Atlantic Colleges Atlantique (ACA) is the association of the seven public institutions delivering college programming in Atlantic Canada. Beyond the geographic reach and diversity of communities, cultures and language where ACA member-based institutions are working, colleges are well connected with the region’s large and small employers, industry and trade groups, cultural and settlement associations, as well as education professionals and government staff. With 60,000 full- and part-time students annually at 40 campuses across the region, the total impact of ACA institutions on the economy in 2016-2017 was $6.2 billion.
Atlantic Canada is experiencing dramatic changes in its economy, population, labour force and demographics which require a strong response from the region’s post-secondary systems. Atlantic Colleges know that to support the future economic and social development of the Atlantic Region, it is imperative to engage in research and development of innovative and collaborative regional responses that recognize and build on our realities. This imperative directly aligns with the goals of the Future Skills Centre.
The College Transformation des Collèges project has an overall budget of $4.3 million, with the Future Skills Centre contributing $3.45 million and member colleges contributing $850,000 in funding and in-kind services. The project consists of seven pilot projects—one in each college—and will be completed by September 2023. The project pairs human-centered design research with practical applications, with a focus on testing high-impact innovations that can transform the college system. It will also focus on equity-seeking groups.