CNA brings home the silver

CNA's commitment to quality education recognized by CICan

5/13/2024 2:07:01 PM

College of the North Atlantic (CNA) was recently earned three honours at Colleges and Institutes Canada’s (CICan) Awards of Excellence.

The Early Childhood Education (ECE) program at CNA was the silver recipient of the Program Excellence Award, while the program’s Instructional Coordinator, Carla Conway, received an honourable mention for the Leadership Excellence Award for Non-Managerial Staff. In addition, Allie Lynch, a graduate of CNA’s Mechanical Engineering Technology program, was the silver recipient of the Leadership Excellence Award for students.

Davida Smith, Dean of Academics, Applied Arts and Tourism explained earning the award for ECE was a collaborative endeavor.

“Winning this award is a reflection of the hard work, dedication and talent of our students, our faculty, ECE support staff, our early childhood educators, our childcare centre administrators, our community mentors and CNA,” she said.

Reflecting on the win, Smith says an award like this cements CNA’s reputation.

“Winning an award such as this solidifies the work CNA continues to do to elevate excellence in programming and creates a sense of pride for all involved in the ECE program as their input and involvement contribute to the success and reputation of the program” she added.

She feels the award demonstrates CNA’s commitment to high quality education.

“I believe we won because we are dedicated, innovative, and committed to excellence, we have worked hard to ensure the community needs are met and various delivery modalities have been created ensuring flexibility for our learners throughout our province,” she said. “Over the last two years, we have gone from a certificate/diploma to an Applied Degree. We are committed to ensuring our most vulnerable sector, our children, receive high quality care and learning during their most formative years.”

Smith explains the college is dedicated to improving its programs as needs evolve.

“Our ECE program responds to the needs of our community and in fall 2024, we will be offering an advanced diploma in Advanced Inclusive Practices,” she noted. “This program is designed to equip current early childhood educators with the specialized knowledge and skills required to provide high-quality early learning and childcare to children with diverse abilities and needs.”

Conway was thrilled to receive an honourable mention for the Leadership Excellence Award for Non-Managerial Staff in recognition of her contributions to the ECE program.

“I am appreciative of the recognition of the award. My true appreciation is the time and effort put forth in the preparation of the nomination,” she said. “It may sound odd, but I do what I do because I enjoy my work and having this nomination prepared by the ECE management team stands for everything.”

Lynch had the opportunity to travel to Calgary, Alberta, to attend the awards luncheon and receive her student Leadership Excellence Award.

“The CICan Awards of Excellence Lunch was incredible! I learned a lot about other institutions and their incredible initiatives,” she noted.

The awards also included CICan’s Annual Connection Conference, where Lynch was among more than 1,000 post secondary leaders and stakeholders in attendance.  

“My favourites included the Opening Reception, where I mingled with the other conference attendees from different provinces and learned about their schools and positions!” she said. “I was also privileged to watch beautiful performances by the Wandering Spirit group, an indigenous group that performed different dances and songs! Their cultural art was so moving and beautiful to witness.”

Lynch said she was ecstatic when she found out the had won.

“During my work term, Associate Dean Rex Oldford told me I had won silver place, I was so excited! I was jumping up and down, dancing around, and squealing,” she added. “I bawled my eyes out and called my parents to tell them the good news, next, I emailed CNA instructor Andrea Scott and Director Ashley Nguyen to tell them the incredible news and thank them for believing in me, it was surreal because this award is across Canada, so I felt honoured to be selected.”

CICan’s Awards of Excellence celebrates institutions and individuals annually for their exceptional achievements within Canada’s largest post-secondary network. The awards are designed to honour people and programs who exceed expectations in key areas that are vital to Canada’s social, cultural, and economic prosperity, including skill development, Indigenous reconciliation, research, equity, diversity, inclusion, and environmental sustainability. 

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Media contact:

Ryanne McIsaac
Content Specialist
College of the North Atlantic