Recognized as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 20, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Lakeland College was selected as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2018):
- Lakeland College supports employees who are new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments (to 95% of salary for up to 12 weeks) and offers the option to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence -- additionally, the College offers the convenience of onsite daycare for when employees are ready to return to work
- As part of Lakeland College's health benefits plan, employees can allocate $800 per year to health or wellness spending accounts
- Lakeland College employees enjoy a full suite of onsite amenities including a cafeteria (with healthy and special-diet menus), a quiet room for meditation and religious observance, an employee lounge and a state-of-the-art fitness facility, featuring instructor-led classes, an indoor pool, a climbing wall, and squash and racquetball courts
Creating the next generation of leaders at Lakeland
After moving to Alberta from California in the early 1980s, Alice Wainwright-Stewart taught school in a small farming community near the Saskatchewan border and periodically supervised students from Lakeland College's Vermilion campus, 60 km to the south.
"As I learned more about Lakeland," she says, "I thought, 'That's a place where I'd like to be.'"
Less than 18 months later, she joined Lakeland as a part-time instructor, teaching the early childhood development regional program. The next year she was hired as a full-time instructor and soon became program chair. Now, after three decades as a teacher, dean, and vice president, she's President and CEO of Lakeland.
"I know from experience that Lakeland provides people with opportunities to develop their potential," says Wainwright-Stewart. "It's a shared process that requires fostering an environment of trust, respect and mentoring. But the benefit is that shared leadership builds a talent base and creates the next generation of college leaders."
Lakeland also provides opportunities for students to shape their own education through student-run and student-managed projects and events. Students run math fairs, play programs, fashion shows and agricultural retail businesses. They work with clients in an on-campus spa and salon and, in the Energy Centre, generate heat and power for Lakeland's second campus, in Lloydminster.
Ben Harrison joined Lakeland at the Lloydminster campus in 2015 as a Public Services Librarian. Focused on supporting and enhancing the education of Lakeland's students, Harrison's initiatives have extended far beyond the conventional role of a librarian.
In less than three years at the college, he has served as a facilitator with the business department's public speaking program for students, partnered with a local business accelerator on a project that brought a 3D printer to the Lloydminster campus, helped the college create a new visual identity and is part of a team working to establish an archive for preserving artifacts and records of the college's history.
"There's a lot of support here for putting forward new ideas that benefit the college and the students," he says, "and to obtain funding for new services."
Like Harrison, Lakeland's 334 faculty and staff contribute far more than their expertise to the college. From its student-managed farm and student-managed play program to its student-led environmental consulting office, says Wainwright-Stewart, "our heart and soul is student-focused. It's not nine-to-five. It's a lifestyle."