Profile – External Assessment of Water Quality Technician Course

In 2013, Durham College undertook a review of the Water Quality Technician program and meetings took place with faculty, staff, students and graduates at the Oshawa and Whitby campuses to observe these facilities. The average cohort size is about 35 students per year and is made up of mature students and students graduating from secondary school.

From Durham College’s 2013 Program Guide it describes the Water Quality Technician as a program “designed to provide training in water and waste water treatment, water distribution, waste water collection, and environmental monitoring. Students in this program will receive specific education and develop skills to meet the requirements of municipalities with water and waste water treatment systems, water use industries, and environmental monitoring agencies”.

The program is now 8 years old, having started in 2005 and this is the first formal review of it. The main objective of the External Assessment Report is to comment on the program under review identifying strengths, challenges, and areas for improvement. Comments have been included that address:

  • to currency and relevancy of the curriculum,
  • quality of the faculty,
  • the learning environment,
  • resources both financial and physical, and
  • current plans for improvement

A discussion was completed with faculty about the various course components related to chemistry, communications, health and safety, microbiology, automation, water and wastewater treatment, system maintenance, hydraulics, and mathematics.

It was quite apparent that graduates, existing students and faculty are very passionate about the Water Quality Technician Program. Their willingness to share their insights and interest in providing constructive feedback is a testament of the shared learning experience. The assessment captured these impressions in a narrative form, which can be further explored by college staff and faculty, as time and resources permit.

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