Launching WatSPEED to full operation

Addresses objectives:
T4A Establish a lifelong learning centre 
T4B Leverage partnerships and engage alumni in lifelong learning

In progress

WatSPEED was developed in 2020 and launched in 2021, in direct response to the strategic plan’s goal to establish a lifelong learning centre. The new business unit leverages Waterloo’s faculty strengths, learning models, and alumni connections to serve the growing need for upskilling in an era of rapid technological change. The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic created the additional challenge – and opportunity – to provide professional development in an online environment.
In 2021-2022 the priority focus for WatSPEED remained on operational development while it launched three pilots in partnership with professional associations. Current professional association partners are: Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario, Canadian Institute for Health Information, and Ontario Society of Professional Engineers. WatSPEED has managed growth carefully, to ensure adequate resources and infrastructure are in place to support scalable programming. Initial offerings have been successful. Several key strategic challenges currently being addressed are securing enough faculty to produce programs in areas that align with Waterloo’s strengths, ensuring operational infrastructure is robust to manage dynamic enrolment and course offerings, and identifying future partnerships for development.
Jump to: DT Goal 4 | Developing Talent Goals

Moving forward: Three new courses are in development or awaiting approval for 2022-2023. WatSPEED continues to modernize and refine more than 10 legacy professional development programs to align with WatSPEED’s brand and mission. Over the next year, WatSPEED will continue to refine its operational structure, integrate learnings from pilot courses, and expand partnerships for future development. It will also enhance alignment to industry through advisory groups, alumni connections, and government programs to ensure they are targeting areas of business disruption with high skills gaps that align with Waterloo’s strengths.