We believe something visionary can happen with investment in GPRC's new Health Education Centre. Our location inside the new regional hospital, our strong regional relationships, and our innovative spirit are driving us to re-imagine how we deliver healthcare training that truly meets the needs of the region, now and into the future. As our community grows, healthcare training is in high demand and GPRC's collaborative Bachelor of Nursing degree program is fully subscribed, and the demand for allied healthcare education will increase with our population. Our opportunity to integrate learning with healthcare delivery, research, and innovation positions us to be a leader in allied health education across the country.
We have a unique opportunity: GPRC will be the only college in North America with a hospital right on campus. Opening in 2019 with support from our community and the Government of Alberta, the new facility will feature GPRC's Health Education Centre on the west campus. This offers us an exciting opportunity to reshape our health education programming, integrating health education with the region's health system as well as expanding our focus in health-related research and innovation. The Centre will provide learners with hands-on learning and direct experience within the hospital, including within specialty areas like cancer care.
The Health Education Centre will feature simulation training centres with state-of-the-art technology and equipment. These modernized labs and classroom spaces will allow students to practice and improve their assessment, communication, leadership, and team training skills in complex situations based on real-world examples.
Four simulation labs will provide essential skill development using life-like, computerized mannequins and simulators, creating realistic environments like acute care hospital rooms, trauma rooms, and in situ simulations that mimic real-life settings. The labs include Pediatric Care, Obstetrics/Newborn Care, Adult Critical Care/Trauma, and Adult Medical/In-Patient.
As with regions across the country, the Peace Region has a need for knowledgeable and dedicated professionals to work with the dying and their loved ones. In our current healthcare system, there is a lack of education specific to end-of-life care - education that provides nurses and other care providers with the ability to recognize and meet the needs of dying patients faster; that increases empathy and care for palliative patients; and that improves the willingness of healthcare professionals to work within this setting. The provision of compassionate, focused care for palliative patients is vital to ease their transition and to support their families.
GPRC is committed to increasing end-of-life care resources available in our region. With an ultimate goal of creating a Centre for Palliative Care Education & Research for Northern Alberta, we will work with stakeholders and community partners to provide education for physicians, practical and registered nurses, nurse practitioners, healthcare aides, other healthcare professionals, and the community in general.
A Regional Sport Performance Centre will support athletes of all ages and abilities in reaching their performance goals by providing a dedicated space for athletic training and sport-specific training needs. The Centre will offer needed access to a dedicated training facility with state-of-the-art training and testing equipment, along with qualified staff. We want to create a regional training facility to ensure our dedicated local athletes have the opportunity to meet their high-level training needs here at home.
GPRC's newly developed performance training area has been used by school academies, developmental club programs (volleyball, baseball, football, hockey, basketball), and elite-level sports teams and individuals. Although we are the sole provider of high performance training services in our region, space restrictions mean that many of these teams and athletes are forced to find other facilities that struggle to meet their needs.
Sport, and achievement in sport, are part of the fabric of this region. For the teams and athletes in our communities to excel - be this at an elite or a recreational level - they must have access to performance training and facilities that meet their unique demands. With the Regional Sport Performance Centre, GPRC will be equipped to provide the leadership and services to keep our local athletes, and to attract new athletes to our region.
GPRC has continuously expanded its programming to meet the needs of learners in our region, and we have adapted our learning environment to ensure student success within the frequently changing landscape of post-secondary education. Through research, learning, and community programming we have built strong connections to the communities and people of Northern Alberta and Northeastern British Columbia.
With a stewardship area that includes an Indigenous population comprising ten percent of our region�s populace, it is vital to GPRC that Indigenous students are supported and successful in their college experience. We have programs and supports specifically designed to help ease the transition between schools and communities, to offer traditional teachings, and to provide spiritual as well as educational guidance.
The Integrated Indigenous Education Initiative builds on current initiative such as our on-campus Friendship Centre and our Elder in Residence program to provide for increased cultural activities and engagement, more traditional learnings and land-based experiences, and a renewed connection between Indigenous pedagogy and ceremonial life and post-secondary education.
The pursuit of post-secondary education is challenging, and added responsibilities such as work and family can prove overwhelming, especially to new students. Scholarships and bursaries provide critical resources for students, lessening the financial burden of achieving an education and helping to alleviate the accompanying stress. For some, these awards make it possible for them to achieve their scholastic and professional goals.
GPRC is dedicated to creating an exceptional environment for our learners to succeed, and the provision of economic supports is an important part of our mandate. Entrance awards provide significant financial assistance to new students, allowing them to focus on their educational pursuits and achieve their academic best. These awards also add appeal to our College, attracting talented people to our region.
Designed by world-renowned architect Douglas J. Cardinal, GPRC's Performing Arts Centre opened its doors for its first public performance on June 10th, 1976. This beautiful theatre has hosted a wide variety of groups and events throughout the decades, and it has experienced many changes. Now with seating for more than 500, this beautifully unique venue attracts performers and audiences from throughout our community, our province, and well beyond.
Upgrading this important regional venue will ensure GPRC continues to provide a first-class facility where performers can develop and showcase their talents. Establishing the Centre as the leader in the Peace Region for performing arts and live entertainment will be achieved with the installation of state-of-the-art technology, the procurement of modern equipment, and the restoration or renovation of the front entrance, stage, flooring, and balcony.
The provincial government currently ranks Transport Truck Driver as the most in-demand occupation in Alberta. With recent escalations in the forestry industry and in oil and gas production, and in consideration of an aging workforce of drivers, the demand for Class 1 Driver Training is projected to steadily increase. In addition, the roadway tragedy in Humboldt, SK has produced a call to action for increased standards in driver training.
To satisfy regional demand, GPRC is aligned to teach the skills required to be a safe and successful professional transport truck driver by delivering the extensive MELT program.
GPRC is committed to enhancing road safety for new commercial truck drivers and other road users. The goal of MELT is to enhance the quality of truck driver training, create a foundation for safe and responsible driving, and foster the development of positive driving attitudes and behaviours in new commercial drivers.
Driver education and training are important to learning the skills required to safely operate a commercial vehicle. Delivering MELT in a supervised environment helps entry-level commercial truck drivers to develop the confidence and skills to operate commercial trucks on public roadways.
The purpose of MELT is to provide individuals seeking to obtain a Class 1 driver's license with basic driving skills, knowledge and an awareness of duties through the use of driving theory, skills practice and the promotion of positive driving attitudes.