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November 21, 2012

Industry Demand Cultivates New Major in Environmental Stewardship & Rural Planning

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Accreditation of a new major in Environmental Stewardship and Rural Planning at Olds College has been formally granted by the Canadian Association of Certified Planning Technicians (CACPT). This major is part of the Land and Water Resources diploma program within the School of Environment and is the only diploma program in Alberta with this distinction.

Bob Hoffos, GIS instructor with the land and water resources program, attended the CACPT professional development conference in Ontario on October 19th to officially accept an accreditation plaque from CACPT and present the new program outline to conference attendees. This program identifies the growing need for environmental and legislative considerations in rural land development. To facilitate this industry need, Olds College lead planning instructor Murray McKnight and Harry Harker, adjunct professor at Olds College and manager of City Spaces Consulting, spent the last five years championing this program.

“This was a huge step for the college and was significant for myself as a student to be able to come out of this program and pursue a designation,” said Ben Misener, second year rural land use planning student at Olds College. Ben was involved as a student representative on the CACPT accreditation committee this past year, and recently received a scholarship at the CACPT conference in Ontario on October 19th.

“Starting in 2013, graduates will now be recognized by a national body, resulting in increased employment opportunities in a niche market” said Doug Peters, dean for the School of Environment.
“I hope that moving forward Olds College and the Canadian Association of Certified Planning Technicians can continue to strengthen their relationship” adds Misener.

This major will also enhance valuable industry alliances at the college. “I believe the rural planning aspect of this course is very valid and this program will be a benefit to CACPT” identified Diane LeBreton, executive director of CACPT.
CACPT, which was started in 1978, is dedicated to the promotion and welfare of planning technician and technology professionals throughout Canada and boasts over 500 members. With this program accreditation, an Olds College rural planning graduate will be eligible to become a full member of the CACPT and use the title "Certified Planning Technician" or "CPT" after their names on correspondence.

Olds College’s Land and Water Resources diploma offers training in applied environmental sciences and prepares students for a career in the conservation, reclamation and management of rural land. This program has transfer agreements in place with the University of Alberta, University of Lethbridge and Royal Roads University

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