Top Ten

October 22, 2014

NAIT receives $1 M donation to support campus expansion, student success

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology has received a $1 M donation from WorleyParsonsCord Ltd, a fabrication, module assembly, and consultation services firm. The funding will benefit students as well as support campus expansion. NAIT has announced that, in recognition of the donation, it will rename laboratories at its Souch and Patricia campuses. “Our investment in NAIT and its students demonstrates the synergy between WorleyParsonsCord and this great polytechnic. We hope this contribution will allow NAIT students to continue to receive the absolute best training to enter Alberta’s workforce,” said WorleyParsonsCord Senior VP Brad Van de Veen. NAIT is currently building a new Centre for Applied Technologies on its main campus. NAIT News Release

uOttawa receives grant to study naturopathic and conventional cancer treatments

Researchers at the University of Ottawa have received a grant of $3.85 M that will fund a study exploring the effectiveness of combining naturopathic and conventional medicine. The grant, provided by an organization that prefers to remain anonymous, is reportedly the largest ever in North America to be dedicated to this purpose. The funds will support the Thoracic Peri-Operative Integrative Surgical Care Evaluation project, and will help researchers develop integrative care interventions that will involve a variety of therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals, and disciplines. Moreover, the funding will enable researchers to conduct a randomized, controlled trial to evaluate the success of the integrative care approach. “This study is an innovative whole-person approach involving naturopathic medicine integrated with traditional care. It is more than a single intervention,” said project co-lead Andrew Seely, a professor at uOttawa. uOttawa News Release | Ottawa Citizen

New Brunswick issues guidelines on accommodating students with disabilities

The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission (NBHRC) has published new guidelines intended to help the province’s universities and colleges better accommodate students with physical and mental disabilities. According to a NBHRC news release, it has received an increasing number of complaints related to duties to accommodate. “New Brunswick has been a leader in improving opportunities for students with disabilities in schools. Now, we need to ensure that, as these students graduate, post-secondary institutions are ready to allow them to pursue their education and make the most of the time and effort that the students and the province have invested in their education,” said NBHRC Chair Randy Dickinson. The new guidelines supplement existing guidelines that apply to accommodations in the workplace and in K-12 schools. NBHRC News ReleaseFull Guidelines

WesternU to replace journalism MA with joint journalism/communications degree

WesternU is planning to replace its journalism MA with a new program that focuses on both journalism and communications. The move is intended to respond to labour market trends, specifically the decline in traditional media jobs and the “blurring of the lines” between journalism and public relations. “We decided to take a step back and look at the trends happening in the industry and decided we needed a major renovation,” said Mark Rayner, Program Coordinator for the new Master of Media in Journalism and Communication degree. “We’ll continue to focus on training journalists to become great storytellers, but we’ll also talk about the relations between journalists and PR.” Among the changes to the curriculum will be the addition of an introductory communications course focused on strategic storytelling and an elective in media relations. Students in the proposed one-year program would spend 2 terms on campus and complete a summer internship in either journalism or communications. The program is still awaiting approval from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, but WesternU hopes it will be ready for launch in fall 2015. J-Source

Pan/Parapan Am Games turn to students to provide security

The Ontario Provincial Police and private firm Contemporary Security Canada (CSC) expect to hire more than 5,000 police and justice students to help provide security for the 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games in Toronto. Students can apply for roles including guards, screeners, and venue supervisors. Applicants will be required to have a high school diploma and an Ontario Security License, and CSC says that it will provide “exceptional training, competitive compensation, and the unique job of supporting Ontario as we welcome athletes and spectators from around the world.” Among those being recruited are students in Conestoga College’s Police Foundations and Security Management programs. “The opportunity for our students to contribute to Games security as part of this professional collaborative team will build on the active learning within their programs, strengthen their prospects as preferred graduates, and help prepare them for success in their future careers,” said Conestoga President John Tibbits. CTV | Conestoga News Release

Michener Institute launches new website

The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences has launched a new website that it says will better meet the needs of its students, partners, and the healthcare system. The new website focuses on providing an enhanced user experience with a responsive design and streamlined content, including stories and information about Michener and its stakeholders. Visitors will also have access to a new events calendar and online forms, and will be able to take advantage of improved search capabilities. The site is designed to integrate with social media platforms in order to connect with users across multiple channels. The website also meets a high standard of accessibility and is compliant with Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act regulations for customer service and communications. Michener News

Need to take the “long view” when it comes to Indigenous education

In a recent submission to Academic Matters, Indigenous teacher-education pioneer lolehawk Laura Buker writes that it is imperative that PSE institutions “take the long view” on Indigenous education, reflecting and engaging in dialogue about the future rather than the present. Buker notes that many PSE programs, and specifically teacher-education programs, have begun to include more Indigenous ways of knowing and perspectives, but she asserts that “a renewed commitment from our universities to move Indigenous education goals and programs forward is necessary as we move into the next decade.” Buker points to 4 areas that can help renew Aboriginal education goals: change, respect for Indigenous knowledge, opening doors for community partnership, and recognition of the new storytellers. “The long view towards Indigenous Education is that change takes time to gain momentum, to get the wheels in motion, and to keep going forward. This is not the moment in history to reduce funding for the aspects of Indigenous education that are necessary for growth and capacity building,” says Buker. Academic Matters

Ontario considering funding for international grad students

Ontario is weighing the possibility of offering funding for international graduate students in response to pressure from the province’s universities. Leaders at Ontario’s universities say that the lack of funding for international graduate students limits their ability to attract top-notch global talent; as a result, universities say that they face challenges when competing on the world stage. The lack of funding has made Ontario institutions very cautious when accepting applicants. Allison Sekuler, Dean of Graduate Studies at McMaster University, said, “We are not able to bring in the best and brightest from around the world and we will start to see Ontario universities falling in the rankings. We’ve started to see that a little bit.” Ontario is currently one of a minority of provinces that does not provide funding for graduate students from abroad; Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia provide the same amount of funding for international students as they do domestic students, while Quebec and British Columbia provide partial funding. However, such a move would likely be controversial in Ontario; a previous attempt by then-premier Dalton McGuinty met widespread criticism. Globe and Mail

Scientists' open letter to Canada calls for funding, support for international collaboration

More than 800 international scientists have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, calling on the government to restore funding to science programs and to remove barriers that impede Canadian scientists from collaborating with their international colleagues. The letter was released yesterday by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC). The letter notes that “recent reports highlight a rapid decline in freedoms and funding extended to Canadian government scientists, which make it more difficult for them to continue research, communicate scientific information and expertise, and collaborate internationally.” The letter will be accompanied by an advertising campaign that will focus on the importance of international scientific research to combating threats to global health and the environment. “Whether by design or by accident, ongoing budget cuts to federal science and excessive control of communications are hurting Canada’s obligations to its own citizens and to the international scientific community.” PIPSC News Release | Full Letter

uMichigan competency-based MA approved by accreditor

The University of Michigan has received approval from its regional accreditor for a new, competency-based MA program in health professions education. The program, which will be directed at practicing health professionals in medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, and social work, will not rely on a credit-hour standard, but will instead evaluate students based on their mastery of core competencies. Students will develop with a mentor an individualized learning plan that may include courses or parts of courses, but will rely most heavily on a self-directed study format that takes advantage of uMichigan’s available resources.Inside Higher Ed | Program FAQ