Flexible Learning: 9 part-time programs that contribute to a better future

Much like there’s no shortage of programs, frameworks, and initiatives proving that industries and organizations are committed to investing in communities and protecting the planet, there’s no shortage of educational pathways that can help you make a positive impact. 

Enrolling part-time in Flexible Learning options related to social responsibility and environmental stewardship is one of the best ways to do this. Not only do they allow you to work towards a diploma, certificate, or degree at a pace that’s right for you, but they also give you the opportunity to position yourself as a leader—whether you’re providing added value in your current workplace or pursuing a brand new career in these vital and in-demand fields. Here are nine BCIT programs designed to help you make the maximum difference, for both yourself and the wider world.

1. Ecological Restoration

It’s one thing to have a theoretical idea of the threats to ecosystems here in BC and around the world. It’s something else entirely to immerse yourself in them, helping to plan and execute practical solutions.

You can obtain this experience at BCIT, beginning with a diploma in Fish, Wildlife and Recreation or Forest and Natural Areas Management. This will boost your expertise and provide you with valuable academic credentials—but if you feel you’ve found your passion, you can take it even further with the world-renowned Bachelor of Science in Ecological Restoration, a unique program that teaches you how to revitalize the natural environment.

2. Electric Vehicle Technology and Service

EV Tech
BCIT offers a part-time Electric Vehicle Technology and Service course.

A greener world won’t be possible without greener transportation, but many traditional automotive mechanics aren’t equipped to service electric vehicles. If you’re a tradesperson—or aspiring to be one—this is a great skill to add to your toolkit.

The part-time Electric Vehicle Technology and Service course can be completed in 30 hours of classroom and shop training, after a self-paced online module. Upon completion, students and practitioners will have everything they need to safely work on electric vehicles, which have high voltage and other unique features that distinguish them from more standard automobiles.

3. Environmental Engineering

You may be familiar with many conventional types of engineering, such as civil, mechanical, and electrical. But in a world facing the challenges of climate change and other human impacts on the earth’s natural systems, environmental engineers are increasingly essential.

There’s no end to the services such engineers provide—from sustainability management to lifecycle assessment to the reclamation of contaminated land and water—and the Environmental Engineering program prepares learners to handle them. This Bachelor of Technology degree can be taken full-time or part-time.

4. Essentials of Natural Resource and Environmental Protection

When it comes to making a positive impact on the world, being knowledgeable and informed is the best first step. By learning the basics of sustainability, conservation, biodiversity, and associated problems like habitat loss and climate change, there are so many ways you can help drive meaningful change.

In collaboration with Vancouver Island University (VIU), BCIT launched the Essentials of Natural Resource and Environmental Protection program. This unique offering is a microcredential, meaning it can stand on its own as a resumé booster for anyone looking to build a career in sustainability, it can be a training opportunity for professionals in adjacent disciplines, or it can serve as an elective for students completing their degrees at VIU or BCIT.

5. Introductory Studies in Mass Timber Construction

BCIT offers Introductory Studies in Mass Timber Construction as a microcredential.
BCIT offers Introductory Studies in Mass Timber Construction as a microcredential.

You may not have heard of mass timber, but for those thinking about the future of sustainable communities, this concept might be more familiar. Because wood-based building materials are natural, sustainable, and renewable, there’s a booming industry associated with prefabricated wooden structures to make affordable, eco-friendly buildings.

Introductory Studies in Mass Timber Construction is a microcredential that helps you gain foundational knowledge of this growing field. Completing the course gives you tangible skills to bring to your current job or list on a resumé—or it might inspire you to begin a whole new career.

6. Master of Engineering in Smart Grid Systems and Technologies

The power grid is changing. As a growing number of people and organizations embrace clean, renewable power that they can generate themselves, it’s critical to reimagine the infrastructure that will support and enable it.

That’s why BCIT is proud to introduce the brand new Master of Engineering in Smart Grid Systems and Technologies program—a highly specialized part-time program meant for engineers who want to differentiate themselves in the market and help drive a green paradigm shift.

7. Sustainable Energy Management

The energy consumption of the average household is nothing compared to that of commercial, industrial, institutional, and community organizations—and that’s why it’s so important to make sure they’re sourcing and spending their electric power responsibly. This is the role of energy management experts.

The advanced certificate in Sustainable Energy Management consists of nine courses that can be taken part-time and online. The program is a collaboration between BCIT, BC Hydro, and FortisBC, with support from Natural Resources Canada, meaning students are working with leaders in the field from start to finish.

8. Sustainable Business Leadership

Ecocities Now
BCIT offers an Advanced Diploma in Sustainable Business Leadership.

Organizations want to champion social and environmental causes, but oftentimes they lack the specific insights necessary to take a tactical and actionable approach. That’s why it’s so useful for workplaces in any industry to have an in-house leader who understands all things sustainability.

With the Advanced Diploma in Sustainable Business Leadership, you can be that change maker. This unique program can be completed in as little as two evenings a week for 10 months—and two terms are devoted to a capstone project, providing real-work experience and connections.

9. Sustainable Event Management

The world has changed a lot in a short time, especially in regard to events and event planning. As we rethink how to come together to enjoy common places and spaces, we’re also rethinking how to do so in a way that has the lowest possible environmental impact.

For this reason, BCIT offers the Sustainable Event Management certificate, training a new generation of planners and coordinators to envision and enable gatherings in a way that’s ethical and sustainable. The part-time program is designed to help you earn your Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation.

Our future depends on the planet’s future, and there are so many ways to pursue a successful, meaningful career while making the world a better place. Talk to a BCIT advisor and find out which program is the best fit for you.

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