All programs at Rhodes Wellness College (Rhodes) are assisted and assessed by an advisory council called a Professional Advisory Council (PAC). This council meets once or twice per year (or more often if the need arises) to ensure that Rhodes’ programs are meeting market demands, as well as the changing needs of society. As Rhodes Wellness College practices a DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) practitioner-based model, developing competency in practice and capabilities in DEI spaces are lenses that the Council will always prioritize.
Rhodes has successfully garnered a Category 1 ranking as a Designated Learning Institution (“DLI”) under the Private Training Act Policy Manual of the BC Ministry of Advanced Education’s Private Training Institution Branch (PTIB) and has also received provincial EQA (Educational Quality Assurance standards) designation. Designated institutions must establish Professional Advisory Councils (PACs) to ensure Class A programs (certificate or diploma programs that con- firm the completion of a career training program) reflect current practice in the relevant career occupation(s). PACs, which can be established for a single program or a group of programs, must consist of individuals who:
- Have experience working in relevant career occupations
- Are not directly related to the institution (this means the institution cannot control the PAC member, and the PAC member cannot control the institution)
Each PAC must also include an institution staff member who serves as the Administrator. PACs must meet on a regular basis – at least once every two years – and the institution must keep written records of PAC meetings for at least four years.
The Rhodes Professional Advisory Council members represent diverse and dynamic roles within the community of wellness services in Canada who are committed to the purpose and mission of Rhodes Wellness College, as well as the eight values it strives to practice (see Appendix 3).
The Role of Professional Advisory Council Members
The Professional Advisory Council (PAC) strengthens the institution and programming through sharing their experience and their personal and organizational values, as well as through direct connections to industry, academic, and organizational colleagues. A successful PAC provides strategic advice and input in the review of the institution and programs offered to help the College respond to changing industry, community, and regulatory requirements and needs. The PAC helps ensure that programs stay relevant to the needs within communities across Canada that Rhodes students can potentially serve in, and helps Rhodes anticipate future trends and shifting needs. Their perspective assists the leadership of the institution to ensure that new and existing programs are well constructed and positioned for industry, and that curriculum and curriculum delivery sufficiently prepares graduates to excel in industry and in communities they choose to practice in.
From time to time, and at the discretion of individual members, PAC members may undertake additional activities to support Rhodes programs and enhance the student experience (see sec- tion 1.2 for examples of activities). In recognition of the significant time and effort spent on these activities, they are tracked and reported on annually to provide an accurate picture of the signif- icant contribution that the PAC members make to Rhodes and to its programs.
The Role of College Faculty and Staff
Rhodes faculty and staff will attend PAC meetings in a resource capacity at the request of the PAC Administrator or any PAC member. The role of faculty and staff in a PAC meeting is to provide context with respect to specific agenda items, to answer PAC questions, to observe as invited guests and to assist the PAC in any way they deem helpful to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the PAC. The ability for PAC members to engage in authentic and honest dialogue and provide their expertise and experience is of primary importance at all PAC meetings.
Rhodes leadership, specifically the Director of Education and sometimes the college’s President, and other organizational leaders, also attend PAC meetings to directly interact and receive feed- back and input from the PAC.
The Role of Students
The PAC Administrator may request that students be invited to meetings either on a regular or ad-hoc basis. Like faculty and staff, students attend in a resource capacity to provide feedback and answer questions raised by PAC members. Usually, students that have superior knowledge of the program they participate in, and possess a high level of skills acquired through their pro- gram, are invited so they can provide more in-depth insight to the PAC.
1. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PAC
The PAC is advisory and not administrative or executive in its nature. The Council is not responsible in any way for the allocation of institutional resources (e.g., human, facilities space, and capital) or responsible to make decisions for or on behalf of the institution. In structure, the PAC reports to the President of the institution or their designate.
1.1. The primary responsibility of the PAC is to provide program-related advice by:
- Reviewing and making recommendations for new and existing programs of instruc- tion and curriculum in relation to community requirements and the changing needs of the labour market
- Specifically helping Rhodes understand changes in industry and/or regula- tion that need to be addressed by the college to best prepare its students
- Advising on the development of new programs of instruction
- Networking partnership organizations for practicums and employment opportunities, and furtherance of common goals
1.2. Consistent with its overall advisory role, the PAC may also contribute to the programs in the following capacities:
1.2.1. Comprehensive and Annual Program Reviews
- Participating in the annual assessment and scheduled comprehensive reviews of programs to ensure that the changing requirements of business, industry, and society continue to be met
1.2.2. Work Integrated Learning
- Offering advice regarding clinical/field experience, co-op and work experience, placement opportunities, and internships
- As appropriate, enabling site visits at their places of employment
- Assisting in securing student work integrated learning opportunities
1.2.3. Promotion of Programs
- Serving as ambassadors for the programs by disseminating information to the community about programs, scholarships, and bursaries
- Participating in faculty open houses
1.2.4. Student Support
- Helping to establish scholarships and bursaries for students
- Aiding in identification of sources of donations and in-kind contributions
- Being available for mentorship and/or networking opportunities
- Acting as guest lecturers periodically or formulate other ways to interact with students as able
1.2.5. Industry Identifications
- Assisting in forecasting occupational trends
- Advising on current and potential future regulatory requirements
- Providing information about the competence and job-readiness of graduates
- Recommending new PAC members as needed to ensure optimum effectiveness
- Participating in professional development activities for faculty and staff as iden- tified by the PAC Administrator and President
1.3. PAC Membership
The PAC should include a cross-section of employers, representatives from regulatory and/or industry bodies, potential employers and other members of the community who have a direct interest, and expertise, in the particular program area. It is important that membership of the PAC, to the extent possible, reflects the diversity of experience and expertise, as well as the demographics of the industry.
Academics from other educational institutions may be invited to join the PAC as members, or as guests, as deemed appropriate by the President and PAC Administrator.
Rhodes is responsible for the establishment, operation, and record keeping related to the PAC. Within Rhodes, responsibility for successful PAC operation is delegated to the PAC Administrator.