Top Ten

December 1, 2016

Atlantic postsecondary institutions aid development of student mental health treatment model 

Mount Saint Vincent University, Saint Mary’s University, St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia Community College, and Holland College are among the institutions participating in an effort to create a model for mental health treatment for university students. The project, titled Pathway through Mental Health Care for Postsecondary Settings, is a three year initiative funded by the Medavie Health Foundation that seeks to “create, evaluate, and disseminate a comprehensive and effective campus mental health framework.” “We know that rapid access to effective treatment is really good and makes a tremendous difference,” said project lead Stan Kutcher. “So we have to be able to identify those young people who have a mental disorder and quickly get them to evidence-based treatment.” Medavie Health Foundation | News957

St Clair guarantees jobs for graduates of plane-maintenance course

St Clair College has launched a new plane-maintenance course that reportedly does not charge students for the course and guarantees jobs for its graduates. The Windsor Star reports that St Clair will be partnering with Premier Aviation, a company that runs a maintenance-repair-overhaul operation at Windsor Airport and has reportedly faced challenges in filling available job positions with a local workforce. St Clair President Patti France explains that the course will be an opportunity to help both the community and the college, stating that “it expands our portfolio and offerings. It gives us some exposure in a field we’re not currently in. And from St Clair’s perspective, being a community college, it’s important to give back to the community and support economic opportunities.” Windsor Star

How to turn the syllabus into an invitation

Kevin Gannon examines how to go beyond the basic syllabus to develop a syllabus that acts as an invitation into a course that aims to be empowering and transforming. To this end, Gannon points to the “promising syllabus model” that outlines the opportunities within the course and allows students to actively take ownership of their part in the course as a positive model. Gannon then discusses how “meta-communication” works within this model of syllabus to outline those inherent promises and expectations of the course. “If we mean what we say about higher education being transformational, as opposed to merely transactional,” concludes Gannon, “then our syllabi — the very gateway to our courses and what they offer to students — should unabashedly proclaim that belief.” Chronicle Vitae

UQAC inaugurates building dedicated to Aboriginal culture

The Université du Québec à Chicoutimi officially inaugurated its Pavillon de la Culture des Peuples Autochtones Rio Tinto. The building will house a documentation centre and Aboriginal archives; a day nursery developed with MAGE-UQAC to support parent students; and space for training, research and teaching activities by the Bright Red Box and First Nations Nikanite Centre. UQAC Rector Martin Gauthier extended thanks to Rio Tinto for their $2.5M investment, and noted how the new centre would act as both a place of welcome and education for Aboriginal students and allow for the preservation and study of Aboriginal culture. UQAC

Centennial signs education partnerships with Japanese institutions

Centennial College has signed memorandums of understanding with two universities from Japan: Kanda University and Toyo University. The agreements will see the college work with each institution through a variety of opportunities, such as academic exchange opportunities, research collaborations, and curriculum licensing. “Centennial College welcomes new partnerships with universities in Japan, and looks forward to more opportunities in the future,” says Centennial President Ann Buller. “Students and faculty are enriched by the experiences they enjoy in Toronto – it is unlike any other big city in the world – and it is a major destination for international learners from every corner of the globe.” Centennial

Canadian colleges have more women at the helm than universities

Nearly one-third of Canadian college presidents are females, while only one-fifth of university presidents are female, according to a recent article by Macleans. “We are very proud of our numbers,” says CICan President Denise Amyot, who Macleans states is the first female to hold the position. “We have quite a few women. It’s just amazing.” Macleans points to a number of reasons for the difference, including different institutional cultures, the younger age of most colleges, and different hiring criteria for presidents. The article goes on to highlight the experiences of college presidents from across the country. Macleans

NSCAD expanding experiential learning with funding from DHX

NSCAD University will be expanding experiential learning opportunities for its students, further developing the Academic Campus Animation Lab, and supporting the creation of thesis film projects, thanks to a $600K donation from DHX Media and recent funding support from Nova Scotia. “It’s a vote of confidence in NSCAD by an industry leader now, and in 2004, when the company—or its predecessor—donated the building for our Academy Campus allowing our Media Arts program and the Cineflux research centre to grow and flourish,” stated NSCAD President Dianne Taylor-Gearing. CBC discusses how the university has overcome struggles with its finances over the last two years, and highlights how students' have responded positively to the donation.

NSCAD | NSCAD (President’s Note) | CBC

COU releases 7th annual Going Greener Report

The Council of Ontario Universities has released its seventh annual Going Greener report, which features initiatives from the 2014-2015 year, and highlights progress made since 2009. The report notes institutional efforts in areas such as fighting climate change, building green communities, inspiring campus engagement, and engaging in food sustainability. COU reports that 17 of the 21 campuses surveyed had added new research initiatives or institutes on sustainability since 2013, that 95% of campuses had instituted water initiatives such as installing user-friendly water refilling stations, and that 95% of campuses had a community or teaching garden. COU (Infographic) | COU (Report)

CNA renews contract with Qatar

The College of the North Atlantic has renewed its contract with Qatar, allowing CNA to operate its Qatar campus until at least 2019. CNA reports that this signing “represents the continuation of the largest international post-secondary agreement ever awarded to a Canadian post-secondary institution.” “We are committed to continuing this important work with the State of Qatar at CNA-Q,” said CNA Interim President Bob Gardiner. “This continued partnership through this new comprehensive agreement speaks volumes about the quality of post-secondary education we are delivering on behalf of the State, the value of the partnership, and the shared vision towards excellence." CNA | CBC

Carleton warns students of hacker attack on IT network

Student and faculty at Carleton University were reportedly unable to log on to the university’s main computer systems after a ransomware attack was initiated against the university. CBC states that some users have seen ransomware messages appear on their screens, and that the hackers demands amount to a total value of 39 bitcoins or over $38K CAD. “It's really brought a lot of problems," said David Kenyi, a volunteer at Carleton’s International Students Service Office. "Normally when people come here they register for events. Now they [are doing] it manually, using pen and paper, and later I will need to put that into the system.” Carleton reports that the university is open and classes are continuing.

CBC (1) | CBC (2) | Carleton (Network Interruption Update)