Top Ten

August 18, 2017

Homeless teen with cerebral palsy will attend Carleton this fall thanks to crowdfunding campaign

A homeless teen who lives with cerebral palsy will attend Carleton University this fall, thanks to the combined efforts of Carleton and an online crowdfunding campaign. CBC reported earlier this week that Benjamin Williamson had been accepted to Carleton, but that even after his grants and awards, would not be able to cover his expenses. That is when Carleton Program Coordinator Susan Burhoe started a GoFundMe campaign to help cover his costs. Within that same day, the campaign had raised $22K. “All my living costs will be paid for,” said Williamson. “Thank you does not express what people have done for me. You have really given me the ability to restart my life.” CBC (1) | CBC (2)

BC college instructors say they feel pressure to pass international students

A group of college instructors in British Columbia has begun to publicly criticize what they feel is an increasing pressure to pass international students in their courses. Vancouver Sun contributor Douglas Todd reports that in addition to the pressure from their institutions, professors also regularly encounter “foreign students’ emotion-filled emails and in-office appeals, often issued in jumbled English, [which aim] to cajole faculty at Langara College and other institutions into giving them a break.” Langara College Provost Ian Humphreys, however, insists that “there is no pressure on faculty to pass students who are not yet achieving learning outcomes.” Vancouver Sun

Debate emerges around recently appointed USask board member

The appointment of former Saskatchewan premier Grant Devine as a member of the University of Saskatchewan board of governors has sparked criticism from some stakeholders at the university. USask senator Dan Danielson said in a recent Facebook post that the former Progressive Conservative premier’s “public governance performance record has not been of high enough quality to endorse his appointment beyond partisan politics.” University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union vice president Deena Kapacila has also criticized the appointment. At the time of the appointment, SK Advanced Education Minister Bronwyn Eyre said the appointment was based on Devine’s qualifications, which “speak for themselves.”  Saskatoon StarPhoenix

UWaterloo to open women-only residence in effort to close engineering gender gap

The University of Waterloo has announced that this fall, it will open its Women in Engineering Living-Learning Community. The optional women-only residence will offer space for about 50 of the 500 women entering UWaterloo’s engineering program. Residents will be offered support by paid older students called “peer leaders,” who will run special activities designed to prepare women for the sexism they may face in the working world. UWaterloo Master of Science student Uma Lad says that she worries the residence will only reinforce stereotypes that women cannot succeed at science or math. However, UWaterloo Associate Dean of Outreach Mary Wells says that the program is worth trying because decades of outreach programs have failed to close the engineering gender gap. CTV News

Red Crow, ULethbridge launch Niitsitapi Teacher Education Program

Red Crow Community College and the University of Lethbridge’s Faculty of Education have partnered to launch the Niitsitapi Teacher Education Program, to begin in Fall 2018. “We look forward to working with the U of L on the Niitsitapi Teacher Education Program,” said Red Crow President Roy Weasel Fat. “The program will prepare students to teach from a Blackfoot perspective and ultimately, to pass along language and culture to future generations.” ULethbridge explains that the program is for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students or interested non-Indigenous students who want to become qualified teachers and work with Blackfoot children and youth. Students are able to take part in the program as a five-year combined degree or a two-year post-degree program. ULethbridge

RRC launches certificate programs in IT, engineering, health care and business

Red River College is launching six new programs this year that will prepare students for successful careers in a variety of fields. “The partnerships we have with key industries in Manitoba help drive our decisions on program offerings,” said RRC President Paul Vogt. “We get constant feedback from employers on the skills they are looking for, and what it takes for graduates to find jobs and be at the leading edge of their sectors.” The college is introducing five certificate programs – Bridge to Civil Technologies, Enhanced Health Care Aide/Universal Worker, and Global Business Management, Construction Site Supervisor, and Network Services Technician – and an advanced certificate program in Industrial Networking Technology. RRC

Scheer’s PSE free speech pledge would not extend to white nationalist rallies: spokesperson

A spokesperson for federal conservative leader Andrew Scheer says that Scheer’s pledge to protect free speech on Canadian campuses would not apply in the case of a school banning a white nationalist rally. During his successful campaign for the Conservative leadership, Scheer promised that he would pull federal funding from universities that failed to protect freedom of speech. “Mr. Scheer is committed to working with the universities to ensure that any policy he brings forward does not become a platform for hate speech,” said spokesperson Jake Enwright. The comments come in response to a recent decision by the University of Toronto to ban a white nationalist group from holding a rally on its campus. CBC | Globe and Mail

Ryerson professor responds to critics of federal coding, programming initiatives

“In the not-so-distant future, coding and programming will also be life skills and hence the need to teach the same to Canadian children to maintain the competitive advantage of the Canadian economy,” writes Ryerson Professor Murtaza Haider for the Huffington Post. Writing in response to those who have criticized Canada’s efforts to train more computer coders and programmers, Haider writes that these people’s criticism relies on outdated and misinformed notions of what computer literacy is and what its implications are. Haider applauds the federal government’s efforts to invest in the teaching of coding and digital skills, adding that the Liberals should invest even more than the $50M they have already put toward this cause. Huffington Post

SAIT culinary program designed for at-risk youth receives $2M

A SAIT initiative that aims to ignite a passion for cooking in vulnerable youth will benefit from a $2M gift from the Joyce Family Foundation. Summer Cooks, a program run through SAIT’s School of Hospitality and Tourism, will receive assurance of its continued operation thanks to the funding. $1M of the funds will directly support the Summer Cooks, Introduction of Cook Apprentice program, which inspires at-risk high school students to continue their education while exposing them to career opportunities available in the culinary sector. The remainder of the money will go toward bursaries meant to assist new students facing financial hardships. Calgary Herald | SAIT

ON universities set to implement mandatory sexual assault policies

“As students enter campuses across Ontario this fall, there's change in the air,” reports CBC, referring to the implementation of provincially mandated sexual assault policies at the province’s universities. “It's one of those things that you hear about happening, but you never think that it will happen to you,” says Allison Thompson, an incoming Business Administration student at Wilfrid Laurier University. “It makes me feel safer as an incoming student, knowing that there are policies in place to protect me.” The article highlights the University of Waterloo as one place where the new policies are having an impact on Orientation Week. CBC