Top Ten

September 21, 2017

BC students work more, owe more than other Canadian students

Postsecondary students in British Columbia work more and owe more in loans than students in other provinces, according to a new survey. The study found that nearly two-thirds (64%) of BC students worked while they attended school in 2015, compared to 59% nationally. The study also found that the national average had climbed to this number from 27% in 1976 to 54% in 2003, as did the number of hours worked nationally, from 14.1 hours in 1985 to 18 hours in 2015. These changes have had repercussions on academic performance, says Sophie Salcito, a Vancity financial planner, noting that students who worked 10 hours or less a week had slightly higher grade point averages than those who did not work, but those who worked 31 hours or more had lower GPAs. Vancouver Sun

Niagara first in Canada to offer program in cannabis production

PSE graduates will have the chance to earn a certificate in cannabis production at Niagara College starting next fall, when the school will reportedly launch Canada's first accredited program in the field. The program is set to launch only months after the deadline that the federal government has imposed for legalizing the production, distribution, and sale of marijuana. The Globe and Mail reports that because the laws regarding legalized marijuana are not yet in place, the program will need to be able to shift with changing legislative priorities. “[Licensed producers] need a graduate who knows how to create a healthy crop in a very large facility and a graduate who is aware of the regulatory reality,” says Al Unwin, the associate dean of Niagara College's School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies. Globe and Mail (Subscription Required)| Waterloo Region Record | Hamilton Spectator  

VIU, Yukon launch first-of-its-kind program to support Indigenous students

Vancouver Island University and Yukon College have partnered to launch a new initiative that seeks to remove barriers for Indigenous learners, increase enrolment, and help roughly 800 students complete their programs of study. The program reportedly offers financial assistance, textbooks, and living allowance; as well as emotional, cultural, and spiritual support by recognizing and honouring Indigenous culture. An example of this commitment exists in the fact that VIU employs and pays Indigenous elders at the same rate as tenured professors, says Chris DaSilva, director of learning and leadership at the Rideau Hall Foundation. The Globe and Mail reports that the program is the first of its kind in Canada. Globe and Mail

Loyalist, YorkU sign BEd in Technological Education pathway agreement

Loyalist College and York University have signed a pathway agreement that will provide eligible graduates of Loyalist’s Animation, Journalism & Communications and Film & TV Production diploma programs with the opportunity to enter YorkU’s Consecutive Bachelor of Education in Technological Education program. YorkU’s program complies with the Ontario College of Teachers’ requirements, making its graduates eligible for an Ontario Teaching Certificate as a teacher of Technological Education in an Ontario secondary school. “This pathway enhances educational opportunities for Loyalist graduates and opens doors in a dynamic field of study they may not have otherwise considered,” says Ann Drennan, Senior Vice-President Academic and Chief Learning Officer at Loyalist. Loyalist

UWindsor resistance program to tackle sexual assault myths

The University of Windsor’s Office of Student Experience has invested $135K into a new program designed to provide women with training to mitigate the risk of sexual assault. The Sexual Assault Resistance Education Program, or “Flip the Script,” consists of four three-hour sessions that provide information, skills, and practice in assessing risk from acquaintances; overcoming emotional barriers in acknowledging danger; and engaging in effective verbal and physical self-defence. UWindsor reports that the program is based on 10 years of research by UWindsor psychology and women’s and gender studies professor Charlene Senn and her team. UWindsor

Lethbridge College to permanently fly Blackfoot Confederacy flag

Lethbridge College has committed to permanently flying the Blackfoot Confederacy flag on its campus as part of an ongoing effort to acknowledge and celebrate the school's location on the traditional land of the Blackfoot people. A college release reports that the flag will serve as a symbol of the school's commitment to ensuring that its students’ learning includes knowledge of the Blackfoot people. “As a member of the Blood Tribe community and Lethbridge College family, the raising of the flag will hold pride, honour and be a reminder that while our Blackfoot grandparents and parents endured a past we cannot even imagine through residential schooling, today’s generations are able to choose any education path they want,” says Marcia Black Water, Lethbridge College Indigenous Services coordinator. Lethbridge Herald | Lethbridge

Listen to your body to judge whether a job is well-suited to you: IHE contributor

“Who am I and what do I love? You must be clear about the answers to these important questions as the foundation for choosing your posttenure pathway,” writes Kerry Ann Rockquemore. Without reflecting on these questions, the author adds, professionals will find themselves reactively responding to opportunities that come up instead of identifying a path that is aligned with their strengths. One of the key ways to tell whether a job is a good fit is to listen to one’s body, the author adds, noting that “when you’re doing work that you are ill suited to, it’s normal to feel tired, cranky and as if time has slowed down to a nauseating crawl. By contrast, when you are doing work that maximizes your strengths and taps into your passion, it’s normal for your energy to be high, to feel fully stimulated and engaged, and to lose track of time and space.” Inside Higher Ed

Laurentian launches Canada’s first masters program in science communication

Laurentian University has launched what is reported to be Canada’s first and only comprehensive master's program in science communication. The Sudbury Star reports that the program delivers a multi-disciplinary experience that teaches the theory underlying good communication, and the practical challenges of effectively communicating science while speaking to the issues involving science in society. “We are thrilled to be offering this exceptional science communication program at the masters level and we look forward to building on its incredible success with our partners at Science North,” said Serge Demers, VP, academic and provost. Sudbury Star

More support for nursing mothers needed at Toronto postsecondary institutions, advocates say

Toronto's university and college campuses need to do more to help breastfeeding mothers pursue PSE, according to advocates in the GTA. Lactation consultant Shela Hirani says that that many mothers extend their school years because they are nursing, and that many may drop out as a result. “It’s not only the matter of private spaces; it’s all of the composite intervention that is required to support mothers who are students or staff to continue their breastfeeding practices,” says HIrani. “If there isn’t any policy, no matter how flexible employers want to be, they won’t be able to accommodate the mothers.” The article highlights the policies that currently exist on some, but not all, GTA campuses to support nursing mothers. Metro

The do’s and don’ts of applying for grants

Before even sitting down to write a grant application this season, it is important to consider 10 key do’s and don’ts of the grant writing process, writes Barry Ries, a former research awards officer at Wilfrid Laurier University and grants officer at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. On the “do” side, Ries advises applicants to identify funding sources, make sure of their eligibility, and question whether their research idea warrants funding. On this last point, Ries suggests that applicants ask themselves the three key questions of any grant: so what?; do you have the ability to do the described work?; and is it a good use of the funding body’s funds? University Affairs