Top Ten

June 8, 2011

Ontario Tories' apprenticeship proposal criticized

As per its election platform, the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party would transfer more training responsibilities to the community college system among its proposed apprenticeship system reforms. Training, Colleges and Universities Minister John Milloy say colleges do a great job with regard to apprenticeship training, but employers need to have a voice at the training table. The deputy director of Interior Systems Contractors Association of Ontario says if colleges take on a larger apprenticeship role for some construction trades, there could be significant capital and program development investments required, which, in turn, would increase the funding burden on the province. "There are certain trades that are not being offered in the college system to meet the market demand," he says. "It would be a challenge for colleges to do that." Daily Commercial News

Fleming suspends sustainable renovations program

After only being offered for one year, Fleming College’s Haliburton campus will suspend fall 2011 intake for its sustainable renovations program due to low enrolment numbers. The program's director says an inability to identify and finalize a renovation project for the upcoming year in advance may have also contributed to the program suspension. Plans are currently underway to construct a residential project with a local organization as a future renovation project for the program. While remaining confident that the program will be offered again in September 2012, the principal of the Haliburton campus says in the future the program needs to be better marketed. Haliburton Echo

uManitoba agricultural and food sciences faculty restructuring curriculum

The University of Manitoba's Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences has conducted a review of its academic curriculum and is restructuring its programs to better prepare graduates for the workforce. The faculty's associate dean academic says it is not necessarily delivering different material, it is delivering that material in way that ensures graduates are able to use that information once they begin their careers. The faculty is asking staff to look at their courses, making sure students are using the information provided to them to help them become better critical thinkers, be able to work within groups, and be able to communicate better. uManitoba Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences News

Ontario undergrad confirmations for June highest in last decade

New statistics from the Ontario Universities' Application Centre show that as of June 6, 85,255 secondary and non-secondary students have accepted admission offers, the highest figure recorded for June since 2002. The acceptance rate among high school students rose by 1.8% to 68,651, and among non-secondary students the rate increased by 1.9% to 16,604. OUAC Undergraduate Confirmation Statistics -- June 2011

Mohawk College's iDeaForge a forum for institutional innovation

Mohawk College has launched a program that allows students, faculty, and staff to submit ideas to improve facilities, academic offerings, school policy, or any other aspect of campus life. Modeled after similar initiatives used in the private sector and believed to be first for a Canadian PSE institution, iDeaForge will accept submissions until July 22, with a period of voting afterwards. The idea with the most votes will be reviewed by Mohawk president Rob MacIsaac for possible implementation. The college has committed to instituting one idea per semester. Mohawk Matters | Hamilton Spectator | iDeaForge

uRegina, Indian university sign MOU on kinesiology degree

The University of Regina and India's Karunya University have signed a memorandum of understanding that will allow up to 30 Indian students annually to earn a Bachelor of Kinesiology (B.Kin) degree. It is the first B.Kin degree to be offered in India. Karunya U will deliver the first 2 years of the program, and students will then attend uRegina for the program's final 2 years. The idea for the partnership came about as a result of a trip uRegina president Vianne Timmons made to India last fall. uRegina News Release | Regina Leader-Post

83% of Grade 10 students in Ontario pass literacy test

According to results from the 2011 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test, of the students who wrote the test for the first time, 83% were successful, maintaining the high rate of success seen in recent years. Of the 104,030 student who wrote the OSSLT test this year and wrote provincial tests in Grades 3 and 6, 48% were successful and had also met the provincial reading standard in both Grades 3 and 6. 36% were successful even though they had struggled at some point during elementary school, not having met the provincial reading standard in Grade 3, Grade 6, or both. EQAO news release

US institutions look at attendance to improve student success

The practice of taking attendance is gaining new emphasis in some US college classrooms, with administrators and professors viewing stronger incentives for attending as a method to advance their goals of improving retention and increasing graduation rates. For example, administrators in the California State University system have asked faculty to consider taking attendance or making it mandatory, if they don't already, as one part of an effort to raise the proportion of students who graduate within 4 years. Northern Arizona University officials are trying to better track attendance by using technology to record who does or does not show up for class, with one goal being to improve retention among first-year students. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Proposed British private humanities college hits obstacles

The establishment of a new private liberal-arts institution in England appears to have already hit some snags. One proponent of the New College of the Humanities (NCH) has said its students would have access to many resources at the University of London, including its libraries. However, uLondon says there was no formal agreement between it and NCH regarding academic matters, and there was not yet any agreement regarding access to uLondon libraries by NCH students. The for-profit venture also faces a major roadblock in how it bills itself. A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which oversees universities, says NCH "is not currently a university college" and "has not yet applied to use this title." The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Debt gives young adults self-esteem boost, US study finds

Rather than feeling stressed by the money they owe, many young adults actually feel empowered by their credit card and education debts, according to a new US study. Researchers observed that the more credit card and college loan debt held by young adults between the ages of 18 and 27, the higher their self-esteem and the more they felt like they were in control of their lives. The effect was strongest among young adults in the lowest economic class. Only the oldest of those studied -- individuals aged 28 to 34 -- began showing signs of stress about the money they owed. Ohio State University Research News