MEDIA RELEASE: Mohawk College applauds Government of Ontario for investing in students Reply

HAMILTON (Feb. 25, 2016) – The Government of Ontario’s commitment to transform student assistance will put a Mohawk College education within reach of more young people in the community, says President Ron McKerlie.

“This is a good news budget for young people, their families and the communities we serve,” says McKerlie about the 2016 Ontario budget. “More of our students will graduate future-ready and debt-free.”

The Government of Ontario announced more than 50 per cent of young people from families with incomes of $83,000 or less will receive grants that are greater than the cost of average tuition. For students from families with incomes of less than $50,000, average tuition will be free.

In 2014-15, nearly 6,200 Mohawk students received $54.6 million in grants and loans through the Ontario Student Assistance Program. An additional 1,078 students received $3.7 million through the Province’s 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant. “Many of our students depend on tuition assistance to finance their education,” said McKerlie.

Mohawk launched an access project in 2010 to increase post-secondary participation rates among young people from priority neighbourhoods. “For many students and their families, the cost of education is a major issue. The Province has removed that barrier for many of those families and Mohawk is ready to deliver a quality education to the students who will build Ontario up.”

McKerlie also said the Province’s investment of $20 million over three years for college-based applied research projects is good news for students and Mohawk’s industry partners.

Mohawk currently ranks among the top 20 colleges in Canada for applied research activity, with hundreds of students working with dozens of private, public and nonprofit sector partners on mobile and electronic health, additive manufacturing and smart energy projects.

“Applied research projects give our students invaluable real-world experience and help our partners bring innovative solutions to market.  The Province’s investment will help Mohawk keep up with growing demand from our partners and strengthen our role in driving innovation and building prosperity.”

Mohawk College educates and serves 30,000 full-time, part-time and apprenticeship students from three campuses in Hamilton, Ontario. For the past five years, Mohawk has ranked first among colleges in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area for overall student satisfaction and has been named one of the Canada’s greenest employers and one of the region’s top employers for three consecutive years.

For more information, contact:

Jay Robb, Director of Communications,, 905.979.8893


Mohawk College launches mentorship program for faculty and staff Reply


mentorFuture Ready. Learning for Life is our vision for Mohawk College.

One of the ways we’re making our vision a reality for faculty and staff is by introducing a formal mentorship program.

Over the course of my career, I’ve had the great fortune to learn from outstanding mentors and serve as mentor to others.  It’s an incredibly powerful way to share knowledge and experiences and accelerate your professional development.

We’re looking for faculty, support and administrative staff from across the college to take part in a year-long pilot project.  Ideally, we’ll have up to 15 mentors and 30 mentees who will meet at least once a month, with support from our Human Resources department.

You’ll find more information posted here about Mohawk’s new mentorship program, including an application form.

Across-the-board improvements on Mohawk College’s employee engagement survey results Reply

survey scoresFour out of five faculty and staff would recommend Mohawk as a place to work and learn to their relatives and friends.

These are among the results from our employee engagement survey administered last October by CCI Research with a response rate of 65 per cent.

There were across-the-board improvements on all engagement scores compared to our 2013 survey. Among the statements posting double-digit gains were “Mohawk does a good job of valuing diversity” and “Mohawk cares for the communities that we serve”.

College-wide, the following statements had the strongest agreement from faculty and staff:

  • My work contributes to the success of our students
  • I believe my work contributes to the success of Mohawk’s strategic priorities
  • I know how my work contributes to accomplishing my department’s or school’s goals.
  • I am proud to say that I work at Mohawk.
  • Proper measures are taken to ensure my physical safety at work and in the surrounding area.

While the survey results are impressive, there’s always room to improve. The following statements had the lowest scores:

  • Mohawk does a good job at managing employees who are underperforming to help them improve.
  • At Mohawk, superior performance is recognized and rewarded.
  • At Mohawk, information and knowledge are shared openly, honestly and in a timely manner.
  • Mohawk is quick to recognize a job well done.
  • Senior Management motivates our employees to perform at a high level.
  • At Mohawk, my opinion counts.

We’ve asked every department and program to review their scores and put together action plans that will make our college an even better place to work.

