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Cap U wants public to help plan future

Christine Wood Photo

Capilano University student liason officer Sarah Ward asks participants to answer four key questions that will influence future planning at the campus in Sechelt.

Capilano University is creating an academic plan to guide the Coast’s only post-secondary institution for the next 50 years and the public is invited to take part.

The university on Inlet Avenue in Sechelt was a college from 1977 until 2008, when it received a university designation. Most universities have an academic plan that envisions where the school will be in the next five to 50 years, and Capilano University is forming theirs now.

“I would say we’ve just been kind of discovering our identity as a university and kind of discovering what’s next, and so now, five years in, we’re getting a little more of a solid idea who we are and a foundation from which we can vision much further into the future,” said Sarah Ward, Capilano University student liaison officer.

She led a brainstorming session with interested community members at a town hall on Nov. 28 and about 20 people took part. They were split into working groups and asked to answer four questions: Who will come to Capilano University? Why will they come? How will the school prepare them for success? How will they describe the university to others?

Many envisioned the university as learner-focused and attracting those who want to upgrade their education or learn new skills. Thoughts about who would attend in the future included everyone from teenage graduates to senior citizens and it was felt the local university would draw students from off Coast as well through innovative course offerings.

When asked why students would come to Capilano University, ideas included the draw of smaller class sizes and more personalized instruction, specialized courses, the welcoming community and affordable housing options.

Attendees felt Capilano University would prepare students for success by offering computer literacy courses and other relevant programming, through providing opportunities for students to practise their skills and by offering personal and academic counselling.

When asked how students would describe the university to others the term “friendly” made its way onto everyone’s list.

Other descriptive words included supportive, innovative, unique and intimate.

The lists compiled through the brainstorming session will form part of the draft academic plan along with feedback garnered online through www.capi
. Ideas can also be submitted by email to academicplanning@

Information from the public will be gathered until Dec. 15 and then a rough draft of the academic plan will be put together.

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