A New Name, A New Direction
The year 1988 brought with it major changes within the provincial College system. The change from the "Community" College to the "Regional" College not only resulted in a name change but a mandate change. The new Regional Colleges Act was passed as well as the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology (Sask Polytech) Act. This resulted in a larger geographical boundary with an increase in population as the Colleges picked up the areas around the cities that formerly had been served by city community colleges. There was a clear mandate to increase the number of University and Sask Polytech credit courses and to focus on employment related training. Hobby and leisure courses were no longer within the mandate of the College system. The change had clear impacts on programming; during the first year as a Regional College, there were fewer courses and fewer students, but there were proportionately more student hours. The number of communities in which learning activities were offered decreased and with this, the role of the contact committee system was reduced and would eventually cease to exist by the early 1990s. The College work force also required modifications. While the community college operated largely on a part-time human resource base, this pattern began to be modified to a full time year-round pattern. The staff needed to have competencies in not only administrative and organizational skills but also in education and training.
The very positive steps that were taken because of the change in mandate has resulted in:
strengthened Basic Education services
strengthened University programming
training programs which more closely reflected the labour market needs of the region