Cheering on Mohawk College Mountaineers Men’s Volleyball Team Reply

mohawk volleyball

Our 13-5 Men’s Volleyball team takes the court this afternoon at 1 p.m . against the Fleming Knights in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association Championships at Seneca College.

You can watch a livestream of the match here.

During this morning’s OCAA Breakfast, Cody Charlton was named an OCAA 1st Team League All Star and Eric Girard was named an OCAA 2nd Team League All Star and OCAA West Scoring Champion.

Congratulations on a great season to Cody, Eric and their teammates Chris Dashford, Ben Tonin, Chris Spack, Max Anderson, Steven Falk, Andrew Dube, Trevor McLaughlin, Charlie Hancock, Justin Fliss, Brandon Koklis, Nathan Delguidice, Jesse Walczak and Paul Wagner.

And thanks to head coach Matthew Schnarr, assistant coaches Adam Schiedel, Mark Kaveckas, Jonathan Hills and Jason MacCullouch, Brittany Galan and Phoenix Sports Medicine Experts and to all the parents and supporters of our varsity team.


Future Ready. Learning for Life. Introducing Mohawk College’s bold strategic plan Reply

Strategic plan coverWe’ve officially launched Mohawk’s new five-year strategic plan following months of consultation with students, faculty, staff, our Board of Governors and college partners.

Together we’ve built a bold plan with a clear vision that will make Mohawk the college of choice for prospective students, funders, donors and employers.

I introduced Mohawk’s blueprint for the next five years during town halls at all three of our campuses.

I previewed the strategic plan following a review of our latest employee engagement survey results. We achieved across-the-board gains on all the survey results compared to the 2013 results. Four out of five faculty and staff would recommend Mohawk to family and friends as a good place to work and learn.

Here’s a copy of my remarks.

“Our strong engagement scores is good news as we get set to launch Mohawk’s new strategic plan.

Our plan is Mohawk’s roadmap for the next five years. It promises to be a pretty amazing ride.

In keeping with the recommendations from our employee engagement survey , let me start by saying thanks. Thank you for a job well done.

We asked you for big ideas. You delivered hundreds of them.

We asked you to review our strategic plan while it was a work in progress. You made hundreds of comments and suggestions.

We consulted over many months with faculty, staff, students, our Board of Governors and college partners.

Together, we’ve built a bold plan that plays to our strengths and takes us in new directions.

This is a plan that’s equal to the challenges and opportunities on our horizon.

A plan that’s equal to the challenges and opportunities on the horizon.

We can expect more competition for fewer students. More competition from other colleges and universities.

Here in Hamilton, our public schools have 6,000 empty seats. Those are 6,000 elementary and secondary school students who won’t be coming to Mohawk.

Our plan will make Mohawk the college of choice for direct, non-direct, international and apprenticeship students.

We can expect more competition for public and private sector investment.

To be the college of choice for students, we need to continue upgrading our labs and classrooms at all three campuses. We need new equipment and technology.

And so does every other college and university. They’re not just looking to construct new buildings. They’re also looking to maintain aging campuses. Among Ontario’s 24 colleges, there’s more than $1 billion in deferred maintenance. That number is significantly higher among Ontario universities.

Every college and university will be looking for investments and there’s only so much money to go around.

Our strategic plan makes a compelling case for why funders and donors should invest in Mohawk.

Those are some of the major challenges heading our way. We also have a golden opportunity.

I chair the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Workforce Development. The task force includes leaders from some of Hamilton’s major companies.  We’re talking with Hamilton employers and business owners about their short and long-term hiring needs. What are the skill gaps in our city and how can we fill them.

Every employer we’ve talked to said they’re looking to us. They’re counting on our students and graduates.  They plan to hire a disproportionate number of college grads.

To meet that need, we need to grow. And we need to stay relevant and responsive to the needs of our partners.

Our strategic plan will do exactly that.

We’ve built a bold plan with a clear vision.

Future ready. Learning for life.

Our students will be future ready. All of us will play a part in transforming our students into future-ready graduates. Our students will gain the knowledge, skills and experience to chart a brilliant future.

And we will stay connected with our graduates in learning for life. We will be there to help our graduates advance in their careers as they take on new roles and responsibilities.

So that’s our vision for Mohawk. Future ready. Learning for life.

Our plan is built on the four pillars of student success, graduate success, collaboration and partnerships and community leadership.

