Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.39
Liaison Christine Pinkham
Submission Date March 30, 2021

STARS v2.2

British Columbia Institute of Technology
PA-7: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.33 / 3.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :

The non-discrimination statement, including the website URL where the policy is publicly accessible:

The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), the British Columbia Government and Services Employees' Union (BCGEU) Local 703 Support and Instructional Bargaining Units, the BCIT Faculty and Staff Association and the Student Association agree that all members of the BCIT community are entitled to work and learn in an environment free from Bullying and Harassment and Discrimination. To that end, these parties:

• Are committed to providing a learning environment where the individual differences of all students and employees are valued and respected.
• Will not condone and will not tolerate any Discrimination, Bullying or Harassing behaviour which undermines the dignity, self-esteem, and productivity of any student or employee.
• Consider Bullying and Harassment and/or Discrimination by any employee or student to be a serious breach of human rights which requires immediate resolution. Such resolution may include disciplinary measures up to and including dismissal or expulsion.

All members of the BCIT community are expected to promote a learning and working environment of mutual trust and respect. Nothing in Policy 7507 or its associated Procedure 7507-PR1, Harassment and Discrimination derogates from the responsibility or the role of managers of BCIT to ensure a work and educational environment that is free from Bullying and Harassment and Discrimination. BCIT is responsible to prevent and remedy situations of Bullying and Harassment and/or Discrimination as they occur.

Policy 7507 Harassment and Discrimination: https://www.bcit.ca/files/pdf/policies/7507.pdf

Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team)?:

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team:

The Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion (RDI) office is a resource to the BCIT community involving issues and concerns relating to discrimination, bullying and harassment and is available to help at all times. RDI follows the procedure set out in BCIT Procedure 7507-PR1, Harassment & Discrimination. This procedure provides a fair and equitable process for the resolution of complaints of Bullying and Harassment and Discrimination, enabling Bullying and Harassment or Discrimination to be stopped as soon as it occurs. This procedure applies to BCIT students, employees, and contract employees. This procedure can be accessed at https://www.bcit.ca/files/pdf/policies/7507_pr1.pdf.

Managers, supervisors, and instructors have a duty to intervene when they suspect that harassment or discrimination has occurred. Anyone can intervene when they believe harassment or discrimination is occurring. If it is not safe to intervene, or if the individual finds it difficult to intervene, the Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion office can provide help and support.

BCIT also provides support through the Employee and Family Assistance Program which includes a confidential counselling program for employees at no additional cost. Free and confidential one-on-one counselling is also available to all students through Counselling and Student Development.

Early Assist is a confidential online platform that provides employees and students an opportunity to identify students who may be struggling personally or academically, and offer them appropriate support and services at an early stage. The earlier a student gets connected with appropriate supports, the better chance they have to improve their performance and wellbeing.

BCIT is committed to the safety of every member of its community. As such, we’ve developed resources to help students, faculty, staff and guests become Safety Wise. These include a mobile app, a video series, and this website: https://www.bcit.ca/safety-security/safety-on-campus. Safer walk is a program where anyone can call to have campus security walk with them anywhere on campus and is available 24/7. They will wait with you until your ride comes. https://www.bcit.ca/safety-security/security/safer-walk/

There are emergency telephones on campus so assistance can quickly be summoned. They are found in parking lots, walkways, elevators, and in-house telephones at the Burnaby, Aerospace technology and Downtown campuses. BCIT Security Communications Centres are operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer calls for assistance. Emergency telephones can be used to report emergencies, request a safer walk, request first-aid, report suspicious activity, and to request assistance (e.g. for car problems, lost, etc.) https://www.bcit.ca/safety-security/security/emergency-telephones/.

BCIT does not tolerate any form of sexual violence and misconduct and expects all members of the BCIT Community to abide by the provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada and all other applicable laws. BCIT recognizes that each incident of sexual violence and misconduct is unique. We are committed to working with individuals who have experienced sexual violence and misconduct to ensure they are provided with the support and resources that they need. BCIT recognizes the traumatic effects of sexual violence and misconduct and encourages the efforts of individuals to seek support and recover. In 2017, following input from the Institute Community and an extensive review of best practices, BCIT released Institute Policy 7103 – Sexual Violence and Misconduct and Institute Procedure 7103-PR1 – Response to Sexual Violence and Misconduct. More information can be accessed at https://www.bcit.ca/safety-security/safety-on-campus/sexual-violence-misconduct/

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit students from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit academic staff from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs designed specifically to recruit non-academic staff from underrepresented groups?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to recruit students, academic staff, and/or non-academic staff from underrepresented groups:

Kory Wilson, Kwakwaka’wakw, BCIT’s Executive Director of Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships is one of British Columbia’s best-known advocates for Indigenous education. BCIT had more than 1,600 Indigenous students in 2019/20, and Indigeneity is increasingly reflected in the curriculum and teaching practices. A brief description of a few of the programs to recruit Indigenous students are provided below:

• The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program recognizes that Indigenous students are underrepresented in the student population and in the profession of nursing. BSN, in partnership with the Indigenous Services department, has formed the BSN Indigenization Circle working group. The circle’s vision is “Reconciliation in Action” and this team actively works to promote reconciliation activities for students and faculty. The goal is to Indigenize the BSN program by welcoming and working with Indigenous students. By improving how they recruit, support and successfully graduate Indigenous students, as well as recruit and retain Indigenous faculty and staff, they hope to strengthen the program. To encourage and support Indigenous applicants the program has a dedicated admission process with five reserved seats for Indigenous students. More information: https://www.bcit.ca/programs/nursing-bachelor-of-science-in-nursing-full-time-8875bsn/#page3
• BCIT Computing recognizes that Indigenous students are underrepresented in the student population and industry. In accordance with BCIT’s equity plan, to encourage and support Indigenous applicants, preferred candidacy will be given to Indigenous students in select full-time computing programs. In partnership with TD Bank, the Computing Department offers bursaries and entrance awards specifically for Indigenous Computing students. Up to $20,000 per year is available in multiple computing programs. More information: https://www.bcit.ca/computing-academic-studies/computing/indigenous-student-support/
• BCIT and several northern partners, including the Coast Mountain School District, the Haisla Nation, and the Kitimat Valley Institute (KVI), a trades and industry-training centre in Kitimat offer a joint program in refrigeration mechanics. The program aimed to enroll at least 50 per cent Indigenous students, and was specifically developed to remove barriers of cost and location, including running the program at the KVI campus, closer to home for students. It was funded in part by B.C.’s Industry Training Authority, and the Haisla Nation Council, to reduce tuition fees. The first graduating class included members of the Haisla and Nisga’a Nations, dual-credit high school students, and adult learners.

BCIT has a long history of encouraging and supporting women in trades. BCIT offers a 16-week introduction to trades program for women who are eager to join the industry but want to explore the variety of trade options available. The Trades Discovery for Women program is designed to allow participants extensive access to the available trades and technical training at BCIT campuses. These highly practical and relevant training programs prepare participants to successfully enter and complete trades/technical training or seek apprenticeship. Students gain hands-on experience in approximately 15 different trades disciplines. More information: https://www.bcit.ca/programs/trades-discovery-for-women-associate-certificate-full-time-1190acert/

BCIT International actively recruits and provides support for prospective immigrant students. BCIT has a diverse learning community with more than 6,400 International students in 2019/20 from over 116 countries. The International Student Center (ISC) is an essential resource for international students and provides a wide range of assistance to and programming for international students. This includes walking prospective students through the steps to submit an application and informing them of the required documents such as study permits and medical insurance. ISC also offers a wide range of information sessions, workshops and special events specifically designed for international students. More information: https://www.bcit.ca/international-students/

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs designed specifically to support students from underrepresented groups on campus?:

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs designed specifically to support academic staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support non-academic staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs designed specifically to support students, academic staff, and/or non-academic staff from underrepresented groups:

Indigenous Initiatives

British Columbia Institute of Technology acknowledges that our campuses are located on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish Nations of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam). Indigenous Initiatives provides a comfortable and welcoming place for students, families and staff through the Indigenous Gathering Place - called Mi Chap Tukw which means “a home away from home”. The hand logo, called Snewayelh (“teachings”), symbolizes the transfer of knowledge from one generation to the next and it raised in the Coast Salish welcome gesture. Through cultural and educational activities, Mi Chap Tukw creates a sense of inclusion and belonging for Indigenous students. Students and staff across BCIT are invited to participate in ceremonies celebrating the diversity and richness of the Indigenous culture.

Indigenous Initiatives provides the following services to Indigenous students:
• Referrals to other BCIT departments & the wider community.
• Free computer, fax, telephone & photocopy access.
• A wide range of scholarships, awards, bursaries, and financial aid for Indigenous students. Support for application including a funding application checklist.
• Student lounge at the Indigenous Gathering Place. There is access to a full kitchen and coffee is always on.
• Indigenous peer to peer mentorship - an Indigenous peer mentor is a guide and a knowledgeable resource that assists fellow students (Indigenous mentee) in developing strategies to succeed in their post-secondary education.
• Traditional Sweatlodge ceremonies. In Indigenous culture, the Sweatlodge empowers the natural elements of our being with the four elements of water, air, fire, and earth. All BCIT staff and students are welcome to join in the Sweatlodge ceremonies.

Accessibility Services

BCIT is committed to providing assistance to all its full- and part-time students with permanent or temporary disabilities. Accessibility Services promotes access to education and works to facilitate equal educational opportunities for students with disabilities. This is accomplished through direct support to students and through collaboration and consultation with instructional and administrative faculty.

Accessibility Services can help to accommodate a wide variety of needs including:
• Exam and program accommodations
• Adaptive technology and ergonomic aids
• Note-taking, scribes, readers
• Funding and grant information
• Alternative format textbooks
• Learning strategies support
• Interpreting or transcribing
• Campus orientation and access to designated parking

International Student Centre

BCIT is committed to making the transition to Metro Vancouver and BCIT as simple and stress-free as possible for international students. The International Student Centre offers many resources, including information on:
• International Orientation for new students
• Supporting and advocating for international students in the community
• Peer mentoring
• Study and work permits
• Info sessions, workshops & special events specifically designed for international students
• Working in Canada
• Medical insurance
Resources are available online or in person at both the Burnaby and Downtown campuses.

Does the institution have training and development programs, teaching fellowships and/or other programs that specifically aim to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members:

Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:

Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for underrepresented groups is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.