EDMONTON -- Red Deer College has suspended applications for five programs for the upcoming academic year.

The programs impacted are:

  • Acting and Live Entertainment majors within the Bachelor of Applied Arts in Film, Theatre and Live Entertainment
  • Media Studies and Professional Communication Diploma
  • Adult and Higher Education Instructor Post-Diploma Certificate
  • eLearning Instructor Post-Diploma Certificate
  • Instrumentation Engineering Technology Diploma

“The applications and expected registrations for all of these programs that were cancelled are below half the number required to fill the program,” said Dr. Peter Nunoda, President of Red Deer College.

“This is not a COVID-driven process, this is a regular review process that we undertake.”

While the first four programs’ low or declining enrolment could be chalked up to a myriad of reasons, the Instrumentation Engineering Technology Diploma program is experiencing low enrolment rates as a direct result of travel restrictions implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“We were embarking on a fairly ambitious international student recruitment program for September,” said Nunoda.

“Without those international students, we can’t sustain that program based only on domestic enrollment.”

Nunoda said the suspension of applications for the Instrumentation Engineering Technology Diploma is intended to be temporary.

“It’s really our intention to bring it back once we can start bringing in international students from overseas once the travel restrictions are lifted.”

Red Deer College saw a $3.6-million cut in its Campus Alberta Operating Grant in March.

The college was looking to market to more international students as a way to produce revenue for the upcoming academic year. The college’s goal was to recruit 500 new international students, but Nunoda said those projections are not realistic anymore.

“All the projections that we made for additional revenue generation based on international student enrollment are not valid anymore," he said. "COVID submarined a lot of those efforts.”

Students in the first year of the diploma programs and the eLearning Instructor Post-Diploma certificate will be able to complete the program and graduate in June 2021. However, students who are registered in the degree programs can switch majors or transfer to another program.

“We will find landing places for all of those students whether it’s within our program or potentially as a transfer to a different institution,” said Nunoda. “We will treat each one of them as an individual case.”

The college temporarily laid off 47 permanent employees and 145 casual, part-time, or term-certain employees in mid-April.