Top Ten

January 9, 2015

MacEwan announces 2.2% tuition increase for fall semester

MacEwan University will increase tuition by 2.2% in September 2015, the maximum allowed by the province, reports Metro News. The increase will cost full-time domestic students approximately $102 more per year; international student tuition will also increase, by 3.8%. Students were somewhat prepared for the increase, according to MacEwan student association President Cam McCoy, after tuition increases were announced at the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta. McCoy also noted that the 2.2% increase was easier to take considering the recent market-modifier tuition increases announced at many Alberta PSE institutions, in which MacEwan was not included. Metro News

New tuition incentive in NS aims to recruit doctors to rural areas

The Nova Scotia government has announced a new initiative designed to recruit doctors to underserved communities in the province. The incentive program offers to repay the cost of tuition for medical school, up to $120,000, in exchange for a 5-year commitment to practise in an underserved community. The program is open to 25 medical students in residency, or doctors from outside the province who have practised for less than 7 years, over the next 4 years. The program is the main recommendation of the Physician Recruitment and Retention Action Team, an expert panel set up to identify ways to recruit and retain doctors. "Not only will this program represent a first step in assisting new and recent graduates repay student debt, it will have a positive impact on the health of Nova Scotians by placing physicians in underserviced areas of the province,” said Russell Christie, President of Dalhousie Medical Students Society. NS News Release | Globe and Mail

AthabascaU launches Business of Hockey Executive MBA

Athabasca University has announced a new Executive MBA program designed to prepare students for the business side of hockey. The Business of Hockey Executive MBA was developed in partnership with the non-profit Business of Hockey Institute (BHI) and lists NHL player agent Ritch Winter and Calgary Flames President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke as co-founders. “We’re going to create the Sidney Crosby of the boardroom and that’s going to change hockey forever, and that’s exciting,” said Winter. The new program begins with a foundation of standard MBA instruction before veering into courses such as Information Technology Strategy for Hockey, Hockey Operations, and Managing Franchises Strategically. As with most AthabascaU programs, the program is fully available online and can be completed on a largely flexible schedule. AthabascaU News | Calgary Sun | Sportsnet | Program Description | YouTube

CANARIE partners with PSE institutions in NB and PEI

Digital infrastructure network CANARIE has announced a new partnership with the New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island Education Computer Network (ECN) that will support remote access to cloud-based collaboration tools and services. The partnership between ECN and CANARIE’s Canadian Access Federation (CAF) involves the implementation of Federated Single Sign-On (FSSO) services, which allow users to access resources hosted by an external organization or institution using their home institution’s identity credentials. This allows members of ECN to share cloud-based resources in a cost-efficient way, and provides a means of secure, remote access. ECN is made up of 7 member institutions: University of New Brunswick, Saint Thomas University, Maritime College of Forest Technology (MCFT), Mount Allison University, Université de Moncton, University of Prince Edward Island, and Holland College. CANARIE News Release

Concordia launches library renovation

Concordia University is this month launching an extensive renovation project on its R Howard Webster Library that will incorporate new technologies and create more study and collaborative space for students. “To continue to attract and retain top students, faculty and research talent, we need a library that answers their evolving needs … A facility that provides access to expansive collections, up-to-date functionality and technology, and a variety of quality study spaces is key to ensuring a strong culture of research and innovation,” said Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and VP of Academic Affairs. Student enrolment has tripled since the Webster Library was built in 1992, and the library sees an average of 1.8 million visitors annually. The renovation plans include 11 different types of study space, ranging from zero-noise rooms and dedicated space for graduate students to rooms dedicated to collaboration and group work. There will also be a “technology sandbox” that will provide students access to some of the latest digital tools, including 3D printers. Concordia has held several consultations with students about needed space and furniture. Concordia News

UTSC signs MOU to create new pathway to Master of Social Work program

A new MOU signed between the University of Toronto Scarborough and the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (FIFSW) at the University of Toronto will allow undergraduate students in UTSC’s Specialist programs in Mental Health Studies to apply to FIFSW’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program in their third year. Students accepted to the program will receive in their fourth year access to research opportunities under the guidance of FIFSW faculty and supervised by UTSC faculty that can be continued in graduate school. “This partnership allows our students to really hit the ground running when they start their undergraduate education,” says associate professor George Cree, Chair of UTSC’s Department of Psychology. “A background in Mental Health Studies coupled with an MSW is ideal preparation for a career in social work.” UTSC News

Fleming helps connect employers to Job Grant funding

Peterborough’s Fleming College is helping to connect area employers with funding and training programs through the Canada Ontario Job Grant program. Fleming’s Community Resources for Employers and Workers (CREW) office is helping employers navigate the application process and connect to funding; Fleming is also an approved training provider and has a range of opportunities available in areas including environmental and natural resource sciences; business; health and community; and trades, technology and manufacturing. To align with the new Job Grant opportunities, Fleming College Contract Training has launched a new website with information on available programs and methods of delivery. Early reactions by colleges to the once-controversial Canada Job Grant program were mixed, with many expressing caution or skepticism. Fleming News Release |

MTA wraps up awareness campaign about perfectionism

A campaign this past fall at Mount Allison University attempted to bring more awareness to the issue of perfectionism among students, a personality trait and mental health issue where people hold themselves to unrealistic, flawless standards. The campaign was organized by third-year sociology student Caroline Kovesi, who observed that “the only model of excellence that’s promoted [at university] is the student who has top grades, is involved in every activity and is simultaneously saving the world.” Kovesi, along with mental-health outreach intern Thomas Williams, interviewed instructors from each of MTA’s faculties, asking them how they felt about perfectionism, and then posted responses publicly. According to Gordon Flett, a psychology professor and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Personality and Health at York University, universities are “breeding grounds for perfectionism,” and the problem doesn’t just affect students, but professors too. Flett recommends heightened awareness and orientation sessions for all students that highlight symptoms and when to seek help. As well, anonymous help lines and staff trained in detecting and treating perfectionism can also help institutions tackle the issue. University Affairs

Legislation introduced in US that could harm adjuncts

With the Republican party about to take full control of the US Congress this week, legislation has been reintroduced that could change the health care law and redefine a full-time work week as 40 hours, up from the current 30. Under the Affordable Care Act, large-scale employers—including colleges and universities—will soon be required to provide health insurance to employees that work full-time hours; in anticipation of the requirement, many adjunct professors have found their workloads cut to keep them under the 30-hour threshold. If the new legislation passes, adjuncts may see their workloads increase to 40 hours without receiving health insurance. Supporters say it will allow adjuncts to regain lost work hours, but critics say that “anything that pushes adjuncts further away from security, from access to benefits, is a negative.” President Obama has also expressed opposition to the legislation, and has said he will veto it if it passes. Inside Higher Ed

Application essays can help predict academic success

A new US-based study by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin has determined that students’ admissions essays can predict later academic success, using statistical analysis. The study looked at 50,000 admissions essays from more than 25,000 applicants that were accepted to the university and tracked for academic performance, finding that the essays demonstrating more "categorical thinking" predicted the most academic success. Categorical thinking involves writing that connects concepts and ideas, and often uses many articles such as "the" and prepositions such as "on" and "of." Essays showing "dynamic thinking," involving the use of “I” and “they” and more reliance on personal narratives, predicted lower grades. "I would advise students at the high school level that most colleges are more interested in writing about the world of ideas and things than in personal narratives," said one of the study’s authors. "The way people use language is one of many predictive factors a college admissions officer can use.” Inside Higher Ed | Full Report