Institutional Priorities

Contact Us

Looking for information or help with Academic Transformation? You can contact us at

Related Plans and Information

RRC Polytech Strategic Plan 2022-26

Biographies of Program Board

  • Dr. Christine Watson (Co-Chair)
  • Lynn Zapshala-Kelln (Co-Chair)
  • Adam Gerhard
  • Giselle Martel
  • Jeanine Webber
  • Aileen Najduch


What is Academic Transformation?

Academic Transformation is a formal initiative at Red River College that will position us to remain relevant and viable through increased student enrolment and a flexible and effective student experience. It is not a single “project” – rather, it is an umbrella program of projects that are governed and managed together to maximize benefits and minimize risk.

To achieve Academic Transformation, we need to critically assess many of the old ways of doing things – including our concepts of full-time and part-time programs, program-based fees, and processes that are unique to site or delivery method. It also requires improving our data analytics. This transformation will result in in the standardization of business and academic processes, introduce effective college-wide systems and models, and imbed a ‘user experience’ mindset that puts the student first in all that we do, while maintaining the financial sustainability of the College.

Academic transformation is a multi-year initiative that is integrated within the College’s Strategic Plan Academic Plan and Research Plan.

Isn’t Academic Transformation the same as Course Based Registration?

Not exactly. Course Based Registration is a component of Academic Transformation, which is a much broader initiative. Academic Transformation is a “program of projects” that looks at enrolment and academic IT systems, a new fee model, and curricular updates. This structure provides a governance model with unified oversight, as well as a roadmap that outlines the various impacts to systems, processes and units to support a successful implementation.

Is CBR still happening?

Yes. The College’s commitment to the goals of CBR remain in place. Programs will still continue to be updated and created using our CBR Guidelines. Programs converting to CBR are still attached to a Phase – for example, 9 programs are part of Phase 4, currently converting for launch in Fall 2022. Likewise, Phase 5 programs will be established in Fall 2021 for launch in Fall 2023.

We are currently taking a modest approach to the number of programs in each Phase until deliverables are achieved in other Academic Transformation projects. This will allow more of our remaining programs to be converted with improved systems, better data analytics and an enhanced user experience in place.

Find more information about CBR phases, steps, and resources.

Why has the College decided to pursue Academic Transformation?

Out new Strategic Plan leads a bold new vision for RRC as a globally respected polytechnic. From this, we know we must change if we want to stay relevant and leading edge for our students, industries and communities while maintaining a sustainable business model. Academic Transformation is a key driver in achieving this.

Industry looks to us for graduates with transferable technical and human skills that can span across sectors. Our industries value an inclusive workforce including Indigenous and immigrant talent, and we recognize that our diverse students are seeking flexibility, transparency and efficiency in all aspects of their post-secondary journey.

We recognize that some of our business processes and systems are outdated, involve manual workarounds, or are inconsistent between sites or departments. We also know we can do more to make the student experience “user centered”. In order to meet the needs of students and industry, doing things as we have in the past is simply no longer an option and incremental change will simply not keep up with the pace of external demands. This is why transformational change is required.

Is this program intended to speed up the results of transformation?

Not to start. Down the road, efficiencies in both user and business experiences will be noticeable as deliverables begin to be achieved, but Academic Transformation’s purpose is to drive effective results, to manage risk, and to support a coordinated effort towards long-term benefits – not simply to get work done faster.

Initially, the momentum of the program may actually feel slower for some stakeholders. This is to be expected, to allow the needed time for the program board to establish principles, develop project boards and teams, prioritize projects and allocate resources. As projects are set up and begin their work, this momentum will increase.

Haven’t we been doing Academic Transformation already?

Yes. Many of the activities already taking place under the heading of “CBR” are core elements of Academic Transformation, including implementing Common Communications courses, enhancing Student Planning, progressing through Program Conversion (CBR Phases 1 to 4) and enhancing Work Integrated Learning. However, until now, we have not had a formal governance framework to support all of these multi-pronged and interdependent projects in a truly coordinated way.

What projects will be part of Academic Transformation?

A Program Board will be responsible for approving which projects are part of Academic Transformation. These projects are currently being scoped and more projects may emerge. You can find the most up to date list of active projects on the Academic Transformation staff forum site.

What is the Program Board?

The Academic Transformation Program Board is a newly formed governing body comprised of RRC senior leaders who will provide direction and oversight, perform a change sponsorship function and provide risk management. All Projects within Academic Transformation will have oversight by the Program Board.

What is happening to the CBR Steering Committee?

This committee has been dissolved with the introduction of the Program Board. The former members of the CBR Steering Committee, including Deans and Directors, will continue to serve as a formal Advisory Council. The Advisory Council will meet on a regular basis to provide input and updates to the Program Board. Some Executive Directors, Deans and Directors may also be leading projects within the Academic Transformation program.

How is Academic Transformation be resourced?

The Program Board has leadership support to manage the work and drive program benefits, as follows:

  • Program Management
  • Change Management
  • Business Architecture and Analysis

In addition, each project within Academic Transformation will be provided with leadership and supports that are scaled and customized to project needs, some of which may include:

  • Project Sponsor and Project Board (small, typically 2-3 people)
  • Project Management
  • Change Management
  • Business Analysis
  • Advisory Council

I used to bring questions and issues to the CBR Steering Committee. Where do these go now?

If you are in a project team, bring your question to the Project Manager. It can either be managed by the Project Board or escalated to the Program Board.

You are also encouraged to raise the item with your manager, who may be involved in related projects.

If you are unsure who to bring your question or feedback to, please reach out to the AT Program Manager James Krahn or contact

What is the Academic Transformation Roadmap?

The roadmap is a plan that will document all activities undertaken within the Program (all Project activities). This document will assist in the prioritization of activities and the dependencies between activities- what needs to happen, when, and by whom. For example, in order for programs to offer more common courses to students, we must develop a more standardized tuition fee model first. Our roadmap will provide clarity, purpose and an ability to track our progress. It is currently under development and will be one of the first items that the Program Board reviews.

What is the timeline for Academic Transformation?

The timeline will be developed hand-in-hand with the roadmap. It is too early to provide an end-point, but we do know that this is a multi-year Program. As the timeline is developed, more information will be posted.