Accomplishments that contribute to the learning and working environment:
Bob has been a member of the Adult Special Education programs at Douglas College for well over twenty years. He was instrumental in developing and expanding skills training programming for students who live with various learning barriers and/or disabilities providing opportunities that led to employment for many. He has worked with businesses to maintain industry standards in a number of skills training areas including Basic Occupational Education: Electronics and General Assembly where business is now naming the Douglas College graduates as preferred when hiring for their firm. He assisted the Light Warehouse Training Program to first be established, and later to achieve a Red Seal status for an Apprenticeship level. He nurtured the maintenance of partnerships with School District 43 and Community Living British Columbia to financially support students attending Douglas College.
Bob has been involved is securing funds for Bursary’s such as the Joan Meister ORW Memorial Fund for Students with Disabilities Bursary and the more recent Norman J. Goode Award of Distinction.
Bob has been the `Face of Transition’ to families and potential students at annual transition fairs and career fairs, in over 8 local school districts. Hundreds of parents have been able to speak directly with Bob and realize that their son or daughter could gain employment through post-secondary education that focuses on marketable skills. Something that they did not know was possible. Funders of employment training want to see results and results mean jobs. Bob has maintained a history of the successes of Douglas College Alumni that rivals all of the community college programs in British Columbia.
Bob has led the Disability Resource Network of ASE faculty in British Columbia in gaining recognition for applied programming. Numerous other post-secondary institutions have sought Bob’s knowledge on how to change and improve their ASE programs and see him as a leader. He has connected with the array of provincial Ministries that promote education into employment in applied programming and in the 1990s, he was seconded from Douglas College, by a provincial government department, to be project lead on the provincial shift from funding day programs to employment focused programs for adults who live with an intellectual disability. This was in light of his ability to accomplish just such a change at the largest community living agency in British Columbia.
Attributes and Qualities:
With a Master’s Degree from Simon Fraser University, Bob has always applied the lens of how do we reach the goal for the student and the employer, in our instructional design. He displays a respect for each potential student, each student and each graduate of ASE. He is an inspiring leader in student centered instructional delivery. His student centered approach is more than just best practice in the field or modality of instruction methods. It’s about providing opportunities for students to grow, build their skills, broaden opportunities, gain confidence through training and education and to have the opportunity to better their future. Isn’t that what post secondary is about?
He has been a Conference organizer and conference speaker. His presentations in North America on Supported Employment and the role of the Community College in preparing students for the world of work were engaging, entertaining and humorous. He remains an active, thought provoking member of community based committees that focus on transition and community based employment. He represented Douglas College on a joint project with the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce to encourage the members to see the business case of hiring and inspiring employees who live with a disability. He is a true advocate of this population, committed to raising questions on inclusion and equal access to skills based training and commits himself to supporting continued improvements in post-secondary offerings.
Bob has encouraged students of instructional design at Douglas College to build a career in adult education, preferably ASE of course. He has instructed for Douglas College Continuing Education in survey courses to entice students to see their career path to be in supported employment delivery and values such programs as many of the staff within the ASE department are Douglas graduates.
Bob has been a major player in the Adult Special Education provincial framework in developing opportunities for students in accessing education and training as they transition from Secondary into Post Secondary and on into employment opportunities. He has worked hard to heighten awareness in our communities by partnering with organizations, educating employers about the value of students of abilities, and by creating new opportunities for students over the years raising Douglas’s profile as a front runner. His efforts in developing pathways for students with a disability / barrier allows graduates to work to their potential, contribute to society and feel proud to be a graduate of Douglas as they too receive their credential. He continues today to be a spokesperson, advocate, and is highly regarded as an expert in the field of Adult Special Education and Post Secondary programming for learners with challenges.