Niagara University formally unveiled its new location in Vaughan, Ontario, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sunday. The site, in the Vaughan Metropolitan Center, is also the first university to be established in the City of Vaughan and York region. It supports Niagara University’s commitment to becoming the premier binational university within the Province of Ontario.
“We are pleased to continue to strengthen our binational relationship with the Province of Ontario by becoming a permanent part of the Vaughan community,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M, Niagara University president. “This new location will provide opportunities to better serve our students and faculty, while developing a learning environment that fosters research, teaching, and service to work with the community to make a positive impact on the lives of others.”
The nearly 12,000-square-foot site, located in the heart of Vaughan’s emerging downtown core, includes seven classrooms, faculty and administration offices, and student lounge areas. Nine full-time faculty and administrators, as well as a number of part-time faculty and supervisors, staff that location, where more than 300 students are pursuing Bachelor of Professional Studies and Master of Science in Educational Leadership programs. In addition, approximately 50 practicing teachers take additional qualification course work each year.
Since 1984, NU has offered programs in Canada that operate under the written consent of the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. The university has maintained strong partnerships with Catholic and public school boards in Ontario, as well as with many of the colleges in the province. The opening of a permanent location in the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre for the university’s Niagara University in Ontario program will give students and alumni a place to call their NU home, and continue the 35-year legacy of Niagara alumni who take on professional levels of leadership across all professions in Canada.
While the location is new, educators will continue to be prepared in an embedded model that places them directly within schools through university-school partnerships. This robust model of educator preparation has been highly researched in terms of the qualifications and experiences of teachers who begin their careers and remains an important part of NU’s programs.
In addition to Maher, officials from NU and the Province of Ontario offered their remarks, including member of Parliament Francesco Sorbara, Vaughan Woodbridge; Hon. Doug Ford, premier of Ontario; Hon. Stephen Lecce, minister of education; Hon. Michael A. Tibollo, associate minister of mental health and addictions; Hon. Maurizio Bevilacqua, mayor of the City of Vaughan; Dr. Michael Salvatori, CEO and registrar for Ontario College of Teachers; and Dr. Vince Rinaldo, NU director of Ontario administration: academic. The Rev. Stephen M. Grozio, C.M., Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Mission, gave the closing blessing before the ribbon was cut. Tours of the site followed.
Classes started in Vaughan on Jan. 21 for Niagara University in Ontario’s Bachelor of Professional Studies in Education program, which is accredited by the Ontario College of Teachers, and the Master of Science in Education program. Both prepare aspiring professionals for careers in primary-junior and intermediate-senior teacher positions, among other education-related employment opportunities.
The City of Vaughan is one of Canada’s fastest growing cities with a population of more than 335,000. Incorporated in 1991, Vaughan includes the communities of Concord, Kleinburg, Maple, Thornhill and Woodbridge. This culturally diverse municipality is located in the heart of York Region and the Greater Toronto Area.