At a time when many construction industry managers are retiring and emerging technologies are being incorporated into the building process, Saskatchewan Polytechnic has launched its Bachelor of Construction Management (BCM) degree to prepare students for leadership roles in the heavy industrial, commercial, engineering and construction industries.
“We developed BCM as a response to the need for trained industry professionals,” says Paul Carter, dean of Sask Polytech’s School of Construction. “Traditionally people came up through the ranks and became construction supervisors and managers. What the industry is finding now is that people are retiring at such a rate it can’t give people the experience they need quickly enough to get them ready for these roles.”
In September, Sask Polytech’s first intake of 24 students for the two-year BCM program started courses at its Regina and Saskatoon campuses.
The program is designed to accept candidates from two different streams: students who have completed a two-year Sask Polytech diploma – or equivalent – in a related discipline such as Architectural Technologies or Engineering Technology; and those people who have been working in the industry and want to upskill and earn a management degree, says Mr. Carter.
“We are being as innovative as possible in our program delivery so that these working professionals don’t have to give up their careers and livelihoods. All the courses are offered in two ways: an in-class, face-to-face offering in the evenings and on the weekends, and an online option so they don’t have to be in Regina or Saskatoon to take this training – they can be anywhere.”
Mr. Carter says faculty worked closely with the construction industry to tailor the degree program to its needs. That collaboration has resulted in small and large companies making their work sites available for students to take advantage of integrated learning opportunities.
“If the BCM student is a recent grad from a technology diploma, we would help them find an integrated learning opportunity with a local construction company. If they’re currently employed, we allow them to use some of the work that they’re doing and apply their school learning to those projects, and then use that experience in the classroom,” he says.
Students will also graduate as Green Associates, certified by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) to include Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
“LEED Green Associate training means our students will graduate with knowledge of how to manage green builds, including waste reduction, energy conservation and decreased water consumption,” says Mr. Carter.
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