Top Ten

February 15, 2008

22 students shot at Northern Illinois University

Just after 3pm on Valentine's Day, "a skinny white guy" dressed in black burst into a Geology classroom at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb (65 miles west of Chicago). In less than two minutes the gunman, who was apparently not a NIU student, fired almost 30 rounds from a shotgun and two handguns into the class of 165 students, before killing himself. At press time, reports indicated 5 students were killed and 14 others sent to hospital. The Governor has declared a state of emergency, and classes at the 25,000-student campus have been cancelled for today. This is the fourth shooting at a US campus within a week. Chicago Tribune | CNN | International Herald Tribune | Globe & Mail | NIU homepage

Algonquin College needs $136 million to expand

Algonquin College is looking for $136 million to cover expansion costs.  Last year the College turned away almost 32,000 applicants, particularly in high-demand fields such as health care and construction trades, due to a space shortage.  President Robert Gillett gathered business and community leaders together earlier this week to hear the pitch for his $136 million growth plan.  Algonquin hopes to receive $100 million from the government, and $36 million from reserve funds and donations.  The Ottawa Citizen

Bill Gates "farewell tour" comes to uWaterloo

700 lucky ticket holders will see Microsoft founder Bill Gates when he comes to the University of Waterloo to speak next Thursday on his "farewell tour."  The University has set aside 200 tickets for high school students, and the rest will go mostly to the university's own students.  Those unable to secure tickets will be able to watch the event at a separate venue, on a live screen broadcast.  The event may also be streamed on the school's website.  uWaterloo is the only Canadian university included in Gates' tour of 5 North American campuses.  570 News | Waterloo Record

$21 million student services building for UWO

The University of Western Ontario has announced plans to build a new $21 million Student Services Building, which will become a "one-stop shop" for all student services.  The groundbreaking ceremony, taking place this morning, will include a First Nations ceremony to prepare the ground.  First Nations services will be included in the new addition.  UWO News Release

PEI senator calls for free PSE tuition

On the 10th anniversary of Prince Edward Island's Senate report on post-secondary education, Senator Elizabeth Hubley called for an end to tuition.  Hubley reminded the Upper House that many of the issues raised by the report continue to exist today.  "As a society we long ago decided to provide free education through high school because it was the bare minimum needed, but things have changed, and a high school diploma is no longer enough."  The Guardian

SIAST expands nursing program into Saskatoon

The Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology will be expanding its Practical Nursing program, which will now offer 28 new seats in Saskatoon.  SIAST now directly "provides or brokers" 600 seats for first-year nursing students.  "SIAST plays a critical role in our province's training system which is vital to the province's labour market needs."  SIAST News Release

Counsellors need to get more involved in school decisions

A new study of 188 high schools in 30 major metropolitan centres, conducted by a researcher at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, concludes that a high school's approach to college counselling influences whether many students will attend college.  Regardless of other factors, a student is more likely to attend college if guidance counselors take a "proactive role in helping navigate the process of choosing and applying to colleges." The effect is minimal on the most driven, or the least qualified, students. The Chronicle of Higher Education | Report 

CMSF announces international conference for April

Canada is "facing increasing shortages of qualified young people for jobs that require PSE," yet a third of Canadian young people are not advancing to higher education.  The Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation and the European Access Network are organizing an international conference to take place in Toronto April 6-8, featuring a roster of international keynote speakers. CMSF News Release

Multi-university channel launched on YouTube

Research Channel, a consortium of colleges and universities, runs a TV channel broadcasting video of campus events and lectures.  The project has now launched its own YouTube channel, joining hundreds of other schools that use the popular website. (Research Channel seems to have a slogan perilously close to that of the University of Windsor.) The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required) | Research Channel on YouTube

Two-way, "conversational marketing" is appreciated

The latest EduWebBuzz blog entry talks about something very near and dear to our hearts here at Academica Group: Conversational Marketing.  Brian Niles says "stop speaking at your audience, and start embracing the conversation."  Students, and even their parents, are talking more than ever thanks to the evolution of Web 2.0. They want to be heard and they want their questions answered.  (Conversational marketing is also the principle behind Perspectives, a multimedia DVD and curriculum tool designed by Academica Group for CMSF and the BC Ministry of Advanced Education.)  EduWebBuzz | Perspectives Case Study