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Focus on Leadership Bow Valley College glides into online learning

Dr. Misheck Mwaba became president and chief executive officer at Bow Valley College on Nov. 2. Photo by Wil Andruschak © Postmedia Network Inc.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

Bow Valley College has a reputation for providing the right skills for the right jobs at the perfect time. 

And that’s certainly been the case during one of the most challenging periods in its history. 

“The pandemic tests our abilities to pivot quickly because things are changing very quickly,” says Dr. Misheck Mwaba, president and chief executive officer at Bow Valley College. 

Mwaba took over leadership of one of Alberta’s leading providers of reskilling and upskilling education on Nov. 2. The mechanical engineer could not have been better positioned to grapple with the pandemic, which has made in-person learning difficult.

Prior to taking on the role, Mwaba was Bow Valley College’s vice-president academic, and has long been involved in developing cutting-edge learning opportunities for students seeking promising careers.

“Education today means being innovative, nimble and enterprising,” he says.

Part of that has meant ensuring Bow Valley College focuses on what the province’s leading employers need in the skilled workers of today and tomorrow.

When the pandemic arrived, Bow Valley College capitalized on its significant experience with Microsoft Teams, a video-conferencing technology that let students learn from anywhere with an internet connection.

“That allowed us to move very quickly and seamlessly to remote learning,” Mwaba says.

In fact, its prowess with the digital tool impressed the U.S.-based technology giant so much that Microsoft asked Bow Valley College instructors to create webinars to teach other educators across North America how to best use it.

That isn’t the only instance where Bow Valley College has been a trailblazing educator. The school has also been a pioneer for incorporating virtual reality (VR) technology in its learning. That includes its practical nursing program.

“VR has allowed nursing students to acquire hands-on skills virtually, in the safety of their homes, while preparing them for the job in the real world,” he says.

Since the spring, Bow Valley College has only upped its game when it comes to using technology to provide flexible learning that students want and need.

“The nature of work and the economy will likely be much different when the pandemic is gone,” Mwaba says. “And I’m very confident we are offering an education that allows our students to rise to the challenge.”

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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