Albert L. Atkinson joined Douglas College in 1982 as Director, Student Services & Developmental Education. In 1989, he became the Dean of Educational and Student Services, a position he held until 1995, when he was appointed Vice-President, Educational Services. Atkinson was in this role until his retirement in 2004. Atkinson was a member of the Douglas College Foundation (1991) and the Education Council (1994-1995, 1997-1999).
During his 32 years of service at Douglas, Atkinson championed the needs of students with disabilities or who face barriers to education and employment. As such, a bursary was established in his name at the time of his retirement for students engaged in Vocational Education and Skills Training, or VEST, (formerly known as Adult Special Education) programs.