Top Ten

May 24, 2013

uSask-affiliated Anglican college to stay open

The College of Emmanuel & St. Chad will remain open with the help of other Saskatoon seminaries, reversing plans to cease operations for 3 years. A deal with the other members of the Saskatchewan Theological Union -- St. Andrew's College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary -- allows the college to reduce its budget and remain open for the 2013-14 academic year. An affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan, the 134-year-old Anglican college announced in September it would close for 3 years while it worked on restructuring as it faced declining enrolment and dwindling resources. The new arrangement has Emmanuel & St. Chad sharing office and classroom space and some administrative services with the other members of the theological union, and its library will move to the St. Andrew's library. College of Emmanuel & St. Chad website | Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

NorQuest trimming enrolment, adult education

In addition to job cuts, NorQuest College will shrink enrolment by 500 full-time students this fall. The Edmonton-based college will take in fewer students at all levels, but basic academic upgrading programs up to Grade 12 will be hit the hardest due to the loss of $800,000 in student grants allocated by Alberta Human Services to support adult education. NorQuest has approximately 8,500 students, many of whom are immigrants enrolled in part-time upgrading and language training. That translated into 4,000 full-time equivalent students of which 500 will be cut this fall -- about 12% to 15% of enrolment. Edmonton Journal

UPEI athletics department looks to increase revenues

Amidst budget cuts and layoffs at the University of Prince Edward Island, the athletics and recreation department is looking to increase its sources of revenue. Several ideas have been suggested as to how to accomplish this, including hosting more athletic events, drawing more people to the events, increasing season ticket sales, and developing corporate partnerships. The director of athletics noted that this is a problem affecting all departments at UPEI, and at PSE institutions across the nation, not just them. He also noted that the department has been “overspending for years” and is determined to address the deficit while “increasing the experience” for its student-athletes. Charlottetown Guardian

Francophone community recruits students for suspended uAlberta business course

Alberta's francophone community is recruiting students and offering scholarships to a French-language business administration course the University of Alberta suspended recently due to low enrolment. 14 French organizations launched the unauthorized campaign last week in a bid to revive the course following an announcement earlier this month that the program won't go ahead this fall as planned. The campaign aims to collect enough applications from eligible students in the next couple of weeks to prove to uAlberta there is enough interest to run the course, says the president of the Conseil de développement économique de l'Alberta. Organizers are also collecting donations to fund 15 scholarships to attract applicants by the June 7 deadline. uAlberta could reconsider its decision but would need to see enough applications from eligible students, not just interested students, in early June, says the university's acting provost. He says applications need to be processed and instructors need to be hired to run the course so there's not much time. Edmonton Journal

Student groups oppose McGill honorary degree for Judith Butler

Philosopher and academic Judith Butler is courting controversy at McGill University, where she is due to receive an honorary degree on Thursday, because of her perceived anti-Israel activism. The award has sparked opposition from Hillel McGill and McGill Students for Israel. In a letter to the university's chancellor, the 2 groups say Butler's "pro-terror, anti-Israel position" makes her a terrible role model for graduates. Hillel Montreal's executive director says that while he supports the students' position, "we do not believe that an honorary degree for her academic work condones in any way her anti-Israel activism." McGill's arts dean says Butler is receiving the honorary degree in recognition of her work and that the university is committed to freedom of expression even if "comments are controversial or considered objectionable by some." Montreal Gazette

Tough labour market for job-seeking graduates

This year’s crop of PSE graduates are likely going to experience difficulty finding entry-level employment, according to several Canadian economists. Calling the graduates the “outsourced generation,” the economists discussed the tendency of large corporations to hire other companies to do many of the jobs that used to be in-house opportunities for new graduates. The recovery from the recent recession has combined with corporate restructuring to create a labour market that does not favour entry-level training positions. It is predicted that many recent graduates will spend much more time employed in part-time positions, temporary contracts, and self-employment while looking for their “dream job” or more permanent full-time positions. However, some economists say it is too early to tell how the labour market will treat new graduates, as many fields, such as those in nursing, medicine, and social work, are experiencing skilled-labour shortages. Globe and Mail

Quebec proposes revision, expansion of history courses at grade schools, CÉGEPs

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois announced last week that the province's history courses would be revamped and expanded at the elementary, high school, and CÉGEP levels. "We have (to) make sure that we teach our history to our children and our young people in high school and CEGEP so that they can understand different periods of our life together, from the Patriotes to the Quiet Revolution," Marois said. "We have watered down the teaching of history in Quebec and we have (to) start again on a new basis." A Université Laval historian says he sees nothing wrong with a new history course on Quebec at the CÉGEP level or more history in general, as long as it is an actual history course and not an attempt to use the past to rationalize the present. The federal government recently tried to cut through provincial jurisdiction in an apparent attempt to influence how history is taught in schools. After protests from federal opposition parties and Quebec, the Conservatives backed off, and instead promised to focus their inquiry mainly on questions of military history. Montreal Gazette

First official alumni association at NBCC

As part of its 5-year strategic plan, New Brunswick Community College has announced the formation of the first official alumni association. With 84% of 70,000 graduates since 1973 remaining in the province, NBCC recognizes the valuable contributions that alumni have made to the local economy and culture. The new alumni association is meant to facilitate meaningful connections between alumni in order to contribute to the advancement of NBCC. Members will have access to professional development and mentorship programs, as well as job and volunteer opportunities and an alumni business network to promote the entrepreneurial successes of alumni. NBCC News

Outsourced academic coaching meets success

For-profit academic coaching and advising company InsideTrack has overcome much of the controversy it faced in early years. Several prominent US universities and colleges have contracted InsideTrack to perform one-on-one academic coaching calls to applicants and enrolled students, and they are experiencing increases in enrolment, retention, and graduation rates, much of which is being attributed to InsideTrack’s system. The coaches act much like a parent would; however, they are trained specifically for academic coaching and advising, creating a specialty niche that some PSE institutions have trouble duplicating on campus. InsideTrack offers various pricing options, based on what services are needed by, and the projected goals, of the client school. InsideTrack officials say the services pay for themselves within 15 months, due to enrolment and retention gains. Inside Higher Ed

NS youth more likely to try alcohol than drugs, survey finds

Nova Scotia teens were more likely to try alcohol than drugs last year, according to the 2012 Nova Scotia Student Drug Use Survey. Nearly half of 3,148 students in Grades 7, 9, 10, and 12 told researchers they used alcohol in 2012, while 34.7% used cannabis. More than one-quarter of respondents said they used alcohol, and 14.2% said they used cannabis, more than once a month. The survey also observed that cigarette smoking fell to 13.2% last year from 16.2% in 2007. The survey also asked for the first time about the consumption of energy drinks, finding that nearly two-thirds of respondents reported consuming caffeinated energy drinks. The survey revealed that nearly one-fifth of respondents seriously considered suicide last year. 11.6% made a plan suicide plan, and 8.4% attempted suicide one or more times. NS News Release | Canadian Press | CBC | Survey Report