Supporting our four pillars will be a strong foundation of fiscal stewardship.

Rather than walk you through the commitments and objectives under each pillar, let me preview where Mohawk will end up in 2021.

This is where we want to be in five years. How we get there will be up to you.

In five years time, Mohawk will be the number one college for graduate employment. The best way to sell Mohawk to prospective students is to showcase the success of our graduates.  We’ll be known as the college that puts students to work.

In select programs, we’ll offer job guarantees to our top students and offer everyone a job readiness course and toolkit.

In five years time, Mohawk will be the number one college ifor employer satisfaction. Our future ready graduates will consistently exceed expectations. And we’ll have a reputation for forging strong, mutually rewarding partnerships with employers. Keeping up with employer demand will be our biggest challenge – and a very good problem to have.

In five years time, Mohawk will be among the top 10 colleges in all of Canada for applied research. Our students will work with regional, national and international partners to bring innovative solutions to market and make the world a better place. Our applied research projects will attract significant funding and investments and spur heavy demand for our students and graduates.

In five years time, Mohawk will be recognized as a leader in simulation-based learning.  Students will be immersed in interactive learning environments that replicate the real world. If you want to see the future of learning at Mohawk, look to the simulated hospital at our institute for applied health sciences. It was featured last week on the front page of the Hamilton Spectator. We also have other outstanding examples, from the Agency at our Fennell Campus to the Eco-House at Stoney Creek.

Simulation-based learning will make our students the best prepared for their co-ops, placements, capstone projects and first jobs out of college.

In five years, we will have invested heavily to expand and renovate our campuses.  In our last strategic plan, we invested over $90 million. We plan to invest the same, if not more, for the direct benefit of our students.

Some of renewal plans include a new partnership and innovation centre at our Fennell Campus. Major expansion to our simulated hospital at IAHS. And a new building at Stoney Creek were students and apprentices will work with industry partners on cross-disciplinary projects.

With apologies to Mo the Hawk, the construction crane will remain the official bird of Mohawk College.

And in five years time, Mohawk will be recognized for our leadership in building better colleges and stronger communities. We will be seen as leaders in improving access to post-secondary education. Advancing Indigenous education. Championing environmental sustainability. Welcoming newcomers, celebrating diversity and fostering a spirit of inclusiveness.  Other colleges and universities will come to us and ask, how did you that? We will have blazed a trail that others follow.

So those are some of the highlights of where Mohawk will end up at the end of our new strategic plan:

Number one in graduate employment and employer satisfaction

Top 10 in applied research

A leader in simulation-based learning

Major renewal at all three campuses

And a recognized leader on key initiatives that matter in our sector and our community.

We will be very busy over the next five years.

But I also want to highlight what won’t change.

Our students will continue to earn an education of the highest quality. They will continue to get the supports and services they need to be successful. And they will continue to get one-of-a-kind experiences to unlock their full and true potential.

And all of this will continue for our students because of you.

I’ve talked a lot about what Mohawk will become.

Let me remind you what we already are. And where we are starting this journey from.

In my opinion, Mohawk is already blessed with the best faculty and staff of any college in Canada.

An amazing, inspiring and highly engaged team with a singular focus on helping each and every one of our students achieve their dreams and realize full potential.

When you’re in the company of exceptional people, you can set ambitious goals.

So here’s what I need you to do this week.

On your way out the door, you’re going to get a personal copy of our strategic plan. This is the Coles Notes version.

Give the plan a close read. Mark up the pages with a highlighter. Bend the corners. Circle the priorities that you can support in your day-to-day work. Write down your ideas on how we can deliver on our commitments.

I realize this is a lot of information to absorb at once. Please know that this is the start of a conversation about our strategic plan. A conversation that we’ll continue over the next five years.

Along with conversations, we should count on many celebrations as we make this great college an even better place to learn and work.

So let me end off where I began by thanking you for a job well done. You’ve brought us to a place where can aspire to do even more amazing things for our students, graduates and their employers.”

Partnership with Natural Resources Canada and CANMETMaterials gives Mohawk College students unique opportunity Reply


LEARNING FROM THE BEST: (from left) Mohawk Alumni of Distinction recipient Peter Newcombe (Metallurgy and Materials Engineering Technology, 1990) works at CANMETMaterials and mentors Mohawk College students including Matthew Carter, Justin Rydelek and Raymond Griffen. No students from any other college have the same access to CANMETMaterials’ foundry lab in Hamilton.

