British Columbia’s highly developed transfer system amongst all post-secondary institutions began in 1989 with the establishment of the BC Council on Admissions and Transfer (BCCAT). The transfer system centres on a system of articulation committees that mediate common policy among diverse institutions and provincial government. The Political Science articulation committee, for example, is comprised representatives of all post secondary institutions in BC and Yukon (private and public) that offer courses in Political Science, broadly construed. Inevitably articulation committees become strategic actors in pursuing collective objectives.
In 1994 the BCCAT Political Science Articulation Committee approved a proposal to establish a professional association with the aim of encouraging and promoting studies conducted by its members of governance and politics in British Columbia and elsewhere. The Association would be modelled on the highly successful Atlantic Province’s Political Studies Association (APPSA) then in its 20th year of operation. It would operate as an affiliate of the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA) and encourage its members to take part in the activities of the CPSA.
Simon Fraser University offered to hold the first annual meeting of the Association and this meeting was held in conjunction with the BC Political Science Articulation Committee. The first BCPSA meeting was held at SFU’s Halpern Centre, May 5-6, 1995.
The BCPSA Annual Meeting has continued to be a two day conference usually held on the Thursday and Friday of the first week of May. The Association’s Annual General Meeting usually occurs on Thursday and the BCCAT Political Science Articulation meeting usually occurs on the Friday. The BCPSA Annual Meeting is hosted by a different member institution each year.
From its beginning, then, the BCPSA emerged as institution that combines a regional political studies organization and conference with discussion and debate on common educational policy and pedagogical issues of member institutions.
Still going strong after 24 years!