Top Ten

December 14, 2016

Libraries remain the “scholastic heart” of the university, writes UOttawa prof

“In [the] quest for slashing costs, [PSE] libraries have found themselves on the chopping block,” writes UOttawa Professor Raywat Deonandan for the Huffington Post. “To many, this move represents an attack on the very idea of scholarship, and the undermining of the nation's quest to be a leader in the knowledge economy.” The author emphasizes the crucial role that libraries and librarians play in helping a country and its citizens navigate a world increasingly flooded with data and content. The author further argues that if institutions cancel subscriptions to key journals, the cost of accessing these sources for essays and other coursework will fall on students. The library “has evolved over the years, but it remains the scholastic heart of the modern university,” Deonandan concludes. “We wound that heart at our own peril.” Huffington Post

NSCC expands trades programming to meet 30-year shipbuilding needs

Nova Scotia Community College is expanding its programming to give tradespeople specialized shipbuilding skills to help meet a demand that is anticipated to continue for the next three decades, reports CBC. The program’s expansion is reportedly designed to give pipefitters, welders, electricians, and other tradespeople a more specialized knowledge in shipbuilding. The college has reportedly signed an agreement with New Brunswick Community College to deliver this marine-based training in NB and Quebec as well. The curriculum was developed by NSCC academics and Irving Shipbuilding's experts along with a network of global contacts. There are reportedly 30 additional courses to choose from, depending workers' need, and these can be hosted at NSCC campuses or on specific job sites. CBC

NorQuest’s 1,000 Women campaign showcased in Maclean’s

“It all started with 15 community-minded women who identified that if we could find 1,000 women to give $1,000 each, we would be able to create a million-dollar endowment,” says NorQuest College Jodi Abbott of the school's 1,000 Women campaign. The goal of the program varies from year to year, with previous years focusing on providing women with one-time grants of up to $1.5K to pay for various expenses related to attending NorQuest. In 2012, 1,000 Women raised another $1 million to build a daycare centre on campus with 56 subsidized spots; the centre is slated to open next fall at the new Singhmar Centre for Learning. In June 2016, the group began its third campaign to raise $1M to help students cover tuition fees. Maclean’s

QC announces $12M in university, college grants

Quebec Minister of Higher Education Hélène David announced this Monday that the province will inject an additional $12M in grant funding for the province's CEGEPs and universities. The funds were made available immediately and are marked to be spent by the end of the fiscal year on March 31, 2017. Of the $12M, $2.7M will be used to mentor and retain foreign students. Another $3.2M will be used to increase the supply of continuing education programs, while $3M will be devoted to providing more resources for student success. The remainder will be used for various measures such as support for innovation, strengthening French language proficiency among students, and intervention practices against sexual violence and radicalization. La Presse

More US students visiting career centres, fewer finding them helpful: study

Recent graduates in the US are becoming more likely to visit a career centre while attending PSE, but less likely to describe the experience as “very helpful,” according to an annual Gallup-Purdue University study of college graduates. Of the 30,000 alumni surveyed, only 17% of those who graduated between 2010 and 2016 said they found their college career centers to be “very helpful,” while another 26% reported that the career office was “helpful.” Less than 40% said they found career centers to be “somewhat helpful,” and 17% said the interactions were not helpful at all. At the same time, 61% of respondents said they had visited a career center at least once while at school compared to 55% of those who graduated between 2000 and 2009. Graduates who visited career centers at least once, however, were more likely to be employed full time after college (67%) than those who did not visit (59%). Inside Higher Ed

Collége Acadie takes on new name, Collége de l'île

PEI’s French language college, formerly known as Collége Acadie, has taken on the new name Collége de l'île to make the college a clearer choice for students who wish to pursue education in French, reports The Guardian. “The idea is to have a college that is seen as being inclusive of everybody on the Island that is interested in taking content in French,” explained College President Donald DesRoches. DesRoches told The Guardian that the institution is expanding through innovative partnerships, the use of unmatched technology, and the delivery of bilingual academic programs. CBC reports that the college held an official opening at its new location in Charlottetown last Monday. The Guardian | CBC

BrandonU acquires shuttered theatre for $1

Brandon University has acquired the former Strand Theatre property in downtown Brandon “for less than what it costs to buy a cup of coffee,” reports CBC. “Our University's Academic Plan speaks to community engagement and being a catalyst for community growth and development,” said BrandonU President Gervan Fearon. “This property will help us to further meet student needs, to broaden our academic programming engagement with the community, and to play a role in the revitalization of the downtown core.” CBC reports that there are no confirmed plans for the use of the theatre, which was built in 1916 and closed in 2005, yet BrandonU Students’ Union president Nick Brown states that some ideas for the property include student residences or student family housing.” CBC | Medicine Hat News | BrandonU

How to overcome hesitation about teaching online: IHE contributor

“In the hierarchy of [PSE] status, if you teach online, do you compromise your position?” asks Robert Ubell for Inside Higher Ed. The author explores the incentives and barriers that still exist for instructors who do or do not want to teach online courses, noting that some academic departments in the US actively discourage young faculty from teaching online because it is seen as a distraction from important career goals. One reason for this view is the fact that many instructors continue to have a negative view of online education. Another barrier, Ubell notes, is faculty’s fear of losing control over their classrooms, which they are used to leading with minimal supervision or input from peers or administrators. Yet ultimately, the author concludes that online education will continue to improve as more faculty develop new conceptual approaches to teaching and learning in the digital age. Inside Higher Ed

ULethbridge receives $1M from BMO for Destination Project

The University of Lethbridge has received $1M from BMO to build a new Science and Academic Building at its main campus. The university states that the new facilities will "bring together faculty and students from across science disciplines, promote and enable curricular innovation, help students achieve their academic goals, and foster a community of science at the U of L and across southern Alberta." In recognition of the gift, ULethbridge will name a key space of science and outreach activities after BMO Financial Group. “We are very appreciative of BMO Financial Group for joining us in the creation of this transformational project and helping us shape the future of the University of Lethbridge,” says ULethbridge President Mike Mahon. “Our relationship with BMO encompasses a number of initiatives and this gift extends their history of supporting both the University and the southern Alberta community.” ULethbridge

Researchers led by Western professor receive $3M to support survivors of domestic violence

An international team of researchers led by a Western University professor has received over $3M to deliver and study a community-based program designed to improve the lives of women who have experienced domestic violence. The team is led by Marilyn Ford-Gilboe, Women’s Health Research Chair in Rural Health at the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing at Western University, and includes four other Western researchers. The study will be co-led by partners at the University of British Columbia (Colleen Varcoe) and the University of New Brunswick (Kelly Scott-Storey), and includes researchers at McMaster University, University of Montreal, and Johns Hopkins University. The study will examine the impacts of an innovative, evidence-based intervention called iHEAL, a program specifically designed to meet the needs of women who have separated from an abusive partner. “This investment is another step towards ensuring that serious inroads are made when it comes to combatting family violence,” said London North Centre MP Peter Fragiskatos.