Sheridan College students are gaining crucial 21st-century skills through practical, hands-on learning in the heart of Mississauga and its bustling economy.
The Hazel McCallion Campus (HMC), a fixture in the City of Mississauga’s downtown, has continued to expand since its opening in 2011. It’s home to 34 programs, including diplomas, degrees and graduate certificates offered by the Pilon School of Business (PSB).
There are many facets to the city’s economy, including a huge small business sector, alongside global leaders in advanced manufacturing, finance, supply chain, and health and medical, says Dr. Anne-Liisa Longmore, Dean of the PSB and Campus Principal of HMC.
“We so value how we support our community and how our community supports what we do. There is so much diversity and innovation happening in Mississauga. Our industry and community partners provide opportunities to our learners in a real-world environment.”
A second wing opened at HMC in 2017, increasing enrolment capacity to more than 5,500 students and adding state-of-the-art classrooms, studios, labs and production spaces.
Architectural Technology students use the LEED Gold building as a “living lab” for observing key building elements that improve sustainability, a core value at Sheridan. A community-building sustainability initiative operating out of HMC is Sheridan’s Bike Hub. It encourages and facilitates commuting by cycling, offers bike rentals and repair services, and provides bike education and supports.
“We are always looking for innovative ways to bring students and staff to a greater understanding of how they can make a difference,” said Longmore.
HMC is now growing again, adding a 70,000-square-foot student and athletics building that will offer dynamic studentfocused spaces.
Sheridan flourishes in Mississauga thanks to strong relationships with the City of Mississauga, the Mississauga Board of Trade, and with local industry, says Longmore.
“The one thing that Sheridan has done from the beginning is focus on being a true partner within its community. We open our doors in a way that’s unique. Community is part of our DNA.”
HMC includes a number of special spaces, including EDGE, an entrepreneurship hub that boosts development of social enterprises through workshops, mentorship, training and supports, and co-op opportunities.
“EDGE has leveraged Sheridan’s creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship expertise and resources to support more than 200 ventures since opening our doors in Mississauga in 2017,” said Renee Devereaux, Director of Entrepreneurship and Changemaking at EDGE.
“We’re building the pipeline of impactfocused founders who want to develop healthier, more sustainable cities while contributing to the region’s economic development.”
“These platforms are game-changing and life-changing for those who need them,” said Longmore.
HMC’s Material ConneXion Library, the first of its kind in Canada, give students access to innovative and sustainable materials they can see and touch.
“I’ve seen intrigued students construct entire designs around a material, or change their designs in order to accommodate a material they love. It all starts with that sensory ‘aha’ moment,” said Patricia Buckley, Creative Campus and Diversity Liaison Librarian.
Finally, HMC’s Creative Campus Galleries showcases student and visiting artists’ work to build an appreciation of art, says Longmore. A current virtual exhibit displays 12 silk screens from Sheridan’s own collection.
“There is a pride that this art comes from within our college. The pandemic has clearly shown how vital art is to our cultural landscape and building an understanding of the world around us.”
While the pandemic has forced a rapid pivot for academics, student support delivery, services like EDGE and the Material ConneXion Library, and community spaces like the Bike Hub and Gallery at Sheridan, says Longmore, the college has remained focused on quality and wellness.
“Our students feel that we have their back. That’s what matters most.”