On April 27, Minister Andrew Wilkinson approved the institution’s application for Exempt Status for new undergraduate programs following a thorough review by the Degree Quality Assessment Board (DQAB). This represents two important things for BCIT: One is the full recognition of the quality of the institute’s degree programs, and two, a more efficient process for degree approval for BCIT.
“Receiving DQAB status acknowledges those who teach and the service areas that support our education, and it validates our commitment to providing our students an elite educational experience,” said Bill Dow, BCIT Acting Vice President, Academic. “We are excited about acquiring this status. We believe as an institution, we will become much more responsive and efficient in our degree development and approval procedure.”
The road to receiving this privilege has been long, dating back six years to the 2009 BCIT strategic plan, where a formal focus was put on education quality.
With all of its policies and practices in place, BCIT submitted a formal DQAB application in November 2014. In March, 2015, the panel made a site visit to BCIT to validate whether the institute’s current degree programs met or exceeded all necessary requirements and quality indicators as required in BC or Canada. A month later, BCIT received final approval.
“I commend BCIT for its commitment to the highest standards in quality assurance,” said Minister Wilkinson in a written statement.
In 2003, BCIT was granted legislated authority to offer Master’s degrees. Presently, BCIT offers more than 25 Bachelor’s degree programs and two Master’s degrees, soon to be three. Dow foresees this new status will be extremely beneficial to the institution.
“Exempt status acknowledges our current ability, but it also now holds us responsible for maintaining and continuously improving upon our quality,” Dow said. “We will take full advantage of this status and we will ensure that we add programs that will further our students’ knowledge and give them the tools to succeed in their desired careers long after they leave BCIT.”