New college program developed to train leaders for careers in construction management demand

Durham College’s new Construction Management – Honors Bachelor program has been developed to prepare students to respond to the call of construction employers who need workers with the knowledge and skills to take on managerial positions. and management in the residential and ICI sectors.

“Part of our program approval process includes surveys of our local industries, our local employers and we have heard very loud and clear from these surveys that they are struggling to find employees with the right skills,” the right skills, ”executive Dr Elaine Popp said the academic vice president of Durham College in a recent interview with the Daily Commercial News. “Knowing what they were looking for, we designed our program to prepare our graduates to meet their needs.

The first promotion of the program, which will be offered through the School of Skilled Trades, Apprenticeship and Renewable Technologies (START), will take place this fall.

The four-year degree will be offered at the universities of Oshawa and Whitby, Ontario. campus. The program will focus on skills in project management, site planning, estimation and bidding for contracts.

“We have a large number of staff, the expertise of the faculty as well as the appropriate facilities,” said Popp.

“We are really excited to launch this program at a time of such great need in Durham Region and Ontario.

A strong construction sector means graduates will be ‘in demand’

A number of factors have guided the model of the program, said Rebecca Milburn, Executive Dean of START.

The increase in construction activity has been significant.

“When I say expansion in the region, I mean in four construction disciplines: residential, industrial, commercial and institutional,” Milburn explained, adding that the focus on the four sectors sets the program apart from the others. “We are seeing enormous growth in these four sectors, coupled with an increase in the average age of a skilled worker, and therefore huge pensions.”

Student demand was also a factor.

“The programs offered in START have been oversubscribed,” she explained. “We typically see probably five nominations for every seat I can offer on the post-secondary side, so the evidence is there for the nominations.”

In addition to START, the program will also be delivered by the college’s schools of science and engineering and technology and business, computer science and management. Another thing that sets the program apart is the multidisciplinary nature of the program, said Popp.

The program weaves together theories, principles and practices, Milburn said.

“The applied element of our degrees is something that also sets us apart because we design the program not only to be the theory, but also how are we going to use the theory, how is it going to come to life,” said she noted.

“I see this diploma as an intersection of three elements: people management, human relations, conflict resolution, mediation, leadership; knowledge of the trades, site management, health and safety; then technical knowledge, project management, tendering process, tendering process, estimation and accounting. “

The internship provides students with a first-hand experience

There are also two work-integrated learning opportunities built into the curriculum.

“Between the second and the third year it’s a 420 hour internship and between the third and the fourth year it’s another compulsory 420 hour internship,” added Popp. “In the final semester, the eighth semester of the program, there is an integrated project studio course that seeks to have students demonstrate that they have mastered the skills required over the course of the four years of study.”

At the degree level, Durham College works closely with Habitat for Humanity, the Durham Region Homebuilders’ Association and smaller local businesses.

“I’ve heard a ton of comments about their value (internships) and students are either going into full-time careers in the business or getting an apprenticeship,” Milburn said. “There are two main pathways to a post-secondary skilled trades program and learning is important to our students. “

While COVID-19 has had an impact on the college’s START programs, especially the practical component, Milburn does not view it as negative.

“Our students are learning in real environments and so if we’re impacted by COVID guess what, so is the industry, then we go on and mirror what’s going on in the industry. I think this prepares our students even more for the real world, ”noted Milburn.

“A lot of the expensive projects haven’t stopped either and I think that’s one of the reasons we’ve continued to perform so well in terms of student enrollments. Employers need it. They haven’t stopped. I think this will only increase even more once we move to a more open state. “

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