View Full Version : Answers to Wednesday's Questions

Dr. Sam Shaw
18-06-2009, 04:21 PM
Answers to Wednesday's questions.

Dr. Sam Shaw
18-06-2009, 04:25 PM
Hello Dr. Shaw,
My question is in regards to the apprentice registration process. There is some confusion around the first come first served method at NAIT. I wonder what the procedure is in deciding which apprenticeship students are able to register first? What time should a apprentice student arrive at NAIT to be first in line? The only information I have been able to gather is the starting time of registration (7:30AM), but I have heard of students lining up at 3AM or camping out all night in order to be first in line as some programs are very competitive. It seems to me that in the age of the internet, an apprenticeship student would be able to register online and not have to camp out or wait in very long lines. Has NAIT considered implementing an online registration process for apprenticeship students?

NAIT has wanted to implement online registration and, to this end, we have been working with the Government of Alberta and other institutions over the past few years. However, in order to implement this, it requires the combined efforts of Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) and all institutions offering apprenticeship courses. AIT has been working closely with the institutions to develop such a system and we are hopeful one will be in place soon. In the meantime, registration is a manual process and the only fair way we can do this is on a first-come, first-served basis. The Registrar’s Office (for in-person and faxes) and the Student Success Contact Centre (for telephones) open at 7:30am.

There is no specific time posted (other than our official office hours) as no matter what time we say to show to be the first in line, students will arrive earlier to get a jump on it. The day before/early morning line ups are an example of this. Students come at all hours in hopes of gaining the best possible ticket. Security monitors the situation and will begin issuing tickets when they deem it necessary.

The Registrar’s Office and Student Success Contact Centre staff will do everything they can to get the student registered. As courses fill this may mean looking at a different start date than originally considered. In the end, however, when a course is full it is full.

Dr. Sam

Dr. Sam Shaw
18-06-2009, 04:42 PM
Good day Dr. Shaw,

My question is about where NAIT wants to go in the future. Edmonton has proclaimed that it wants to be a research, education, and health center for North America. How does NAIT play into that vision? How will it drive that vision forward? What kinds of research can NAIT engage in especially in the green economy?

An important question considering Edmonton’s proclamation concerning its preferred future in research, education and health. NAIT is poised to be a significant part of all three areas.

We have an excellent applied research program identified as “novaNAIT” that looks specifically at technology transfer and commercialization of technology. We have just launched applied research initiatives in the Boreal Forest and green chemistry. Our new BBA and BTech degrees are very innovative and closely aligned with the issues of the day for business and industry. The BTech degree has a final capstone research project that provides solutions to the pressing problems of industry.

As far as health, we have one of the largest health technology schools in the country providing much needed support in our hospital and health care system. Health technology workers are just as in demand as other health care staff and provide much needed support to medical doctors. The quality of health care is dependent upon a number of elements including having health care providers with the skills and attitude to deliver exemplary patient care. NAIT has many health technology programs that are nationally accredited. Having recently had direct exposure to the health system because my Dad was at the University of Alberta Hospital, I can attest to the quality, compassion and skills of Alberta’s health care professionals, of which many have graduated from NAIT.

Finally, NAIT is undertaking amazing initiatives in applied research in simulation, paramedic training and providing the general public with services for teeth cleaning and denture care.

Dr. Sam

Dr. Sam Shaw
18-06-2009, 04:50 PM
hello dr. shaw,

like everyone else here i would like to start by thanking you for participating in this forum. i would also like to take this opportunity to thank you publicly for your commitment to nait and to the city of edmonton.

building on the above sentiment - and perhaps as a counterpoint to some of the very specific course/infrastructure questions which have been raised to date - could you comment on nait's potential role not just as a local or a national institution but as an international institution? and could you comment as well on the impact that has on your planning and marketing and on your abiltiy to attract endowments and other funding sources in addtion to impacting enrolment?



Thank you for your kind words and support of what we are achieving here at NAIT!

Like many organizations, it is easy for the leadership to take credit for the good work of the team but really without the strength of the team and a clear focus on a common vision even good organizations can flounder. You may know that NAIT’s vision is “to be globally valued for student success, applied research, and innovation”. At NAIT I can honestly say that the whole organization is laser focused on these three areas. It is a pleasure to work with so many committed and capable people.

So how does that answer your question?
Firstly, as you may know as a public funded post secondary institution we work closely with government to maximize the opportunities for students to be successful and as a result to be successful and productive employees, business owners, and community leaders. Government cannot fund all aspects of post secondary education and the Government of Alberta has been very supportive in encouraging institutions like NAIT to go into the market place to generate resources so that we can have bigger and more meaningful relationships with students and industry. For example, Minister Horner is often in attendance when we make donation announcements and that helps get media attention to promote and celebrate our fundraising initiatives. Another example is the Access to the Future Fund where the Government of Alberta will match cash donations to NAIT. This has been a great call to action for financial support.

Primarily we are successful in our fundraising (raising over $80 million in approximately 3 years) because of our people. The passion of our board, fundraising volunteers, staff, and graduates help make this a great cause to support. The success of our students is a great story to tell any prospective donor. These donors are not just from Alberta but include international organizations – as far away as Sweden.

These two points relate to your first question of our role as an international organization. Our passion for student success is known around the world and we have been successful in attracting students from almost every corner of the globe. We believe that as a member of the world community we have a role to play at exporting Canadian values and experience to areas of the globe that may not have all of the benefits of this great country. We have a long history of working with international corporations and the Government of Canada in this regard. I am very proud of our involvement in this area of activity.

Now don’t get me wrong; we are also involved in these areas as they generate revenue to NAIT that comes from around the globe and back to help offset our operations here in Alberta. This includes funding building expansions for local students to student awards to applied research, just to name a few.
This all ties into the last area of our vision - to be innovative. In order to maximize the success of our students, we are one of the most entrepreneurial organizations with which I have ever had the pleasure to work. We listened to our customers, our students and staff, and developed opportunities for franchises like Starbucks, Tim Horton’s, Pita Pit, Pizza Hut and others to be on campus. Where we are different than most post secondary institutions is that we own these franchises and it is our staff working in these franchises. This way we can meet our customer expectations and generate more net revenue for the institution and create a positive experience for the staff working in these areas. That’s being innovative! We may be a not-for-profit from a tax perspective, but I prefer to think of ourselves as a “not-for-loss”.

NAIT's reputation is attracting students from around the world, global companies wanting the very best technical training and companies that want to have NAIT as a partner. NAIT has the staff, the vision and the plan "to be globally valued for student success, applied research and innovation.".

Dr. Sam