Top Ten

May 12, 2011

Group of STU profs opposes honorary degree for Fredericton mayor

A group of St. Thomas University professors says it is improper for Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside to receive an honorary degree from the institution on Sunday. Some professors are troubled by Woodside's "record on the environment and by his unwillingness to recognize gay and lesbian citizens through his past refusal to declare Gay Pride Week"; other faculty members say the issue is not the mayor per se, but the ethics of awarding an honorary degree to a sitting politician. One professor says STU is violating its policy that degrees are not normally awarded to sitting local politicians. Some professors feel strongly enough about the mayor's award that they will boycott Sunday's graduation ceremonies as 400 students graduate from STU. Daily Gleaner

NWCC working to eliminate $1-million shortfall

Northwest Community College is working on a budget-cutting plan designed to eliminate a $1.1-million deficit. For now, BC's education and finance ministries have allowed NWCC to run a deficit, but that is based on the institution coming up with a plan to cut spending. Board members were to approve a list of cuts and other methods to save money at a meeting last week, but postponed a decision after instructors complained that they had not been asked for their input. Board members have admitted that tough decisions will be made and that programs, employees, students, and the community will be affected. NWCC administrators will be speaking with community members to determine how the school can effectively and efficiently provide courses and services. Terrace Standard

Distance ed, First Nations partnerships priorities in Northern College business plan

As per its 2011-12 business plan, Northern College will continue to expand distance learning options in communities throughout northeastern Ontario. Investments in new video technology will provide students with a high-quality learning experience with virtual classrooms, video streaming and recording for asynchronous delivery of courses. Over the next year, Northern College will continue to embed more Aboriginal content into the curriculum, develop self-directed materials to educate the college community about Aboriginal culture and perspectives, and foster partnerships to deliver programs and training in First Nations communities, particularly community-based and health-related programming and corporate training. Northern College News Release | Northern College Business Plan 2011-12

uWinnipeg adopts community learning policy

The University of Winnipeg's board of regents has approved a community learning policy whose primary focus is supporting youth from Indigenous and new Canadian families so they may graduate from high school and achieve post-secondary success. Under the new policy, the institution's Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre and Innovative Learning Centre will merge operations and be governed by an arm's-length advisory board comprising 50% of community members and 50% of uWinnipeg members. The policy affirms 4 important initiatives: the Model School, which becomes fully part of uWinnipeg's Collegiate; the Global Welcome Centre, which remains part of the English Language Program; the New Digital Learning Lab, operated by the Library; and the Opportunity Fund, which becomes part of the Office of Awards and Financial Aid. uWinnipeg News Release

Report explores impact of mental health problems among Ontario college students

Commissioned by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, a study at 15 provincial colleges finds that over 60% of students who accessed college counselling and disability services reported having a diagnosis of one or more mental disorders, with mood and/or anxiety issues as the most prevalent. Over two-thirds of students exhibited academic challenges, most frequently difficulty in maintaining concentration. Few students attended more than 2 appointments at counselling or disability centres. The report notes the numbers cited in the study are likely understated as only students who chose to access campus services could be documented. The report's authors say the situation should be "owned by the college as a whole and not just by the counselling, disability or medical centres." The authors recommend the survey used in the study be administered on an annual basis to track provincial trends, and that universities should participate to stimulate collaboration in training and research. Research Summary | Full Report

Mohawk College set to open new student services centre this summer

Mohawk College's former library at its Fennel campus in Hamilton is undergoing a $1.3-million renovation to become the future centre for student services. Slated to open this summer, the 17,000-square-foot facility will centralize services previously offered at 17 locations across the campus. "With the addition of our new centre, students will spend more time focused on becoming future-ready graduates and less time navigating the campus in search of services," says the college's vice-president of student services. The new centre is part of the largest campus renewal project in Mohawk College's history. Mohawk Matters

Niagara College students produce TV commercials for institution

A group of Niagara College broadcasting students has created 3 commercials for the school to air on network television. The goal of the project is to help promote Niagara College and its programs while allowing students to gain experience producing a broadcast-quality commercial for a real-world client. One commercial features a number of words to describe the institution -- relevance, experience, and confidence among them -- with the letters "nc" in each word highlighted in blue. Another TV spot showcases the school's Canadian Food and Wine Institute. The third commercial features a 4-year-old boy named Joel who dreams of doing a bunch of cool stuff and states that at Niagara College he can make his dreams come true. The TV spots began airing on May 2 and will run for an 8-week period. Niagara College News Release

COTR develops mobile website

BC-based College of the Rockies launched a mobile version of its website Wednesday to make it easier for people on the go to access key college information and resources. The mobile site features easy access to the most popular links on COTR's website, such as key contact information, student resources, campus maps and hours of operation, events, important dates, links to social media, and program information. With the mobile site, students will be able to quickly check if a course has been cancelled due to instructor illness, check library resources, or chat with a librarian through AskAway's mobile application. COTR News Release | COTR mobile website

Toronto high school wins Colleges Ontario's prom concert contest

Toronto's Malvern Collegiate Institute will have Down With Webster play at its prom next month as a result of the school winning Colleges Ontario's online contest, "College Sound Great." 82 Ontario secondary schools entered the contest, which asked students to describe why college sounds like a great idea to them. Malvern's entries included a video submission set to Down With Webster's "Time to Win" that describes the excellent quality of PSE provided at Ontario's colleges. The contest was part of Ontario colleges' ongoing effort to encourage students to explore the range of PSE programs available at both college and university, and to choose programs that best suit their interests and strengths. Colleges Ontario News Release | College Sound Great

uCalgary-Qatar creates zombie video game in tribute to nursing profession

The University of Calgary-Qatar (UCQ) Faculty of Nursing has developed a online video game called Nurses Against Zombieism, a fun tribute to the life-saving profession. The game requires players to heal zombies rather than kill them. In the game, nurses save humans by admitting them to the hospital; at the same time, they have to wrangle zombies into a de-zombification station to cure them. The video game was designed to inform people about the Qatar nursing program and stimulate interest in the profession. "In real life, nurses do exciting work that is critical to a healthy society, we just took it to the next level and added zombies to the equation," says UCQ's dean and CEO. "If anybody could save us from a zombie attack, it would be a nurse!" uCalgary News | Calgary Herald | CBC | Nurses Against Zombieism