What better time to celebrate the start of a new decade than by announcing the fulfilment of a post-secondary educational project that’s been 12 years in the planning. As of January 2020, Wilfred Laurier University will be offering a Master of Education program at the Milton Educational Village (MEV). A reception was held at Pasquilino’s restaurant in Milton on December 19th to celebrate this all important first step towards establishing a campus that will, in decades to come, serve over 15,000 students.
The plans have been in the works since 2008 with a series of steps that have paved the way for the construction of the Wilfred Laurier University campus in Milton. Until then, classes will be conducted at the MEV in Milton and will offer classroom sessions in combination with on-line options that can see a course taking 2 years to complete from start to graduation. Cathy Miyata will be the first Milton professor teaching a small group of students in Milton pursuing their Masters of Education in 2020.
Hosted by Deborah MacLatchy, Wilfred Laurier University President and Vice-Chancellor and Lynda Kitamura, Laurier Board of Governors Chair, the evening presented an opportunity for Milton community partners to connect with Wilfred Laurier’s senior administration and academic leaders. The evening was attended by a full cadre of government, municipal and educational representatives who gathered to celebrate a pivotal step that will see Milton as a prime location within the Toronto-Kitchener corridor, making it more convenient for teachers and others to enhance their educational credentials.
In her opening remarks, President MacLatchy stated, “The reception tonight represents the promise of post-secondary education for our youth, for those up-skilling and re-skilling to improve their futures, for growth and economic development for Milton, Halton, and Ontario through research, innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Adam van Koeverden MP, Parm Gill MPP, Milton Mayor Gord Kranz, Dr. John Tibbetts, President of Conestoga College, and Lynda Kitamura, Wilfred Laurier Board of Governors, delivered their comments on the exciting new venture to an enthusiastic audience.
WLU has partnered with Conestoga College on the Milton Campus, as it has in both Waterloo, and Brantford. “We are different in that we focus much more on applied,” Conestoga President Dr. John Tibbits said. He estimates that approximately 52% of the workforce in the Kitchener-Guelph- Cambridge area has gone to Conestoga College. He looked forward to taking the next steps. “We’re gung-ho” Tibbits said of the Milton Campus.
Lynda Kitamura, wrapped up the formal presentations by reminding everyone that it was in 1820 that a few Milton families started the community when they set up the first grist mill as a survival necessity. “I think those people could never have imagined the kind of growth that Milton is experiencing today, 200 years later, and the effect that the Wilfred Laurier University and Milton collaboration will have for years to come.”