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A look back at 2021 #HereAtSAIT

Heritage Hall at SAIT

Yes, we’re closing out the year still in the throes of the pandemic. But, once again, our SAIT community showed up for 2021 — to class, of course, wearing pyjamas, sometimes, but also for new opportunities, new challenges, new possibilities and even new programs.

It’s been another big year, deserving of a big shout-out and bigger thanks to all our students, faculty, staff, grads, supporters and partners for making it another great one #HereAtSAIT.

As you look back, here are just a few of our favourite things from 2021.

We focused on the future

Through close collaboration with Alberta’s vision care industry, two new vision-care sciences programs were launched by the School of Health and Public Safety — Optician Diploma and Ophthalmic and Optometric Assisting Certificate. SAIT invested $1 million in a state-of-the-art lab for a unique hands-on learning experience. Take a peek at the tech inside SAIT’s new vision care clinic.

Small but mighty: micro-credentials

SAIT introduced a growing selection of micro-credentials — SAITMicro. The quicker way to level up your career, these short, specialized and stackable courses currently range from 18 to 33 hours to complete and, in some cases, can be combined into a higher related credential.

New challenges create new opportunities for SAIT graduates

Following the success of the commemorative Alumni for Alumni Bursary, SAIT launched the Level Up Alumni Awards in July. An expansion of the bursary, the program features three types of student awards to support more SAIT graduates in their lifelong learning journey.

A win for applied research

In May 2021, the inaugural Mayor’s Innovation Challenge asked: How might we advance innovative energy solutions on the path to net-zero emissions in order to achieve economic, social and environmental resilience? Among the 130 submissions was the ARIS Battery storage project — a breakthrough vanadium energy storage system. The project went on to win the Pre-Commercial/Startup Stream at the competition.

Spirit of philanthropy on full display

SAIT’s fifth-annual Giving Day was a showcase of community spirit, raising awareness for new priority student support areas, such as Inclusion Matters. With minutes left in the 24-hour marathon, a generous donation was made by anonymous SAIT alumni pushing the final tally well past the fundraising goal.

Resources with a ripple effect

SAIT’s new $1-million Water and Wastewater Pilot Scale Treatment Lab will give students the opportunity to harness their skills and learn in an applied setting, working with the same equipment and processes they’ll use in industry. The equipment — arguably the best in the world — was sourced from the other side of it, hopping the pond all the way from France.

Supporting Indigenous student success

This fall, the Chinook Lodge Resource Centre celebrated 20 years of providing emotional, financial, spiritual and academic support to SAIT’s Indigenous students. In addition, with a donation of $340,000 from Finning (Canada), the Aboriginal Futures Endowment Fund reached $2 million. The fund ensures the long-term sustainability of programs and services offered by the Lodge.

One of the greenest homes on earth

“The Confluence” made its debut in early 2021. SAIT’s Green Building Technologies research team along with Woodpecker European Timber Framing and an Alberta family partnered to construct the one-of-a-kind home in the foothills of southern Alberta. The living building has been recognized at national and international levels.

We’re so glad you’re #HereAtSAIT

We launched a new social channel just for SAIT students. From ways to get involved to mental health resources and study tips — plus some content you didn’t even know you needed — students can find it all @hereatsait.

The roadmap to a more inclusive campus

SAIT kicked off 2021 with the release of its first Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. Informed by employee and student survey data, internal and external stakeholder consultation sessions, industry input and an audit of current initiatives, the strategy is a five-year plan of action designed to help the SAIT transition into a more inclusive institution.

Staying relevant in the changing digital economy

On Feb. 1, 2021, SAIT officially launched its first bootcamp, Applied Machine Learning. The 12-week intensive program offered mid-career Albertans the opportunity to re-skill and master new digital skills essential to compete in today's digital economy. The in-demand programs produced by the School for Advanced Digital Technology and Centre for Continuing Education have grown to include offerings in Product Development, VR Development and more.

We hope you were inspired to look back on 2021 and celebrate your own memorable moments. See you in 2022!

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