After having Jim Beatty for a teacher for two semesters and seeing his passion for Olds College, I felt he was an excellent candidate for the job. He got his job teaching at Olds College by being contacted by the Chair of the School of Business, and asked if he would like to do some contract teaching for a semester. Although he had returned to the private sector, he missed teaching and so, after a few schedulednegotiations, he started to teach some classes in the Business Admin., Ag Management and Ag degree programs in January of 2010.
It didn’t take him very long to realize that Olds College was a pretty special place. The students were unlike the students he had taught back east –they had a good work ethic, fair language skills, and were genuinely nice people. The management and staff were welcoming and, to put it simply, he felt very comfortable in the environment.
As for what he likes about teaching at Olds College his reply was:
- The students. Pardon the expression but the “kids” are great. Overall—a good work ethic, most are anxious to learn and seem to be happy to be here although the student “community” isn’t as homogeneous as I thought it was.
- The School of Business – “The SOB is relatively new and therefore still developing. I have a 40 year background in community colleges as a student, President of the Student Union, member of a Board of Governors (7 yrs.), part-time and full time faculty member. “He hoped that he could add value to the SOB because of his depth of experience.
- The college community. It’s not completely perfect here. There’s always room for improvement but, of all the colleges he has been, Olds College is the best managed college he has seen. But it’s not just the people at the top …the passion and dedication of staff across the college is unlike anything he has witnessed.
- “Did I say the kids? Oh. Yah. Well….they deserve a second mention.
Jim Beatty has just recently been selected as Program Coordinator, for the Agribusiness program, and when asked if there is something about Olds College that he thinks people should know about? His response was that most people aren’t aware of the incredible scope of the College and how far its reputation extends. It never ceases to amaze him. An example of this is when last summer he was visiting Humber College in Toronto and dropped into the office of the VP Academic. He is a very introspective kind of guy- cool, detached etc. He asked me what I was doing, and when I told him that I was teaching at Olds College, he said, “Olds College …I’ve been there a couple of times. You people are doing some pretty interesting research out there”. I was shocked! Here was the number two guy at the second largest college in Ontario who knew a quite a bit about Olds College.
The college is quietly doing lots of innovative stuff –building partnerships, testing, trying, and adjusting the course of action. But …through it all, there is a very deep caring for the well-being and education of each student. This is a very special place.
Go talk to Dr. “Bug”, Dr. “A”, the Equine people, Trades people, Neil French in Ag ….. anybody in any school. They will amaze you with their passion and dedication. Olds College is a very small school by almost any measure. But…I have never seen such a ratio of high performing people and the numbers of people who care, really care about education. It doesn’t get any better than this.
It’s a privilege for him to rub shoulders with all the high calibre staff and students.
Thanks Jim for your Input and Perspective!