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College approves first ever Sports Management program

Program one of seven okayed by board; college awaits final Ministry approval for fall 2022
20200526-Sault College summer stock-DT-02
Sault College. Darren Taylor/SooToday

The Sault College board of governors approved the post-secondary school’s first ever Sports Management two year diploma program at its board meeting held virtually late Thursday afternoon.

“This is an interesting program,” said David Orazietti, Dean of Aviation, Trades and Technology, Natural Environment and Business, addressing the board.

“It hasn’t been offered before at the college. About half of the colleges in Ontario offer a program similar to this but the growth in this sector is absolutely phenomenal. It’s about a 500 billion dollar industry in North America, sports in all kinds of varieties and areas...working in facilities management, different teams and so on, there are thousands and thousands of jobs in this sector,” Orazietti said.

“It strengthens our brand,” he added.

“You think of the Saultite Kyle Dubas who went to Brock University and took sports management and is now the  General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. If you go down to Brock University you’ll see a big banner and a picture of Kyle Dubas who’s kind of the poster child to market that program,” Orazietti said, pointing to Sault College’s similar marketing of its aviation program grads who have done well in the aviation world.  

“I’m very excited about the programs,” said Orazietti, summarizing each program for the board.

Sports Management is one of four two-year diploma programs and three one-year graduate certificate programs approved by the board Thursday.

The two-year diploma programs include:

  • Sports Management
  • Green Infrastructure Technician
  • Business - Human Resources
  • Business - Marketing

The one-year graduate certificate programs (for students who have graduated with diplomas in related fields, seeking to add to their knowledge and credentials) include:

  • Adventure Recreation Leadership
  • Environmental Protection and Resource Sustainability Analyst
  • Climate Change and Mitigation Specialist

Each program will begin in the fall of 2022, pending final approval from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

“All of the programs have been investigated for employer needs and graduate employment opportunities,” said Colin Kirkwood, Sault College vice president academic and research, addressing the board.

“The board may not see an active marketing campaign until after we’ve had Ministry approval. We will advise the board at that point, when we have that approval, and the whole effort is intended to obtain these approvals in time for the recruiting cycle that begins in the fall of 2021. So we’ll be recruiting students for 2022 in the fall of 2021,” Kirkwood explained.

A big part of the college’s recruitment efforts for the new programs will be directed within Ontario and the rest of Canada in a bid to woo domestic students.

“The program mix focuses on programs complementing our business programs and our natural environment programs, two areas where we believe there is some distance to go in terms of bringing in additional domestic students,” Orazietti said.

“Domestic student retention and attraction to postsecondary institutions is a challenge right across the country...domestic enrolment continues to decline across most school boards in the province. These programs, we believe, will play a key role in playing to our strengths,” Orazietti said.

Orazietti said the college will be vying for GTA students who apply to Fleming College (also known as Sir Sandford Fleming College) in Peterborough for a natural environment education experience.

The programs will require a significant amount of in person, hands on experience (such as Adventure Recreation Leadership), but others can be delivered remotely or with an in person/remote hybrid approach.

“There are jobs in these areas,” Orazietti said, pointing to human resources as an example, stating there will be a need for an estimated 49,000 human resources jobs to be filled by 2028.

In other Sault College news, the board approved Thomas Ambeault as board chair, Shauna Hynna as 1st vice chair and Don Mitchell as 2nd vice chair, their terms beginning in September 2021.

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Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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