A new initiative will see Grenfell Campus students explore issues relevant to the city, while providing them exciting, applicable opportunities for experiential learning.
Grenfell Campus's Engagement office and its partner the City of Corner Brook launched the CityStudio project today through its pilot course.
"At Grenfell, we're proud of the relationship we've cultivated with the City of Corner Brook over the last 40 years," said Dr. Mary Bluechardt, vice-president Grenfell Campus. "Grenfell and the City of Corner Brook are important institutions in the region; together, we will continue to build the socio-economic and cultural strength of this part of the province."
CityStudio is based on a model in Vancouver that consists of a partnership between the City of Vancouver and six university and college campuses. CityStudio is an experimentation and innovation hub inside City Hall where faculty, students and city staff co-create, design and launch real projects that have a positive impact in our community. The goal of CityStudio is to find innovative solutions to complex problems while giving students tangible skills working on real projects.
Some of the goals of CityStudio Corner Brook includes: bringing new energy to create a city that is healthy, green and sustainable; building on community engagement; launching new projects co-created the students, faculty and city staff and providing opportunities for students to "create their course instead of take their course."
In April, Vancouver's CityStudio co-directors Duane Elverum and Janet Moore visited our city to help kick off CityStudio here. A pilot course at Grenfell began in September. The process began with consultations with city council and city staff in May to discuss possible ways of moving a pilot course forward. Dr. Roza Tchoukaleyska joined the faculty at Grenfell and a course Geography 3350: Community and Regional Development and Planning was offered to students.
The course is held at City Hall on Thursday mornings, and at Grenfell on Tuesdays when students discuss the ideas behind community planning. Topics may include health, wellbeing and decision-making processes. When students are at City Hall, they are learning about Corner Brook, meeting local community groups, and most of all, working with those who have an invested interest in the vibrancy of the city including the planning department, local associations and community groups and city council.
"The ideas students are coming up with – while still in their beginning stages – are innovative, exciting, and will, we hope, infuse new ideas and add energy to the careful work being done by council," said Dr. Tchoukaleyska.
"Through this we hope that City Studio will become an innovation hub, a place where ideas can be generated and build up by students in collaboration with the City, a way to continue engaging Corner Brookers in the process through community activities, and a place where we can test out ideas that can benefit the city."
The city of Corner Brook supports the idea that collaborative approaches to problem solving is key.
"We are honoured and thrilled to be a part of an innovative course and pilot program," said Charles Pender, mayor of Corner Brook. "We look forward to engaging, collaborating with learners; and changing our future. This course will facilitate learners to understand the planning processes of our City and becoming innovative builders and creative critical thinkers. We believe that looking at challenges and solutions together will make our City a better place."
Caption: Dr. Roza Tchoukaleyska, centre, is collaborating with Corner Brook's mayor Charles Pender and Colleen Kennedy from the city's planning department in offering Grenfell's first CityStudio course.