Top Ten

August 29, 2017

Federation of CEGEPs asks QC to change employee training law

Quebec’s Federation of CEGEPs is asking the provincial government to encourage employers to turn to CEGEPs for employee training by changing employee development regulations. The Act to Promote Workforce Skills Development and Recognition currently mandates that companies allocate 1% of their salary budgets to employee training. Federation of CEGEPs president and CEO Bernard Tremblay says, however, that this law currently has “very broad criteria” that allow for a wide selection of training to qualify under the law. According to the Federation, changing this law could better achieve its underlying objectives and generate added revenue for CEGEPs. Montreal Gazette | La Presse (1) | La Presse (2)

UWindsor puts brakes on moving law school into downtown building

The University of Windsor has reportedly decided not to move its law school into a building in downtown Windsor as was previously planned. UWindsor President Alan Wildeman explained the decision last week, stating that the school ultimately decided that costs were too high for it to move its law school into the Paul Martin building, as there was not enough financial support from the provincial government to make the project viable. School officials were reportedly looking for the province to make a contribution similar to the City of Windsor, which has committed $15M toward the project. CBC | Windsor Star

RRU student, Algonquin employee develop job readiness programs for new Canadians

Royal Roads University student and Algonquin College School of Hospitality and Tourism academic manager Wes Wilkinson has developed a kitchen rental request into a job readiness program for new Canadians. When the Chinese Community Centre in Ottawa reached out with a request to rent kitchen space to fundraise for Syrian refugees, Wilkinson was inspired to develop a 13-week program taught by a Red Seal Chef called Cooking for New Canadians. “It’s a community college and we need to respond to community need,” says Wilkinson, adding that “About 20 per cent of the students had a cooking background.” The program will be offered again this fall with 45 students, and Wilkinson will also be developing assistant baker and beauty and spa apprenticeship programs for new Canadians. RRU

Providing better support for students who need it most

“We’ve tried to keep all doors open for all students, but we’ve created a system that provides inadequate guidance and poor options for many, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds,” write Harry Holzer and Sandy Baum. The authors argue that offering students better support “will require helping students make better choices about which college to attend and what to study.” The authors go on to outline how this goal can be achieved by developing guided pathways that can better structure students’ academic choices and programs of study. Chronicle of Higher Education

Dal Ocean School collaborates on initiative to advance ocean literacy

Ocean School, a joint initiative of Dalhousie University and the National Film Board of Canada, will be promoting marine sciences and ocean literacy through collaboration with Ingenium (Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). The Ocean School will also develop online materials for advancing online education across the country. Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, said the interpretive spaces will be a “remarkable educational tool that will increase ocean literacy in Canada and act as a magnet for what we hope to be the hundreds and thousands of students and visitors.” Dal | Public Now (Canada)

Queen’s international centre, Aboriginal student centre launch Intercultural Awareness Certificate

Queen’s University’s Division of Student Affairs is launching an Intercultural Awareness Certificate for staff, faculty, and students to promote an inclusive campus community. The five-session program is delivered in partnership by the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre and the Queen’s University International Centre. “This certificate will raise awareness of Indigenous culture, build intercultural competence, and help participants develop life skills that support their success in diverse environments, including campuses, workplaces and communities,” said Queen’s Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Ann Tierney. Tierney also stated that the program is aligned with the recommendations of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Queen's

Canada, QC invest more than $1.5M to support technology transfer centre at Cégep de Thetford

The Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec are investing more than $1.5M to help the Cégep de Thetford improve its facilities. The investment will specifically be used to improve the energy efficiency of the building that currently houses the research facilities of Oleotek, a technology transfer centre specializing in green and renewable chemicals, process monitoring, and oleochemicals. The CEGEP will also refurbish Oleotek’s pilot plant and its test and analysis lab. “This investment in our applied research infrastructure will enable us to perform at a higher level, and we will be better equipped to fulfill our mission and be leaders in applied research in the field of green chemistry,” said Robert Rousseau, directeur general of Thetford. Canada

UBC improves access to mental health counselling, wellness offerings

The University of British Columbia is improving access to mental health counselling, as well as its wellness offerings. CBC reports that an Academic Experience Survey released by the school's student union has highlighted the difficulties faced by many undergraduates at the institution. It also found that only 17% of students had been helped by UBC’s counseling services. Among other improvements, UBC director of counseling services Cheryl Washburn explains that the school has introduced a centralized first point of contact to identify students’ concerns and connect the student to the “least intensive, yet most effective support at any given time.” CBC | UBC

Helping students pursue learning outcomes that translate the classroom into life

“You don’t need to go very deep in the pedagogical research to know that the key to successful learning is for the learner to be aware of what the given knowledge will add to their goals and their life,” writes Cathy Davidson. The author argues that professors and their departments need to do a better job of connecting the “lofty language” of mission statements into actual practices based on what skills and knowledge professors want students to learn. Davidson outlines a classroom exercise that can help students work together to create their own learning objectives, then offers a list of ten aspirational learning outcomes. Inside Higher Ed

Connection to land supports mental health in Northern ON community: UofGH researcher

How has a remote Indigenous community in Northern Ontario with a history of oppression and suffering produced what appear to be positive mental health outcomes? This is the question posed by David Danto, program head of Psychology at the University of Guelph-Humber in collaboration with Russ Walsh of Duquesne University. After interviewing community leaders and resident mental health service providers, the researchers found that a sense of connection to the land was the most powerful determinant of positive mental health outcomes. “Back to the land,” noted one community member. “When you’re there, it’s like your spirit, your mind and your physical well-being—everything improves when you’re out there; it’s like you rejuvenate while you’re out there.” The Conversation