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BEET students create campus master plan as part of their learning

April 7, 2021

Students from Medicine Hat College’s (MHC) Built Environment Engineering Technology (BEET) program are using the core principals taught throughout their program to develop a campus master plan.

According to Peter Kelly, coordinator and instructor for the program, creating a master plan, which is part of the CAPSTONE course, will challenge the students to apply many of the skills learned in the areas of building, civil and mechanical design technologies.

“A big part of their education has not only been in the 3D CAD software, and theoretical knowledge in these disciplines, but also in a variety of interdisciplinary skills, such as digital design and presentation, technical communication, sustainability, and project management,” says Kelly. “Students are going to have to apply literally everything they learned to successfully complete this project; even some of the soft skills like teamwork, time management, research, problem-solving, and critical thinking.”

A campus master plan creates a framework that takes the strategic direction of a post-secondary institution and formulates it into action, connecting the vision with building, transportation, landscape and effective utilization of the facility. It is a plan that guides the allocation of resources and anticipates changes to allow an organization to pursue their mission.

“With this project we apply systems thinking. We’re looking at every single aspect of a potential solution or problem, who is going to interact with it, how long does it need to last, when it’s no longer being used and when that time comes how is it going to be dealt with,” says Andrew Gendron, second year BEET student. “You have to think about every little thing. You are going through the process from start to finish – something you might not otherwise get to do in the first couple years of working.”

As part of this experiential learning project, local industry and stakeholders have shared their expertise and support with the students – including the executive team at MHC, industry partners, and members from the City of Medicine Hat planning department.

“We’ve been provided the chance to share our ideas. It gives us a chance to use our imagination and try to think of things that will work for the college into the future,” says Zachary Ferstl, BEET student. 

The work being done is impressive, adds Kelly. A plan can take years to develop, but his students have been challenged to complete the task in only 12 weeks.

I have been really pleased with their work so far.  My role in this class is as much about being a facilitator or guide as it is about being an instructor.  This means that students are taking the lead on developing their projects.  A project like this is incredibly complex.” 

For more information on the Built Environment Engineer Technology program, visit or connect with the academic advisors at