RBC Foundation supports leadership in new ag tech degree

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August 31, 2021
Lakeland’s new agriculture technology degree will provide students with enhanced leadership and work-integrated learning opportunities thanks to the support of the RBC Foundation.
RBC Foundation’s donation of $250,000 to Leading. Learning. The Lakeland Campaign. will be used to support the development and delivery of the Innovation Leadership in Agriculture course, part of the new degree program. The course will focus on communication, teamwork and critical thinking skills that are important to the 21st century workplace.

The funds will also be used to offset costs related to the operations, measurement and evaluation of the work-integrated practicum component of the degree, which is a key catalyst for student success.

“With this donation, RBC Foundation will have a direct impact on every graduate from our agriculture technology degree,” says Josie Van Lent, dean of agriculture technology and applied research. “At Lakeland, we are committed to going beyond the classroom in everything we do, providing our students with experiential learning opportunities where they develop the technical and leadership skills they need to thrive in the workforce. We are so grateful to RBC Foundation for supporting us in this endeavor with their generous gift.”

Over the next five years, 150 students in the agriculture technology degree program will benefit from this donation. The majority of work placements and practicums will be in Western Canada, with opportunities for both national and international placements as well.

“Our agriculture technology degree embraces our philosophy of experiential learning,” says Dr. Alice Wainwright-Stewart, Lakeland’s president and CEO. “At Lakeland, learning goes beyond the classroom, into our Student-Managed Farm – Powered by New Holland, fully-functioning business units and enterprises and work-integrated practicum experiences. RBC Foundation’s support will not only benefit our agriculture technology students by enhancing their leadership and practicum experiences – it will benefit our regional agriculture industry and economy. I am so pleased to have RBC Foundation’s support at such a critical time for both our college and the agriculture industry.”

Lakeland’s new agriculture technology degree aligns with goals of RBC Future Launch: to improve industry networks, provide equitable access to work-integrated learning opportunities, and to develop 21st-century skills needed by employers.

“Partnering with Lakeland College makes great sense, as their unique agriculture technology degree fits so well with our goals to support young people,” said Jason McEvoy, RBC vice president, Alberta North. “Through our Future Launch Program, we’re committed to preparing youth for jobs of tomorrow by providing access to work experience, skills development opportunities, networking solutions and mental well-being supports and services.”