York University signed a formal agreement at Glendon on March 23rd establishing a partnership between Glendon and Ottawa’s Cité collégiale, which will offer theoretical and practical training in the field of media and communications to students of both institutions. Cité collégiale is the most important French-language community college of applied arts and technology in Ontario. It offers 85 programs and welcomes 15,000 students annually.
Right: Cité collégiale President Andrée Lortie
A large delegation from each of the participating institutions underlined the importance of this agreement. Under the leadership of President Andrée Lortie, the Cité collégiale team included Dominique Godbout, Associate Vice-President (Education); Lyne Michaud, Director, School for the Arts, Media and Communications; Jean-Maurice Lafond, Coordinator, Public Relations Program; and Mona Fortier, Director, Regional Development, Recruitment and Communications.
The York-Glendon team consisted of York Vice-President (Academic) Sheila Embleton; Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts; Françoise Mougeon, Associate Principal (Academic and Research), Louise Lewin, Associate Principal (Student Services); and Marie-Thérèse Chaput, Director, Advancement, Alumni and External Relations.
Signing the agreement: left to right, Mona Fortier, Kenneth McRoberts, Sheila Embleton and Andrée Lortie
In an enthusiastic address, Cité collégiale President Andrée Lortie outlined the advantages of this agreement. “This partnership establishes an important collaboration, providing greater access to postsecondary education in French in Ontario and assisting our students in the pursuit of a university education.” She emphasized the benefits of combining the practical training provided at the community college level with the theoretical education offered at university. “Students are looking for both components”, commented Lortie, “well aware that it is what today’s employers require.”
Glendon is the only fully bilingual liberal arts faculty in Canada, offering a variety of programs in the humanities and social sciences in both French and English. “We have hired fifty new professors in the past ten years”, said McRoberts, “and all of them are able to teach in both French and English. Glendon is eager to welcome students from every part of the Francophonie and partnerships with such high-quality institutions as Collège Boréal and Cité collégiale are a benefit to everyone concerned.”
Left: L-r: Sheila Embleton, Kenneth McRoberts and Andrée Lortie
Principal McRoberts also emphasized the excellent choice of communications as a subject for collaboration between the two institutions. “Glendon has a long-standing history of preparing graduates for the field of communications. Some of our most illustrious alumni work in related professions”, said McRoberts, “including [political commentator and journalist] Chantal Hébert, [Quebec correspondent for the Globe and Mail] Rhéal Séguin, [Toronto Star urban commentator] Christopher Hume and Denis Massicotte [editor of the Hill Times - Canada's politics and government newsweekly in Ottawa].
“York is the only university in Southern Ontario offering a truly bilingual education, through Glendon”, said Sheila Embleton. “And Glendon’s scope is rapidly expanding with the recently opened bilingual Masters of Public and International Affairs; the concurrent Bachelor of Education program for training French and French immersion teachers; as well as the proposed new program of French-language Masters of Culture et Société. With half of all French-speaking residents of Ontario living in or close to Toronto, Glendon is an ideal choice for this partnership.” Embleton also pointed out that York University already has successful partnerships with other community colleges, such as Seneca and Sheridan, thus having the expertise for these collaborations to build on.
Right: Andrée Lortie with Cité collégiale student Krystal Mathieu
“Partnerships with Francophone community colleges represent an essential aspect of Glendon’s mission as the Centre of Excellence for French-Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education. With agreements of this kind, Glendon will be in a better position to satisfy the needs of its Francophone and Francophile students,” said McRoberts.
The partnership signing event was attended by 1st–year Cité collégiale student Krystal Mathieu, who flew in from Ottawa to attest to the significance of this agreement for students. Mathieu is studying public relations and communications and may be among the first students to benefit from the partnership. “The new combined program will be a unique opportunity for a thorough preparation for the labour market in French”, said Mathieu. “I am seriously considering enrolling in the Glendon BA in 2010, once I complete my Cité collégiale diploma.”
The association between the two institutions will equally take advantage of their respective expertise to develop courses and programs geared towards Francophones in Ontario. The two institutions are also exploring the possibility of developing a Bachelor of Arts in Public Communication, which would comprise courses offered at Glendon and result in a double accreditation for students. Furthermore, as of September 2009, graduates from the Public Relations program of La Cité collégiale will have access to courses offered by Glendon, working towards a Bachelor of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies (with Communications as an option).
Article submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny