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Olds College Receives Boost in Seats for Veterinary Technical Assistant Certificate

May 25, 2022

The Government of Alberta announced that the targeted enrollment expansion program, from the Alberta at Work initiative, will invest in programs at Olds College and other post-secondary institutions such as Burman University and Red Deer Polytechnic. 

This investment is creating more seats available in high-demand programs at post-secondary institutions. At Olds College, this investment will be dedicated to the, high-demand and continuously waitlisted, Veterinary Technical Assistant certificate program. Over the next three years, approximately 90 additional seats will be added to the Veterinary Technical Assistant certificate program, which will equate to an investment of $434,776.

The Government of Alberta’s commitment to increasing opportunities for rural students will allow them to gain skills and training needed to enter the workforce in a growing industry. 

“Increasing the number of seats in our Veterinary Technical Assistant certificate program will allow more local students to study in a field that supports essential animal care in Alberta,” says Stuart Cullum, President, Olds College. “We are happy to have this support and to allow more Alberta students to study veterinary medicine at Olds College.”

“On behalf of Olds College, I would like to thank the Government of Alberta for their investment into the seat expansion of our Veterinary Technical Assistant certificate program,” says Connie Young, Vice President, Corporate Services & Chief Financial Officer. 

In central Alberta, the targeted enrolment expansion program will invest in 10 programs at these post-secondary institutions:

  • Burman University: $600,000
  • Red Deer Polytechnic: $4.5 million
  • Olds College: $434,776

This investment of $5.6 million supports more than 880 new seats over three years in programs including veterinary assistant technician, business administration, animation and visual effects, and health care. 

“From veterinarians in the north, engineers in the south and animators in Red Deer, our government is investing in new seats in high-demand programs across the province. These investments, through the Alberta at Work initiative, will strengthen and diversify our economy, benefiting students, industry and our communities.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education


“I’m so thrilled to see the expansion of these much-needed health-care programs that will give young Albertans in Red Deer and central Alberta opportunities to work, live and thrive in our province.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education and MLA for Red Deer-North


“This is great news for students in central Alberta. With this additional investment from our government, more students will be able to obtain the skills and credentials they need to begin good-paying careers, and they won’t have to leave their communities to do it.”

Ron Orr, Minister of Culture and MLA for Lacombe-Ponoka


“Education program expansion in high-demand areas provides job opportunities for more Albertans and better meets our community needs. With this funding announcement, Red Deer Polytechnic is even a better place to access these programs.”

Jason Stephan, MLA for Red Deer-South


“We greatly appreciate that the Alberta government worked with post-secondary institutions to create real solutions for these high-demand programs. Burman University and its students will truly benefit from this support.”

Noble Donkor, vice-president, academics, Burman University


“At Red Deer Polytechnic, we are excited by the potential impact to central Alberta this funding provides. Increased funding for seat expansion opens the doors for more learners who will fill gaps in our labour market during the coming years. As a polytechnic, we provide students robust applied learning and research opportunities across diverse programs and credentials. Our capacity well serves our students, businesses and communities across Alberta.

“We know that growing access to post-secondary educational opportunities for our learners close to home is beneficial for them to meet their goals, and this translates to economic prosperity. Increased access for central Albertans to learn and earn at home feeds the ecosystem necessary to support thriving individuals, families and communities.”

Jim Brinkhurst, interim president, Red Deer Polytechnic

The majority of these programs are ready to start accepting more students this fall.

Alberta at Work is a more than $600-million investment over the next three years in new and existing initiatives to help Albertans gain in-demand skills that will support economic growth and attract investment now and in the future. It features investments that support Albertans from primary school to post-secondary skills training, as well as retraining for changing career paths and finding well-paying jobs.

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