Top Ten

September 4, 2015

Ryerson receives $1 M from BMO to expand mentorship and leadership program

Ryerson University announced yesterday that it has received a $1 M gift from BMO Financial Group to help strengthen its Tri-Mentoring program (TMP). The program provides mentoring to help students adjust to university life while becoming involved in the community; the mentoring also helps students transition from university into the workplace. This school year will mark the program's 15th anniversary. Since its inception, the program has increased student retention and achievement at Ryerson while improving employment rates for students after graduation. In addition to the expansion of the TMP, BMO’s gift will create new student internships, a series of awards for leadership and community development, and a strategic partnership to mentor business students at the Ted Rogers School of Management Careers & Employer Partnerships Centre. Marketwired

Trent launches new School for the Study of Canada

Trent University has established the School for the Study of Canada, an institute that will challenge its students to explore issues of relevance to Canada and Canadian identity. Some of these issues will include sovereignty, nationalism, health and aging, the environment, multiculturalism, immigration, labour, and peacekeeping. The school will be led by an interdisciplinary team of scholars who study Canada across more than 40 different programs. "The School for the Study of Canada confirms Trent as 'the' place for the study of Canada," said James Conolly, Professor of Anthropology at Trent and Director of the new school. MyKawartha | Trent

NWCC introduces unique work camp-style student housing

In order to address student housing needs at its Terrace campus, Northwest Community College is installing work camp-style housing that will also allow students to experience firsthand the conditions of remote work camps. The 49 single-occupancy rooms are housed in industrial ATCO trailers and include a bed, desk, refrigerator, closet space and drawers, flat screen television, and WiFi access. The rooms are individually climate-controlled and are accessible by a covered, heated walkway. All NWCC students are eligible to apply for the housing, but preference will be given to trades students who may find themselves in similar living conditions after graduation. The $400 K housing facility has been funded largely by a $375 K contribution from BC's Ministry of Advanced Education, with the remainder coming from the college. NWCC | CBC

Mohawk breaks ground on new Indigenous Gathering Place

Mohawk College has begun construction on its new Indigenous Gathering Place. Located at the main campus, the new outdoor space will consist of four elements: an open-air pavilion, a fire circle, a water garden, and a traditional garden. Seating will accommodate more than 60 people, making it an ideal space for ceremonies, teaching, or studying. Mohawk expects the Gathering Place to be open next summer. The creation of the new outdoor space aligns with other recent initiatives, such as the Wampum Belt Wall, designed to strengthen relationships with the local Indigenous community and to welcome Indigenous students, staff, and faculty to the college. Mohawk (1) | Mohawk (2)

WLU launches new bystander initiative during orientation

Wilfrid Laurier University is launching a new initiative for student volunteers that aims to help prevent sexual assaults on campus. The “Bringing in the Bystander” program will train 500 student volunteers during orientation week to identify gendered violence and teach them how to intervene to prevent violence. The program “increases [one’s] confidence to stand up for somebody to prevent gendered violence," said Lynn Kane from WLU’s Diversity and Equity Office. The initiative was created partially in response to WLU’s “The Change Project,” a report that explored gendered violence at WLU and made recommendations for prevention and support programs. Students will also learn how to be reliable role models and how to respond to someone revealing an experience with sexual violence. CBC | WLU

Canadian parents feeling financially drained by their adult children, says survey

A new poll by CIBC finds that many Canadian parents are draining their retirement savings in an effort to support their children. The survey of 1,054 randomly selected Canadian parents found that two-thirds of respondents said they felt a financial impact from supporting their adult children. Almost half of the respondents said that their adult children were hindering their efforts to save for retirement, with 20% saying that their children had actually delayed their retirement. 42.5% of young adults lived at home in 2006, which marked a significant increase from the 32.1% who lived at home in 1991 and the 26.9% who lived at home in 1981. Hamilton Spectator profiles most meaningful college majors has released its 2015-2016 College Salary Report, which profiles the average salaries held by owners of specific degrees and asks these individuals what level of meaningfulness they experience in their work. At the top of the list was Medical Laboratory Science, where 97% of respondents working in this field responded that they found their careers to be meaningful. Petroleum Engineering had the highest average salary of any job category on the list, with respondents reporting an average salary of $168 K; 71% of individuals from this group reported finding their work meaningful. By contrast, less than a third of those who worked in Fashion Design, Illustration, Creative Writing, and Statistics reported that they found their careers meaningful. Only a quarter of those with Graphic Communication and Film Production degrees found their work meaningful. Forbes | Report

New US data shows higher use of marijuana than cigarettes among students

New data from an annual US survey of undergraduate students shows that while daily marijuana use is on the rise, daily cigarette smoking continues to decline. 5.9% of students reported using marijuana on a daily or near-daily basis in 2014, up from 3.5% in 2007; this is the highest rate of reported use since 1980. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, has been surveying students on drug and alcohol use since 1980. According to survey data, while many drugs have been fading in popularity on US campuses—such as hallucinogens and narcotics—other drugs have seen a slight increase, including ecstasy, cocaine, and marijuana. Inside Higher Ed | EurekAlert | CBC | Full Study

German abolition of tuition fees not feasible for UK, says report

The abolition of tuition fees in German universities does not offer an “off the shelf” solution that can be readily applied to other countries, concludes a new report from the UK-based Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI). The report examines the widely varying proportions to which different countries educate their young people to specific degree levels. While German universities charge no tuition and British ones do, for example, the report reminds readers that only 27% of Germans aged between 25 and 34 hold a tertiary qualification compared to 48% of Britons. Other significant differences in the countries’ funding models make it unfeasible to apply a German solution to a British university system, concludes the report. Times Higher Education

Canadian universities must make graduates more employable

“I think that universities have to take a long, hard look at themselves and think about their role in the 21st century, which is very different than their role in the 20th century,” says Wendy Cukier, Vice-President of Research and Innovation at Ryerson University. In a recent interview with Canadian Chemical News, Cukier tackles everything from Canadian science investment policy to the job readiness of graduating university students, linking them through the common theme of applied innovation. Cukier emphasizes the importance of universities focusing on the employability of their undergraduates. Yet she adds that she is “an absolutely committed defender of the humanities and social sciences.” She suggests that rather than pushing students out of these programs, universities should incorporate more professionalization skills like networking, project planning, and even the reading of financial statements into these disciplines. Canadian Chemical News