Top Ten

July 21, 2010

Kwantlen president launches probe into farmland research funding

Kwantlen Polytechnic University president David Atkinson has launched a review of the institution's decision to accept $50,000 from a real estate development firm at the same time Kwantlen was promoting the farmland development project it was researching. The Vancouver Province reported that Kwantlen researchers did not reveal to the Tsawwassen Area Plan Committee during a meeting last December that they had been paid to research the project, which they were supporting. In a release sent out Tuesday, Atkinson stated he had initiated a review that will examine the circumstances of the fee, as well as the expectations of its memorandum of understanding with the developer. Results of the review will be submitted to Kwantlen's board of governors and subsequently made public. Vancouver Province

UPEI gets publicity on "Live! with Regis and Kelly"

The University of Prince Edward Island reports that its website saw a 50% increase in hits on July 13 after receiving about 90 seconds of dedicated airtime from Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa during a live broadcast of "Live! with Regis and Kelly," which was on location on PEI for 4 episodes last week. During the "host chat," Ripa hoisted her UPEI mug and said the province had a great university, while Philbin joked that the stuffed toy Pather mascot he received kept him "up all night." The hosts mentioned the UPEI-based Atlantic Veterinary College's summer vet camp, and Ripa said she was thinking of sending her kids to the camp next year. The comments come as a result of small gift packages and personalized letters to the hosts hand-delivered to their hotel. Increased visits to UPEI's website, inquiries about the vet camp, and e-mails congratulating UPEI on the positive exposure highlight the boost in awareness the university received via inclusion on the program. UPEI News Release

ACAD appoints new president

The Alberta College of Art + Design announced Tuesday the appointment of Dr. Daniel Doz as the institution's new president and CEO, effective August 23. Doz will come to ACAD from Ryerson University, where he has served as dean of the communication and design faculty. During his tenure at Ryerson, Doz was actively involved in major university capital projects, such as the Ryerson Gallery and Research Centre, the Student Learning Centre, and the university's master plan. Born in Montreal and raised in France, Doz has a doctorate from the Université de Paris VIII, and is licensed as an architect by the French government. ACAD News Release

GPRC to partner with new hospital for health-care training

On Tuesday, the Alberta government gave the green light for a long-awaited second hospital for Grande Prairie, which will partner with Grande Prairie Regional College to try to attract and keep health professionals. GPRC president Don Gnatiuk says the announcement is a big win for the college, in that "we now have health and education together in one wonderful opportunity." Until about 7 months ago, GPRC planned to build a health sciences building on its own, but with the partnership proposal from the provincial government, GPRC didn't have to think twice before accepting it. Gnatiuk says it's too early to tell how many students may benefit from in-hospital training, but GPRC already knows it will be a popular addition to the institution. Edmonton Journal

Algoma U program introduces foreign students to Canadian civil society

Algoma University has launched a pilot program for international students to polish their English language skills while learning about life in a small Canadian city. "Exploring Civil Society in a Canadian Context" will feature 2 sessions in July and August, with over 50 students from Brazil, China, Japan, Korea, and Mexico participating. Known as Algoma U's "Summer Study," the program includes a minimum 18 hours a week of direct ESL instruction with an equivalent number of volunteer hours in the community. Participants will produce a booklet to highlight their experiences and raise questions on the attributes of a civil society. Algoma U has placed more emphasis on international recruitment in recent years. The institution has responded by adding staff and programming to assist foreign students with the transition to studying in Canada, increasing scholarship opportunities, and organizing international recruitment visits. Algoma U News Release

Construction of Northern College trades centre on target

Northern College says its Centre of Excellence for Trades and Technology is on target for completion in time for classes this September. While there remains a $1-million shortfall in fundraising required to equip the centre, projected construction costs of $17.3 million remain on target. The centre, based at the college's Timmins campus, will feature a 12,000-square foot simulated industrial trades shop, new lecture theatres, industrial science labs, student common areas, and a state-of-the-art tele-presence studio. Through a $4-million investment in next-generation videoconferencing equipment, the centre will also begin delivering trades training to the college's Moosonee campus. Northern College News Release

Gap year becoming more popular in US

The option of taking a gap year between high school and post-secondary has gained popularity in the US in recent years as college admissions have become fiercely competitive. While there is no data on how many Americans take a gap year, some admissions dean say they are seeing a rise this year following more publicity about the benefits of deferring enrolment. Vermont-based Middlebury College, for example, just started including a paragraph in its admission letter urging students to visit a new website about the merits of a gap year. “By encouraging more students to step off the treadmill and smell the roses, they can kind of reacquaint themselves with what their education is all about.’’ Boston Globe

Trend in US colleges preparing students for a dangerous world

More US institutions are offering courses that teach students to deal with a shrinking and increasingly dangerous world, with whole programs in fields such as anti-terrorism and cybersecurity designed to prepare students for careers battling the things that frighten us. In 1994, there were 4 university-level emergency management programs in the US, while today there are over 150 and another 30 currently in development or approved. Among the factors contributing the growth of security-related programs is that in the aftermath of 9/11, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 created a dozen Centres of Excellence at universities and research labs, which were asked to increase America's understanding of various aspects of dangerous threats, such as explosives and biological attacks. NPR

More US institutions experimenting with iPads

A growing number of American post-secondary schools are ready to bestow iPads on their students for academic purposes. Oklahoma State University, for example, plans to hand out iPads this fall to an estimated 120 students in 2 courses at the institution's communications and business schools. At Duke University, master's students at the Duke Global Health Institute will experiment with the iPad's usefulness in field research, while students in the University of Maryland's Digital Cultures and Creativity living-and-learning program will learn to develop their own applications. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Comics have power to promote prose literacy in young boys

In a new Lessons in Learning article, the Canadian Council on Learning observes that comic books and graphic novels may hold the key to promoting prose literacy in young boys, who have traditionally lagged behind girls in reading. The CCL cites research that suggests young boys may be less interested in reading because their literary interests, such as comics and adventure stories, are under-represented in their schools and classrooms. Research also suggests that comics serve as an effective gateway to reading prose-based works, and contribute to the development of visual literacy. CCL News Release | Read the article