Top Ten

November 27, 2012

Brock tops capital fundraising goal, extends campaign

Brock University president Jack Lightstone announced Monday the institution has raised $85 million in support of its Bold New Brock capital campaign, surpassing its initial goal by $10 million. Lightstone also announced Brock is extending the fundraising initiative to the end of 2015, with a new cumulative goal of $110 million. Extending the campaign will include support for the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex projects, and funds for the new home of the Goodman School of Business and Brock's strategic plan. Brock News

Material on PSE benefits appear to encourage college-going behaviour, study finds

Providing easily accessible information about higher education makes a difference, particularly for students initially uncertain about whether they want to pursue or can afford PSE, suggest findings from a new study. A pair of Canadian researchers gave a 2-part online survey to approximately 1,600 students from disadvantaged secondary schools in Toronto. Half of the students taking the first survey were also shown a 3-minute video about the benefits of higher education and invited to try out a financial-aid calculator. Upon taking the second survey, students who saw the video projected significantly higher returns on PSE than did those who did not receive the extra information. The former group was also significantly less likely to say that tuition and other costs were the main reason why some people do not enrol in PSE, reported significant drops in the uncertainty about going on to PSE after secondary school, and seemed more likely to request information about going to specific PSE institutions when they were presented with that opportunity after completing the second survey. Inside Higher Ed | Abstract

Enhancing education program a priority for NOSM

In its draft strategic mandate agreement, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine states that given current health care trends toward Interprofessional Education and Integrated Clinical Learning, the school will ensure its curriculum is aligned to support new and innovative methods of delivering classroom and clinical education. Among efforts related to this priority objective is expanding the distributed community engaged learning model to all of NOSM's education programming for health professionals to meet learner and community needs, integrating the expertise brought by Aboriginal and Francophone peoples. Another initiative is to lead the adoption of new education and learning models with external accrediting bodies to increase the focus on community-based learning. NOSM SMA

uToronto Arts & Science undergrads encouraged to develop ideal international learning experience

Undergraduates in the University of Toronto's Faculty of Arts & Science are encouraged to use the Dean's International Initiatives Fund to put forward their own ideas for an international learning activity that meets their academic goals. Students are invited to submit proposals for original activities that will have a measurable impact, outlining how they would share the experience with the rest of the faculty and wider uToronto community. Each proposed program must include supervision by a faculty member and be distinct from other existing international activities. Successful submissions will receive up to $10,000 to support travel and research costs. uToronto Arts & Science News

Ryerson students in course on easing transition to university propose learning environment improvements

In an elective social science course, first-year arts students at Ryerson University have to make a case for and research one change at the institution that would facilitate the transition to university for first-year students. One group investigated how Ryerson can improve learning environments, specifically increasing study space at the library. Noting that first-year students often feel intimidated and are scared to ask questions, the group recommended producing a library handbook that lists all resources and services and could be included in a welcome package at the beginning of the year. The students also recommended moving group study space areas to the new Student Learning Centre once it is completed and extending library hours to 24/7. Ryerson News

uLethbridge releases campus planning documents

The University of Lethbridge's Campus Planning and Architecture department has released a pair of publications: a key parameters document outlining the framework of the Library and Learning Commons project, and a report on the proposed University Hall Renewal. The Library and Learning Commons project would boost the amount of informal learning and social spaces at uLethbridge. It proposes the development of strategically located study hubs and commuter lounges for students, as well as a reorganization of the library in order to accommodate a Learning Commons. The University Hall Renewal document includes descriptions of the long-term vision for the facility, its role on campus, and the potential mix of the building's uses, including instructional space, social space, and residence space. uLethbridge News

More Canadian citizens taking GMAT

The Graduate Management Admissions Council reports that Canada recorded a rise in tests written by aspiring MBA candidates over the past 5 years. The number of Canadian citizens taking the Graduate Management Admission Test increased by 7% to 7,820 over 2008-12, while the US saw a 7% decline in GMATs written by its citizens over the same period. One explanation for the difference is that the demographic "youth bubble" is slightly younger in the US than in Canada, says a GMAC official. Moreover, she notes, younger students -- ages 25 and under -- are interested in a broadening portfolio of non-MBA graduate-level specialty programs offered at US business schools. "There's more program diversification in the US [than Canada]," the GMAC official says, noting the growth in graduate degrees in marketing and communication, social media management, and data analytics. Globe and Mail

Burlington hospital becomes McMaster clinical education campus

McMaster University and Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital have reached an agreement that makes the Burlington-based hospital a clinical education campus. The agreement means the hospital will see a significant increase in student doctors, medical residents, and other health-care learners from McMaster's Faculty of Health Sciences. Joseph Brant has hosted McMaster learners for some time, supporting more than 3,500 medical teaching days annually. Although officials could not say exactly how many more medical students and residents will now undertake training at the hospital, it's "a significant increase," says the faculty's associate dean of education. In addition to medical residents, McMaster students in nursing, rehabilitation and other health-care fields will learn at the clinical education campus. McMaster Daily News

uWaterloo mobile app for students designed to create pedestrian map

The University of Waterloo has released a mobile app for students as part of a study to create a pedestrian traffic map of the main campus. Currently available for Android devices, the uWaterloo Pedestrian Traffic app will produce information to help the Student Services Building committee make informed design decisions for the proposed Student Services Building and communicate the impact the proposed facility may have on pedestrian traffic on campus. Students who download the app and walk around campus until December 7 can earn up to $10, which will be added to their campus cards. uWaterloo Daily Bulletin

Several US states publishing graduates' pay by institution and degree

Keen to assess the value of PSE, a small but growing number of US states are publishing databases comparing the earning power of degrees for recent graduates based on where they attended PSE. This fall, Arkansas and Virginia published user-friendly research tools displaying average first-year salaries for recent graduates of 2- and 4-year institutions in their states. Tennessee has provided a similar tool for its public institutions. Colorado, Nevada, and Texas are preparing to publish similar information early next year, and several other states are poised to follow. One objective is to help prospective students plan for PSE. "When you're thinking about what school to go to, what major to specialize in and how much money to borrow, you really should have some firm idea of the likely outcome of your investment of time and money," says the president of College Measures, a non-profit organization that is working with several states to develop and publish the data. The founder of the non-profit National College Advising Corp calls the new information "very empowering," but encourages families to plan beyond the immediate payoff. "A history major might not be in the top 10 if you look at wages for the first year," she says. "Are we counseling students for the long haul or the quickest way to relieve their college debt?" USA Today