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Didsbury's chamber and Sundance College partnering on education initiative

First pilot project proposed for the college partnership in Didsbury is for a medical office administration - health unit coordinator diploma course

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - The Didsbury & District Chamber of Commerce has asked Mountain View County for a letter of support for a new partnership with Calgary/Edmonton-based Sundance College.

Chamber of commerce officials appeared before council as a delegation during the Sept. 14 council meeting.

Following extensive negotiations, the chamber of commerce has receive a letter of understanding from the college.

“We have a letter of understanding that they will bring their whole curriculum into Didsbury, so we are going to be setting up the Didsbury business centre, which is going to run and supported by the chamber of commerce and our chamber members,” said chamber president Helen Hafke.

The chamber is specifically seeking a letter of support from the county for the initiative.

“We have come seeking a letter of support for the concept,” she said. “We are not asking for any funding. There are numerous grants that we are applying for to help with set up costs. A letter of support would be an added bonus.”

The chamber has already received a letter of support from the Town of Didsbury, as well as from Bethany Care, she said.

The first pilot project proposed for the partnership is for a medical office administration - health unit coordinator diploma course.

“All of our practicum will be able to be done locally,” she said. “That is the first one we are starting on Oct. 24 and we already have two students registered.

“This is really exciting and is a need that has been expressed to us that we will finally be able to fulfill.”

The classes will be conducted virtually and in person, she said.

“The college provides all the curriculum and the instructors,” she said. “Basically all we do is supply them with a spot to have the classes.”

Asked by councillor Dwayne Fulton what courses could be eventually offered, she said, “There are 11 courses in their curriculum at this time.”

Courses offered by the college currently include in the areas such as health, accounting, business, network administration and management, she said.

“This is something the college is willing to work with us on,” she said.

Deputy reeve Greg Harris applauded the chamber for the initiative.

“I think this is great, not just for students but it offers an opportunity for people who are changing careers, single parents, people who don’t have the capacity to travel for education,”  said Harris, who is councillor for Division 2.  “To have it more local is just great.”

Coun. Alan Miller said, “It is great to see the initiative the you have taken to bring this to our great community. It’s a win-win for our community. It’s good to have it within Didsbury.”

Reeve Aalbers also applaud the initiative.

“It’s fantastic that you are bringing something back for us,” said Aalbers.

As per policy, council deferred the decision on the delegation’s request for a letter of support to the next council meeting.

The chamber delegation appearance also saw councillors Alan Miller and Gord Krebs recognized for their part in the chamber’s 2022 Mountain View Regional DSS chili cook-off/mayoral challenge. The county’s entry won the 2022 cook-off.

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