Top Ten

February 20, 2007

Ontario Colleges Celebrate 50th Birthday

150,000 full-time students are currently attending the 24 colleges in the Ontario community college system, which is celebrating its fiftieth birthday.  Although increasing numbers of students are pursuing college in Ontario, the Toronto Star reports that most high school students are still drawn to university. This year, 12,000 students with a university degree will attend college to add a hands-on element to their education.  Kayla Spiess, a uGuelph graduate, says: "A degree is fantastic and it's an achievement but, in my mind, I always knew I'd have to get something else."  The Toronto Star

Tuition Hikes for French-Ontarian Students

Yesterday, the Ontario provincial government announced increased funding for French-language PSE programs at Glendon College , York University 's bilingual campus.  According to a reciprocal announcement by the Canadian Federation of Students, the funding announced included several previously-announced amounts and only modest new contributions.  An 8% per year tuition increase will also come into effect at French-language institutions, ostensibly to increase seats in French-language programs. A representative of the Glendon College Student Union stated, "Access is about more than seats... It is about who can afford to sit in those seats."  Many Franco-Ontarian students come from rural or northern areas where financial barriers are statistically more acute.  MTCU News Release | CFS News Release

Quebec Liberals Promise Tuition Increases

With the announcement of an election call expected any day, Quebec Premier Jean Charest has announced that his re-election campaign will approve the end of the province's 13-year tuition freeze. A re-elected Liberal government would allow a tuition increase of $100 per year for five years, a total boost of $1 billion into university pockets that will be matched by $1 billion of provincial funds as well.  Student demonstrators plan to target the 11 ridings where Liberals won narrow victories in 2003; the election is expected in late March.  The Ottawa Citizen

Jane Goodall Institute Moves to uToronto

It became official last week that the Jane Goodall Institute will be relocating to University of Toronto , from its 14-year home in Montreal . The institute, which raises money to support its namesake's work in African primate research, will receive low-rent space as a complement to the school's programs.  Toronto 's students and professors will have increased opportunities related to primate research, and conservation programs in Africa .  Dr. Goodall will also be in Toronto on a more frequent basis, available to speak with both public and academic members of the community.  The Globe & Mail | uToronto News Release

Algoma UC wins Workforce Development Award

Algoma University College, of Sault Ste. Marie Ontario, was the proud and deserving recipient of the Workforce Development Award at the Economic Developers Council of Ontario 2006 Ontario Economic Development Awards.  Algoma's Community Economic and Social Development Program was commended as an innovative degree, graduating professionals in community economic social development that will support communities. The Ontario Economic Development Awards recognize efforts to promote communities' location and tourism opportunities.  This year, over 190 entries were judged.  SooToday.Com

College Grads Honoured by Ontario Premier

Students at five Ontario colleges were honoured yesterday by the provincial government.  Of 85 nominees, six college graduates were recognized as "leaders in their field who have made important contributions to Ontario 's prosperity and quality of life." Algonquin College was honoured by having two grads awarded (in Creative Arts & Design, and Health Sciences), while Durham College (Business), Mohawk College (Community Services), Seneca College (Technology), and George Brown College (Recent Graduate category) were the other four schools whose grads received awards.  Each was given $5,000 and a bronze medal. Ministry of  Training, Colleges & Universities

Considering Higher Information Requirements from PSE

The US Education Department is moving forward with plans to require increased information submissions from higher education institutions, through the IPEDS.  The majority of the new information would be available through the department's College Opportunities Online Location website, meant to provide college information.  New reporting areas include whether schools use standardized testing and whether the results are posted online.  More detailed information on the cost of an undergraduate education is also sought, and details on the number of students who receive financial aid.  The proposal is open for college comment until March 26. Chronicle for Higher Education (Subscription Required) | Inside Higher Ed

US College Students Face Difficulty

Students who get accepted to college do not necessarily have the skills they need to succeed in a post-secondary environment.  A study of Boston Public School graduates has revealed that many students lack the academic and social skills to succeed at college.  Half of the students included in the study had to take remedial math in college, and 39% either failed or withdrew from the course. Students are not showing the ability to ask for help.  Improvements are needed on both sides of high school graduation: college prep needs to be available at the secondary level, and academic assistance is necessary for students once they arrive in college.  The Boston Globe

Math Masks Student Ability

Students who should be performing the best appear to be struggling the most with math anxiety.  Frustration and defeat by mathematics is systemic, and impacts students outside of the math classroom.  An individual's experience with the subject can affect their overall academic performance, and ultimately their career choice.  Students with high "working memory" resources are able to memorize numbers as they work through problems, but as problems become more complicated and beyond memory's capacity, their unconscious strategy of memorization becomes a hindrance.  The anxiety of a testing environment also tends to attack the abilities of working memory, which causes students with high resources to test particularly poorly. Psychologists have found that anxiety affects the testable performance of most highly skilled people, across a variety of subject areas.  Education Week (Subscription Required) | University of Chicago News Release