Top Ten

October 9, 2009

Humber Centre for Trades and Technology meets skilled trades demand

Previously a furniture manufacturing plant and warehouse, the new 95,000-sq-ft Centre for Trades and Technology is the new home to several skilled-trades programs, such as carpentry, welding, construction and electrical at Humber College. Humber officials indicate the centre addresses increased demands for skilled tradespeople, and report that Humber's enrolment in apprenticeship programs has risen 10.5% this year, with particularly strong interest in plumbing and electrical. The Centre will ultimately serve as a mini satellite campus for Humber's apprenticeship programs. Toronto Star ParentCentral 

Medicine Hat College opens power engineering technology centre

Last Thursday, Alberta's Medicine Hat College celebrated the official opening of the EnCana Power Engineering Technology Centre, consisting of 2,000 square meters of renovated existing space and new construction.  Initially projected to cost $8.9 million, the final budget was increased to enhance the power engineering facility, and upgrade facilities such as the college's plumbing lab. As of September 30th, the budget had reached $9.4 million. The new facility will enable students to take advantage of services and facilities on main campus, while simultaneously learning in a modern centre with state-of-the-art equipment.  MHC News  |  CJCY-FM News 

McMaster union requests conciliator to 'set clock' on possible strike

CUPE Local 3906, the union representing 2,700 teaching and research assistants at McMaster University, has requested that a "no board report" be imposed to permit a strike or lockout 17 days later. While a strike would not cancel classes, it would force instructors to cancel tutorials and take on large volumes of marking. These contract negotations follow closely on the heels of concerns raised by McMaster support workers in August, who fought to protect pension plans. Mohawk College part-time support workers will also vote next week on whether or not to join the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.  Hamilton Spectator (McMaster)  |  Hamilton Spectator (Mohawk) 

RDC helps students keep their options open

RDC "Options" Ad Campaign 

A catchy new recruitment campaign for Alberta's Red Deer College encourages prospective students to "explore all your options," by annotating workplace photos with a range of career options. A commercial kitchen offers choices to "Design it. Wire it. Inspect it. Cook in it. Plumb it." A theatre stage suggests you can "Sing in it. Act in it. Critique it. Teach it. Produce it." The multi-channel campaign will run online, on radio and transit in Central and Northern Alberta through mid-November. 

Laurentian launches flash-y new recruitment microsite

Laurentian University has just launched a new student recruitment microsite, The vibrant, easy-to-navigate site presents visitors with a travel theme, inviting them to explore aspects of the university. Visitors can choose from such links as the Pocket Guide (which provides information on the campus and city, the areas of study and services and student life), Travel Journals (which highlights some Laurentian students and offers a glimpse into student and academic life), and Travel Tweets & Facebook (which provides links to Laurentian's Twitter and Facebook accounts). Visitors can also book a campus tour from the microsite. Explore Laurentian microsite 

UWO, Laurier launch portals to track spread of flu

The University of Western Ontario and Wilfrid Laurier University announced last week the launch of online flu portals for tracking and reporting student and faculty absences due to flu-like symptoms, in an effort to manage potential H1N1 influenza outbreaks. While concerns about abuses have been raised, the Associate Registrar at Western assures that it is not a "free pass," and that students will have to complete missed assignments in some other fashion. Both Western and Laurier students do not have to obtain a physican's note to request academic accommodation due to flu-like illness.  WLU news  |  Western News 

Will the campus gender gap hurt future fundraising efforts?

Some South Carolina educators are apparently concerned that female-heavy enrolment could mean lower alumni donations in future, based on federal statistics on earnings by gender. (Critics observe that these female grads will likely earn better incomes because of their education.) This fall, the incoming freshman class at the College of Charleston was comprised of 70% female students -- a 15% increase in female enrolments, combined with a 2.3% drop in males. Colleges with football and engineering programs generally achieve better gender balance.  Columbia Free-Times 

Greenfocus medium is message for uWaterloo

 uWaterloo Environment Faculty USB Memory Sticks

The University of Waterloo Faculty of Environment has put its money where its mouth is, eliminating faculty print materials and instead handing out bright green USB memory sticks at the Ontario Universities Fair, containing "flipbook" versions of the uWaterloo viewbook and the Faculty brochure. The memory sticks make a popular giveaway, and point to the Faculty microsite at  See the memory sticks and flipbook on Academica Group's AdSpotter.

uWaterloo Environment Flipbook 


Navigating the social media landscape

Inside Higher Ed writer Steve Kolowich observes that PSE institutions are eager to leverage social media to attract applications and boost fundraising efforts, but are unsure of their effectiveness and how best to take advantage of the new technologies. In particular, the absence of proven social media best practices has left some institutions leery of jumping on the social media bandwagon. Other institutions have begun adopting Facebook and Twitter without developing a coherent strategic plan, something which experts indicate could leave them at greater disadvantage than if they had failed to adopt the social technologies at all.  InsideHigherEd 

Economic downturn leaves foreign competition unscathed

While US institutions struggle in the wake of the economic crisis, government-backed foreign universities in France, South Korea and Australia report that not only have their institutions remained protected against the global economic downturn, but many are in fact building and expanding. In France, for example, the Paris Institute of Technology, or ParisTech, which receives approximately 70% of its financing from the French government, is building a large campus in the Paris suburbs that will produce 12,000 masters and doctoral students by 2015. American college dependence on endowments rather than government funding is cited as the reason for the fissure.  Chronicle of Higher Education 

Pity the poor turkey dumpers and dumpees

As we return to work from Canadian Thanksgiving, remember that your first-year students are likely preoccupied with that other great holiday tradition, the annual "Turkey Dump," in which they met up with their high school sweethearts and discovered things were over. As Metro Canada columnist Sofi Papamarko puts it, "colleges and universities are essentially alcohol-fuelled sex buffets," and only the strongest long-distance relationship can survive PSE. "Nobody brings a sandwich to a buffet." Victoria College's student newspaper, The Strand, offers a "How-To Guide" with 5 different ways to do the dumping.  Metro NewsThe Strand