial Services Diploma student Elizabeth Schonewille took on the role as a credit officer with Westminster Leasing – the automotive and heavy equipment department of Westminster Savings Credit Union – following the completion of her diploma. Her next step is to complete her Bachelor of Business Administration – Financial Services at the College.

“With my experience in administration in the last eight months paired with my schooling at Douglas I was able to move into a lending position in our automotive leasing department. I am now a credit officer, I review applications for car loans and make decisions based on a variety of factors such as cash flow, net worth and beacon scores,” she said. “Douglas helped me with this placement by giving me the tools to analyze financial statements, review debt service ratios and determine cash flow.”

Schonewille first began at Westminster Savings in 2011 as a teller, and has steadily moved up because of her positive attitude, said manager Greg Oyenhart.

“What struck me about Elizabeth is that she is someone who is able to juggle with a lot on her plate. She brings a lot of energy to whatever she does,” Oyenhart said. “She exemplifies the kind of attitude we want on our team – willing to do anything and try anything. She’s shown a lot of initiative.”


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Douglas College introduces Social Work Degree

Looking to forge a career as a social worker?

Douglas College will be offering a Bachelor of Social Work degree for the Fall 2017 semester.

The College added the degree following approval by the Ministry of Advanced Education.

“It’s really exciting for the College to be adding a social work degree. Our program has a history and a really strong culture of preparing people to be excellent practitioners,” said Carla Alexander, Community Social Service Work Program coordinator.

The decision to pursue the degree approval was influenced by student requests. Students indicated they wanted to stay at Douglas College for the entirety of their post-secondary education, and needed a bachelor’s degree in social work for the career path they had chosen.

“The bachelor’s degree is the entry level for many careers in the profession,” Alexander said. “We had a good number of our students who had a relationship with their instructors and wanted to stay. Now, they can.”

The expansion of degree options at Douglas College fills a need in the education system by combining the academic foundations of a university with the employer-ready skills of a college.

A bachelor’s degree in Social Work prepares graduates for a wide range of careers including work with public and private agencies focusing on child welfare, health care, addiction and mental health, immigrant and refugee settlement, community development and social policy, as well as the justice and education systems.

The curriculum is still in development. For further information, check the in Winter 2017 or contact Zeineen Panju at 604-527-5136.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Douglas College Poem of the Month: August 2016

Poem of the Month showcases outstanding work written by Douglas College students.

Each month, the Creative Writing Department displays posters across both campuses featuring a new poem.

Click on the image to the right to see an enlarged version of this month’s poster, featuring "Yearning" by Eleanor Reed.

All Douglas College students are eligible to enter the Poem of the Month competition. Featured poems are selected by a committee of instructors.

To learn more about submitting poems, contact the Faculty of Language, Literature and Performing Arts at 604 527 5465.

More information about the Creative Writing Department is available on the Douglas College website.