Top Ten

May 13, 2016

Niagara College to launch first-of-its-kind distilling program

Niagara College will soon be adding a program in distilling to its existing winemaking and brewing-related offerings. Already home to a teaching winery and a teaching brewery, the college says that it will support its new distilling program with what is reportedly Canada’s first on-campus teaching distillery. “The program is the next logical step for the College and the CFWI in becoming the key centre of excellence in fermentation sciences throughout Canada,” said the College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute Dean Craig Youdale, “we will be the only learning environment to cover all three levels of alcohol production and education, and hope to lead the explosion of distillers the same as we have led the growth of brewing and wineries in our region and across Canada.” St Catharine’s Standard | Niagara College | INSIDEnc 

UQTR and French university launch international collaboration for digital teaching

Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and France’s Université Savoie Mont Blanc have entered a new phase of collaboration on digital teaching. Through the Canada-Savoie Mont Blanc Partnership for Pedagogical Support, the institutions plan to engage in international videoconference workshops that will support teachers in learning about and adopting new teaching technologies. The partnership is reportedly still in its early stages, but the institutions have reportedly expressed interest in creating an international summer school devoted to digital pedagogy by the summer of 2017. uQuébec

A “big-picture education” is more important than ever, says AACU president

“It’s never been more important that students have a big-picture education that prepares them to deal with complexity, and prepares them to take ethical responsibility and civic responsibility for what they’re learning,” says Association of American Colleges & Universities President Carol Geary Schneider. In an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education, Schneider suggests that promoting a liberal arts education means having clear learning objectives and clearly communicating to incoming students what they might expect from a liberal arts degree. For Schneider, doing so means taking a guiding role in students’ decisions, and by “mak[ing] the connection between the intrinsic value of the learning and the students’ hopes for their own future by zeroing in on questions that actually matter to the student, and helping the student make more of those questions than she would know how to do by herself.” Chronicle of Higher Education

Algoma, Sault, Sault Ste Marie Innovation Centre, CGA partner on gaming industry assessment

The Canadian Gaming Association, Algoma University, Sault College, and the Sault Ste Marie Innovation Centre have partnered on a multi-phased national needs assessment of the Canadian gaming industry. The Canadian gaming industry has reportedly experienced a significant evolution over the past 20 years, and this period of change has exposed the need to provide greater education and training opportunities to industry professionals. Sault Ste Marie Innovation Centre Executive Director Tom Vair asserts that together, the partners “will develop a progressive model for acquiring, creating and disseminating educational content across the country, and … will be instrumental in producing ground-breaking insight into the specialized training needs of this important industry.” NationTalk | Soo Today

How your department can better prepare graduate students for post-academic careers

Fatimah Williams Castro discusses how departments and graduate programs can help their students prepare for post-academic careers. Castro recommends that faculty directly discuss career paths with students, or set up functions such as workshops, speaker events, or an alumni panel to discuss careers. The article touches on the importance of knowing your field’s ecosystem, and encourages expanding the scope of career discussions for graduate students in order to discuss non-faculty careers. “Graduate programs would do themselves a favor by making apparent the professional tasks and skills embedded in the daily work of faculty life,” says Castro, “then perhaps we can move from the dichotomy of nonacademic/academic careers to understand how we prepare graduate students and postdocs to lead.” Chronicle Vitae

Fleming, UBC produce new diploma-to-degree program to meet industry need for multi-skilled graduates

Fleming College’s Urban Forestry Technician students are now able to complete a Bachelor of Urban Forestry degree at the University of British Columbia. UBC’s Dean of Forestry John Innes pointed out that the program, “like our other undergraduate programs, would benefit from a flow of experienced students entering the program mid-stream.” Diploma-to-degree pathways “have become a popular option for our graduates, providing them with a unique combination of applied learning and theoretical knowledge,” commented Fleming Frost Campus Principal Linda Skilton, who added that “the industry has expressed a need for urban forestry graduates who are qualified for entry-level positions but would also be eligible for management positions that may require degree completion.” Fleming

How can instructional designers overcome faculty resistance to changes in teaching?

“It’s not unusual … to encounter instructors reluctant to give up their go-to lecture or PowerPoint Presentation” when pitching ideas for new teaching methods, writes Rian Ervin for EdSurge. Instructional designers are usually the individuals who encourage the adoption of new teaching methods and technologies, Ervin adds, and the best way for them to overcome faculty resistance to changes in teaching is to respect the professor’s expertise and work on establishing a trusting relationship. The article explores some of the concrete ways that instructional designers can foster better relationships with faculty, which include “breaking learning topics into concrete, teachable skills, providing facts and research about learning methodologies, or enlisting early adopters to help faculty struggling to use a new technology or learning platform.” EdSurge

UVic partnership results in relaunched Innovation Centre with new entrepreneurial supports

The relaunch of University of Victoria’s Innovation Centre for Entrepreneurs will provide additional mentorship opportunities and support for entrepreneurs, thanks to funding from Coast Capital Savings Credit Union. The newly renamed Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre will offer entrepreneurship scholarships, seed money for new ventures and prototype development, an additional business plan competition, and co-op opportunities. The centre will enable entrepreneurs among UVic’s students, faculty, and staff to develop products and services for any industry or sector to a more mature stage before it is presented to potential stakeholders. David Castle, UVic’s vice-president research, commented that the partnership “creates new opportunities for our students and faculty to address social and economic challenges and have impact in BC and beyond.” UVic | NationTalk

Field Education Centre opens at UNBC Aleza Lake Research Forest

The University of Northern British Columbia has opened a new 1,200 square-foot interpretive centre for log and timber construction on a hilltop overlooking BC’s Upper Fraser area and McGregor Mountains. The Aleza Field Education Centre has been designed to serve as both an educational learning centre and gathering place that is capable of hosting field courses, meetings, retreats, training, and community events. UNBC programs that have used the space so far include the Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management program and Natural Resources and Environmental Science program. “We are incredibly pleased to see the dream of this outdoor-oriented learning centre become a reality, so close to Prince George and all of our educational institutions in the Central Interior. It really fills an important need,” added Mike Jull, manager of the Aleza Lake Research Forest Society. UNBC

How US colleges are attracting more students through Snapchat

The social media platform Snapchat is quickly becoming a popular way for students in the US to research PSE institutions, reports NBC News. A recent study has shown that 64% of US internet users aged 18 to 24 use the platform, compared to just 24% three years ago. “When you go on Snapchat, you see what students are actively doing that day,” says high school student Alex Cosentino, adding that Snapchat provides a way of looking in on the lives of real students at a school rather than the approved messaging of brochures and campus tours. The article explores some of the specific features of the platform that higher ed recruiters can use to enhance their school’s reputation and visibility among prospective students. University Business