We have collected some highlights from the past 50 years. Take a walk down memory lane with us. Have a great story of your own? Share it with us.
The 1960s at Red River College, formerly the Manitoba Institute of Applied Arts, were an exciting time of growth and opportunity. From the newly constructed campus on Notre Dame, in 1963, to the emerging field of computing, the College was growing fast.
Looking at the 1967 Program Calendar, there were hints of the CAP program to come. The Electronic Technology program already offered Computer Programming as a 3rd term course, where students learned FORTRAN.
In the inaugural year, the Computer Analyst/Program (CAP) students were set to learn some of the following technical topics during their two years of study: punch card data processing; flowcharting; COBOL; FORTRAN; ALGOL; using IBM 360 - model 30; and developing management information systems. A total of 14 students enrolled in the first offering of Computer Analyst/Programmer.
The 70s saw the Computer Analyst/Programmer program mature, from graduating our first class of Computer Analyst/Programmers to the evolving technologies, as our grads were making an impact on our local industry.
The Computer Analyst/Programmer program graduates its first 11 graduates. From that first graduating class are Rhoda Brown, Richard Burik, Anne Hill, Lorraine Macymchuk, William McWilliam, Sheila Raybould, Linda Skorapata, Mark Tolchinsky, Barbara Walsh, Ralph Wood, and Douglas Youngson.
Just over ten years after the CAP program started, parts of the program has evolved with technology shifts of the time. Students are set to focus on developing their analysis skills, and Data Processing using COBOL; Job Control Language for DOS; FORTRAN; Systems Analysis and Design; Disk File Concepts; Data Structures; BASIC on PDP-11; PL/1 and APLp Concepts of Virtual Storage; and Database products like Extracto, Mark IV, IMS, TOTAL, IDMS, ADABAS, SYSTEM 200.
The age of the microcomputer. With microcomputers entering the workplace, educational institutions, and some homes en masse, an education in technology was becoming increasingly accessible.
Winnipeg newspapers report a Canadian labour shortage, and the demand for graduates of the Computer Analyst/Program (CAP) program exceeded the supply. The college decides to increase the intake of students to 35. Pictured above: 1986 CAP Student Association. (CAPSA)
In a federal-provincial initiative, Red River received $1.8 million to buy new equipment in computer-related training areas in an effort to provide more flexible high-tech training. Pictured above: Federal Minister of Employment and Immigration Lloyd Axworthy (centre) tours the college with Walter Gray of Red River (left) and Kent Morgan of the provincial department called Post-Secondary, Adult and Continuing Education.
The World Wide Web emerges with the "Internet" described as "a research-orientated collection of networks, mainly in North America, comprised of over 1000 government and academic networks" leading to a whole new way of using computers.
A fast-track version of the popular Computer Analyst/Programmer program was launched and became the first program at RRCC to use laptop delivery. This shift to laptop delivery had the blessing of the CAP Program Advisory Committee. Peter Kormarnicki, who was the chair of the Accounting and Computer Education Department, had this to say: "What industry is looking for in all employees is computer literacy." With laptop delivery, students had 24-hour access to the college's network.
The first intake of Information Systems Technology began. The program was created to include more technical courses, where CAP concentrated on business courses. The IST program allowed students to specialize in streams such as Programming, Electronic Commerce, and Networking; and included a mandatory 6-month co-op. The laptop computer was introduced to both CAP and IST and each student rented one for the duration of the program.
A new era emerged for the CAP/IST programs as the Exchange District Campus began construction.
The Computer Analyst/Programmer program is fully accredited by the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS).
Phase 1 of the Roblin Centre, formerly the Exchange District Campus, was completed and the Centre for Media and Digital Entertainment, also known as the William Block opens for classes.
The Princess Block of the Roblin Centre, formerly the Exchange District Campus, opens for classes. The Accounting and Computer Education department moved from Notre Dame Campus to the Princess Block at then brand new Exchange District Campus.
The Adelaide Block of the Roblin Centre, formerly the Exchange District Campus, opens for classes.
Guy Dugas became Chair of the Department.
The 2010’s saw many new exciting changes to the program, renaming CAP/IST to Business Information Technology (BIT) in January 2010.
January. CAP and IST combined to become Business Information Technology.
Curriculum Committee work begins in earnest to revise the BIT program.
October. Decision is made to change the program to a “three common semester” model.
A new curriculum review process for BIT is undertaken where all learning outcomes in the program are reviewed by faculty as well as industry representatives, using custom curriculum mapping software.
October. Industry review of BIT curriculum.
Haider Al-Saidi becomes the Chair.
February. A new curriculum for Business Information Technology is approved. Starting with the September intake of students, defined streams are dissolved and electives are introduced.
January. The new Business Technology Management Program is launched and their first intake of students begin their studies.
January. The ACE Project Space gets it’s official home on the 5th floor above North Forge. Strategically located at one end of Winnipeg’s Innovation Alley, our students became entrenched in startup culture helping Entrepreneurs launch their ideas as Minimum Viable Products. ACE partners with ITAC to host the BTM Talent Mash for our Business Technology Students at Roblin Centre.
In the digital climate of 2018, Information Security is a topic that is increasingly discussed. A clear need for Information Security professionals was emerging and the Applied Computer Education Department. ACE’s proposal to the Senior Academic Committee was approved in January of this year and set to accept it’s first intake of students in September as a Post-Graduate Diploma aimed towards BIT graduates.