Top Ten

November 29, 2016

One in eight AB postsecondary students have “seriously considered” suicide in past year: report

A release from the Alberta Post-Secondary Health Association states that 13% of Alberta postsecondary students report that they have seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months. The results come from the National College Health Assessment survey, which is reportedly the largest dataset available on Alberta postsecondary student health behaviours. The report also found that high proportions of students reported that they experienced stress (40%), anxiety (31%), and sleep difficulties (28%) that could affect their academic performance. The authors noted that one area of hope was an increase in the number of students who would consider seeking professional help if they experienced a serious personal problem (78.6%), which marked an increase of roughly 4% since 2013. Health Campus Alberta | Release

UOttawa med school assigns mandatory meditation to prevent burnout

The University of Ottawa has introduced mandatory meditation sessions into its medical school curriculum. The curriculum's developer Heather MacLean says that the change aims to help students improve their mental health and decision making. “Medical students have to acquire and absorb and assimilate a huge amount of information over four years, so understandably they get quite stressed,” says MacLean. “A little bit of stress is not bad in medical students—it can actually enhance performance—but a lot of stress is a bad thing, and can actually lead to student burnout.” MacLean also said that the response from students so far has been “overwhelmingly positive,” although there have been some students who have said they would rather spend their time studying. CBC | Maclean’s

Northern to create Integrated Emergency Services Complex with $11M investment

Northern College has received roughly $11M in new funding from the federal and Ontario governments to create its new Integrated Emergency Services Complex. The new centre aims to improve collaboration between emergency services responders (ESR) and the surrounding community, and to provide ESR students with an interactive learning environment. “With this collective commitment, Northern College, along with our community partners, looks forward to realizing our vision of creating a state-of-the-art Integrated Emergency Services Complex that will support applied research and innovation and provide a superior learning environment,” said Northern President Fred Gibbons. Northern

Northern to create Integrated Emergency Services Complex with $11M investment

Northern College has received roughly $11M in new funding from the federal and Ontario governments to create its new Integrated Emergency Services Complex. The new centre aims to improve collaboration between emergency services responders (ESR) and the surrounding community, and to provide ESR students with an interactive learning environment. “With this collective commitment, Northern College, along with our community partners, looks forward to realizing our vision of creating a state-of-the-art Integrated Emergency Services Complex that will support applied research and innovation and provide a superior learning environment,” said Northern President Fred Gibbons. Northern

Canadore opens motive power lab to industry partners

Canadore College has officially unveiled its new 16,000 square-foot motive power shop, which the college says will add flexibility for cross-functional learning as well as provide new aids for instructors. The lab features an open concept design and increased shared shop space, providing more opportunity and flexibility for collaborative assignments that span different programs. “This is very exciting for both our students and our faculty,” said Canadore Vice-President of Academics Mary O’Farrell-Bowers. “Not only do our skilled trades students and apprentices get to work in a brand-new space, but more importantly, they get to work on equipment that reflects current industry reality. The space also allows for faculty to employ innovative learning strategies not previously possible.” Canadore

WLU adopts new policy on sexual violence

Wilfrid Laurier University has approved and implemented a new student policy on gendered and sexual violence. The Record reports that the policy's main purpose is to outline how the university will respond to gendered and sexual violence experienced by students, with the goal of providing appropriate support and accommodations. The new policy was informed by a campus safety survey of nearly 3,000 students in Waterloo and Brantford that WLU completed in April 2016. “[The policy] covers our commitment to survivors, our commitment to education,” said Lynn Kane, manager of gendered violence prevention and support on campus, who added that the policy’s core focus is on survivors. “Our aim for this is it’s crystal clear where people go. The main goal is to provide students with options and let folks know about the supports we have on campus.” The Record | WLU

uRegina sees public transit ridership rise 93% since U-Pass introduced

The U-Pass program approved by Regina city council in the fall of 2015 has reportedly corresponded with a 93% increase in student use of the city’s public transit. In total, ridership among students was 181,057 rides between September and October in 2016, compared to 94,049 rides during this same period in 2015. The transit pass is mandatory for all students except those who live outside the city or within one kilometre of campus, and it provides unlimited access to the Regina’s transit system at a cost of $87.60 per student per semester. “The response to the program has been overwhelmingly positive. We have some students who are now taking the bus for the first time,” said Jermain McKenzie, president of the University of Regina Student’s Union. “They are discovering how much money they can save by simply riding the bus. We have had some areas where the routes are not as convenient for some students but we are working with the city to figure those out.” Regina Leader-Post

UAlberta votes down change to meal plan, tables fee increases

The University of Alberta’s finance and property committee has voted down a proposal to shift its food program to an anytime dining model at the school’s Lister Residence and at the Augustana campus in Camrose. The change was proposed to replace the declining balance model due to concerns about students running out of meal funds before a semester’s end. The university will reportedly also vote on a proposed 9.2% increase for visitor parking fees at the university’s main campus, as well as a 2.7% base rent increase and 3% increase to graduate student housing “in order to address operating costs … and ongoing deferred maintenance.” Edmonton Journal (Dining) | Edmonton Journal (Parking/Residence)

RRC to create extreme weather testing facility with help from $6M investment

Red River College has announced that it will proceed with the next steps in creating its MotiveLab, a highly specialized extreme weather testing facility that will reportedly be the first of its kind in Western Canada. The lab serves as a “climactic chamber” that allows researchers from the college and industry to test heavy vehicles of all shapes and sizes for performance at extreme temperatures. “Manitoba’s heavy vehicle manufacturing sector is a cornerstone of our economy, and this research and testing facility is a direct result of our close ties with manufacturers, as well as our efforts to meet current and future training and technology needs,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “It’s an approach we are taking across all sectors to help local industry innovate, create jobs of the future and be more competitive in the global marketplace.” RRC | MB

Making the case for the humanities with simple data: Chronicle contributors

“Leaders in higher education often ask us how they might make a case for the humanities, when students and parents are so deeply concerned about their economic futures,” write Norman M Bradburn and Robert B Townsend, who add that “the answers lie in the very numbers that are so often cited as admonitions against the field.” The authors admit that while humanities graduates do not earn as much as graduates from engineering and the physical sciences, they still have much better employment outcomes than those who earn no degree. The authors further argue that income is not the only indicator of a well-chosen degree, as 90% of humanities degree holders in the US report being satisfied with their jobs ten years after graduation. The authors conclude that “the bottom line for students with an interest and aptitude for humanistic study is that following their hearts will also lead to financially satisfactory lives.” Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

NWCC, BCIT partner to guarantee admission for transfer students

Northwest Community College and the British Columbia Institute of Technology have partnered to create a new student transfer agreement that offers NWCC Criminology students guaranteed admission into BCIT’s Forensics department. Students who successfully complete the Criminology Diploma at NWCC and meet certain criteria are eligible to transfer into the third year of the Bachelor of Technology in Forensic Sciences at BCIT. “This is an exciting opportunity for students to have a guaranteed pathway into the study of Forensic Sciences, while doing their first two years closer to home at NWCC,” says Justin Kohlman, VP Education, Students and International at NWCC. “This builds on our plan to establish more guaranteed pathways for NWCC students to other post-secondary institutes both in BC, the rest of Canada and internationally.” NWCC