At Mohawk, we transform students into future-ready graduates.

Our college partners play a big part in making that happen by giving our students hands-on and real-world experiences.

Natural Resources Canada is doing exactly that by opening the doors to CANMETMaterials in Hamilton.

CANMETMaterials is Canada’s largest research centre dedicated to the fabrication, processing and evaluation of metals and materials.

It’s also where Engineering Technology students run experiments in the research centre’s foundry and learn from Government of Canada scientists and technologists, including Mohawk Alumni of Distinction recipient Peter Newcombe.

I had the privilege of thanking Natural Resources Canada and CANMETMaterials yesterday.

Mohawk students are the only students in the country with access to CANMETMaterials’ foundry lab.

CANMET2I also presented CANMETMaterials with a plaque honoring the late Archie McCoy. It’s the same plaque that was displayed for 16 years at Mohawk’s foundry lab at the Fennell campus. We relocated our lab when CANMETMaterials relocated to Hamilton from Ottawa.

While I never met Archie, I’ve been told he was an accomplished foundryman, community leader, and a true creative spirit.  He was a dairy farmer, bus line operator and sporting goods retailer. And Archie was a leader in his church, chair of the Hamilton Region Conservation Authority and a proud father.  Archie’s sons Paul and Harry took part in yesterday’s event.


IN GOOD COMPANY (from left): Taking part in yesterday’s partnership recognition event at CANMETMaterials were Hamilton Mayor (and Mohawk Alumni of Distinction recipient) Fred Eisenberger, CANMETMaterials Director General Philippe Dauphin, Paul McCoy, Harry McCoy and Kim Rudd, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Northhumberland-Peterborough South.




Hamilton’s top 40 under 40 includes four Mohawk College staff Reply

Congratulations to Melanie Sodtka, Ron McLester, Kevin Browne and Justin Fyfe on being named among Hamilton’s Top 40 Under 40.

The 40 Under Forty Business Achievement Awards, presented by Business Link Media Group, recognize Hamilton’s next generation of business leaders. The 40 winners are under the age of 40 and consistently make their mark in business and in their communities.

Melanie is a professor with Mohawk’s McKeil School of Business and our faculty lead with SURGE.

Ron is Mohawk’s Director of Aboriginal Initiatives and Special Advisor.

Kevin is a professor with our School of Engineering Technology and founder of Software Hamilton.

Justin is the Software Architect with Mohawk’s iDeaWORKS MEDIC team (mHealth and eHealth Development and Innovation Centre).

Congratulations again to Melanie, Ron, Kevin and Justin. You’re in very good company.

Mild winter means head start for construction on Mohawk College’s outdoor Indigenous gathering space Reply

hoop dance

Construction continues on Mohawk College’s outdoor Indigenous gathering space at our Fennell campus.

Mother Nature has allowed us to get a head start on completing construction of our new Hoop Dance space behind the Harold Cummings Library and Collaboratory at the Fennell campus.

Our outdoor Indigenous gathering space is the first of its kind among any college in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. I was honoured to take part in the dedication ceremony last Fall with Hon. David Zimmer, Ontario’s Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.
Crews are taking advantage of the mild winter to install the footings for a wooden superstructure that will encircle our one-of-a-kind outdoor classroom and meeting space for all students.
Indigenous gathering space

A preview of Mohawk’s Hoop Dance once construction is completed.

Mohawk College’s partnership with Canadian Securities Institute a first for Canadian colleges Reply

It’s another first for Mohawk College that’s a direct reflection on the quality of our academic programs and the calibre of our faculty in our McKeil School of Business.

We’re the first college in Canada to have an agreement in place with the Canadian Securities Institute. Our agreement exempts our Financial Services students from taking some of the requirements for a Personal Financial Planner designation. These exemptions mean Mohawk students can earn their designation faster than students at other colleges.

Managing Director Marie Muldowney says the Canadian Securities Institute is “very pleased to partner with such a highly respected Canadian college. It’s gratifying to know that through our partnership with Mohawk College we can help students achieve their career goals faster.”

And we’re grateful to the Canadian Securities Institute for giving this opportunity to our students.