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New St. Lawrence College production house provides real-world jobs, accelerates hybrid learning

2014-01-20, 9:34 AM

Kingston – St. Lawrence College is launching an educational media production house staffed by students that will provide real-world training while fulfilling the college’s mandate to accelerate its transition towards a world-class hybrid learning environment.

Spark will provide St. Lawrence College faculty with e-learning media services, such as video seminars and instructional videos, designed to supplement and enhance traditional classroom education and facilitate online learning.

“We are excited to launch Spark, the new student-led production house project. This enterprise will allow our talented students to apply and demonstrate their skills in a real-world learning environment,” said Glenn Vollebregt, President and CEO, St. Lawrence College. “This initiative is linked to the new college strategic plan and supports our efforts to deliver experiential learning opportunities for our students."

Seven students have been hired from programs across the Kingston campus to form Spark. The long-term goal is for Spark to provide for-profit production house services to outside organizations and businesses, offering students continuous experiential learning through professional client work while building their professional portfolios.

“Before I started at St. Lawrence College, I never expected that I would be doing real client work while still in college, never mind doing it in my first year here,” said first-year Advertising Marketing Communications student Jason Manuge, Spark’s creative writer.

The Spark pilot is one of many new projects at the college that are enabling the acceleration of hybrid learning, thanks to a $497,011 Productivity and Innovation Fund grant from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

The movement toward combining online and classroom experience, to create a hybrid or blended learning environment, is one of the strategies identified in St. Lawrence College’s new strategic plan.  Today’s graduates need digital literacy and real world experience and Spark supports both these objectives.

The money from the Ontario government will enable St. Lawrence College to continue to be a post-secondary education leader in innovative teaching and experiential learning.

The push toward more hybrid education—a combination of classroom and online learning—recognizes that students require more independent and flexible learning for their busy lives. It also acknowledges recent research that has found that both students and teachers respond well to hybrid learning experiences.

The media, students, and staff are invited to Spark’s official launch at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 22, in Room 11450 at St. Lawrence College, 100 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston. It will feature speeches by St. Lawrence College President and CEO Glenn Vollebregt and Spark faculty lead Ricardo Giuliani, as well as a tour of the Spark lab, and demonstrations of work Spark has completed.

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About St. Lawrence College
With three friendly campuses in Brockville, Cornwall, and Kingston, St. Lawrence College is an integral part of the economic vibrancy of Eastern Ontario. St. Lawrence College is a close-knit community of 6,700 full-time students from Canada and from more than 40 countries worldwide, with more than 70,000 alumni. As part of ongoing sustainability initiatives, the College recently completed the installation of more than 1,600 solar modules on the roofs of our Kingston and Brockville campuses, the largest solar roof-top installation of any post-secondary institution in Canada. In addition to this investment in our campus infrastructure we have recently completed a multi-million dollar revitalization of our Cornwall campus. The college has many exciting Applied Research projects in progress, as well, our Corporate Learning and Performance Improvement group has helped more than 200 organizations grow and prosper. Hundreds enroll in our part-time and distance education courses each year. We work with thousands of clients annually at our Employment Service locations in Kingston, Sharbot Lake, Sydenham, and Ottawa.

For more information:
Laura Tulchinsky
St. Lawrence College
613-544-5400, ext. 1291
cell: 613-329-2451
ltulchinsky@sl.on.ca