New Cybersecurity, Greenhouse Technician Programs at St. Clair Approved | St. Clair College
Friday, January 28, 2022

The Board of Governors has approved two new full-time programs at St. Clair to enhance students' employability skills while supporting the needs of the school's industry and community partners.

A two-year Greenhouse Technician Ontario College Diploma Program will begin enrollment in the Fall of 2023, while a trio of Graduate Certificate Programs offered in Cybersecurity - Automobility will begin enrolling students this September for the upcoming Fall 2022 semester.

Waseem Habash, Vice President, Academic, said the addition of these programs is consistent with the College's strategic directions as it increases the number of students in programs with experiential learning opportunities.

Habash’s report to the Board of Governors described cybersecurity as a major threat to all industries and sectors of business. Habash explained that with the increasing use of computer-controlled vehicles and the eventual utilization of autonomous vehicles, the risks of cyber breaches will greatly increase.

To support industry and community partners in the automotive sector, St. Clair will offer three new graduate programs, which will require an existing post-secondary diploma or degree from applicants to gain admission. They are:

  • Cybersecurity - Automobility - a two-year Ontario College Graduate Certificate.
  • Cybersecurity - a one-year Ontario College Graduate Certificate.
  • Cybersecurity Analytics - Automobility - a one-year Ontario College Graduate Certificate.

Graduates of the Cybersecurity program may typically find employment in both the automotive cybersecurity field as well as the broader category of manufacturing and supply chain cybersecurity field. Graduates may also find employment in the utilities and finance sectors. For the Windsor-Sarnia region specifically, these sectors represent 62 percent of the employment sectors.

Habash said the need for a Greenhouse Operator / Technician program for the counties of Essex and Kent was identified through discussions with local greenhouse growers, the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Association, and local politicians. After these discussions, Habash said the goal for the College was to develop a program that would provide classroom theory and lab work, while also giving students the ability to receive hands-on experience and spend time in industry partner greenhouses on placement.

The Greenhouse Technician program is designed for students interested in a career in the greenhouse sector. This is a two-year program where first-year students learn through a combination of in-class lectures, online learning, laboratory work, and greenhouse visits. In the second year, students may select to specialize in pest management or production, and their training will consist of in-class, online learning, and greenhouse experience approximately 50 percent of the time.

Graduates of the Greenhouse Technician Ontario Diploma program are expected to find work in greenhouse production, as an assistant and/or head growers, pest management specialists, supervisors or managers, as well as opportunities in the logistics team. Graduates may be employed in Ontario’s greenhouse industry or in support services such as suppliers, manufacturers, logistics, and government positions as production technicians.

- Brett Hedges