Top Ten

May 20, 2008

NSCC launches Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology program

On Friday, Nova Scotia Community College announced a new program in Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology. The two-year diploma, focusing on creating sustainable buildings, is among the first of its kind in Canada. Students in the program will master the art of creating customized energy systems that include solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and tidal. The program is part of "The Greening of NSCC," an initiative involving constructing environmentally-friendly buildings, establishing ecological-themed curricula, and developing leading-edge environmental knowledge and sustainable practices. NSCC News Release

Ivey helps professional women "ReConnect" with work

UWO's Richard Ivey School of Business launched "ReConnect: Career renewal for returning professional women," the first leadership renewal program in Canada for professional women returning to work. ReConnect is a 7-day immersion program, taught by Ivey faculty, that will renew critical business knowledge, provide leadership skills, and serve as a stepping stone for professional women looking to return to the workforce. Founding sponsor CIBC is providing $1 million over 5 years to fund the program. ReConnect's inaugural program will start at Ivey in October, followed by an intensive 2-day expansion and graduation in November. Ivey News Release

UBC launches public energy monitoring project

The University of British Columbia has launched a public monitoring research project to make its buildings more comfortable and energy-efficient. The university has partnered up with a Vancouver-based energy management software company to track energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions savings in 5 campus buildings. UBC is apparently the first Canadian university to make such information public, in real-time online, thanks to meters installed across campus during UBC's recently completed 5-year, $38.5 million ECOtrek project. UBC News Release

Queen's Graduate Studies promotes video contest

Queen's University is encouraging its grad students and alumni to create videos desribing their decision to attend grad studies at Queen's. To show prospective students why Queen's got their vote, participants in the "Grad School Rocks" contest are encouraged to "display the positive aspects of the student experience at Queen's" by discussing events, students clubs, athletics, classes and research. Winners will have their videos posted on YouTube, iTunesU and the School of Graduate Studies website. The contest runs until September 12. Queen's U News

CCL says mobility affects high school graduation rate

A new report from the Canadian Council on Learning suggests mobility is a significant factor contributing to the high-school dropout rate among Aboriginals, which is substantially higher than the Canadian average. Among youth aged 20-24, fully 40% of Aboriginals do not have a high school diploma, compared to 13% of other Canadian youth. Research from BC found Aboriginal students who were highly mobile -- meaning they moved and changed schools frequently -- were less likely to graduate high school than their less-mobile peers. CCL Report

Mature students often overlooked on campus

Maclean's Jeff Rybak suggests mature students, who often remain isolated, should consider organizing for unified advocacy on campuses. Such a group could raise visibility of mature students, and ensure that their perspective is considered as policies are drafted and plans formulated. Rybak observes "information bias," where universities gear information towards younger undergraduates, straight out of high school. He suggests that schools should work to provide accessible information relevant to mature students, such as daycare bursaries, family benefits and mature student-related financial aid. Maclean's OnCampus

Growing diversity means adjustments to fundraising tactics

A new report says American PSE institutions need to adapt their fundraising strategies to anticipate emerging trends in philanthropy. The report from consulting firm "Changing Our World" identifies such trends as an increasingly diverse student body, a plateau in enrolments, the growth of community colleges and the rising cost of PSE education. A dicey economy, higher tuition and growing student debt can all make alumni less likely to donate. To overcome such obstacles, the report suggests schools have their development and student affairs offices work closely together, understand the growing influence of globalization in higher education, and strengthen presence abroad to widen alumni networks. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | OnPhilanthropy

US campus crime hoaxes on the rise

Media attention and campus alert systems established in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre may have a hand in a recent jump in false crime reports on US college campuses. In the last six months, there have been at least 9 false crime reports nationwide. For example, shortly after the highly-publicized testing of an emergency alert system at UNC Chapel Hill, a student made a false claim he was attacked by an armed man in a robbery attempt. "For some people, it's attention-seeking. For others, it's revenge. For still others, it's the feeling of power they get by watching a college campus react." North Carolina News & Observer

Growth predicted in blogs, blog advertising

eMarketer predicts the number of people creating blogs in the US will reach over 35 million by 2012. The same year could see over 145 million people -- 67% of the nation's Internet population -- reading blogs at least once a month, compared to 94 million in 2007. The niche orientation of the blogosphere will drive up blog advertising spending. By 2012, blog advertising in the US will reach $746 million, which is more than triple 2007's total of $238 million. eMarketer