Top Ten

August 20, 2018

Licensing exam company reneges on refund for respiratory therapy students

Yardstick, the company that runs the national licensing exam for respiratory therapy, has announced that a group of students will not be getting a full refund despite its earlier promise. Earlier this summer, students from the three-year New Brunswick Community College respiratory therapy program were required to complete a six-hour computerized certification exam, which was cancelled midway through the test after a major computer glitch occurred. CBC states that the company initially sent an email stating that it would refund the original examination fee amounting to $899 plus HST and offer a free rewrite opportunity. However, a follow-up email stated that the company would only offer $290 and allow a “broader range of expenses” to be claimed. CBC reports that some students are taking legal action against the company, while others are talking to their MLAs. CBC

MUN completes construction on new Signal Hill campus

Memorial University has completed construction on its new Signal Hill campus. A MUN release states that the campus will house academic programs and local partners, in addition to providing new spaces for graduate housing. “We see this as a major moment in the history of Memorial,” stated Rob Greenwood, MUN’s Director of Public Engagement. “Our entire history has been rooted in our connection to this province, and in collaboration between the university and the public. Signal Hill Campus will embody that history of partnership and innovation.” MUN adds that the new campus will officially open in September 2018. MUN

UCalgary launches new Master's program in software engineering

The University of Calgary has announced that the provincial government will support a new Master’s of Engineering in Electrical and Computer Engineering program. A UCalgary release states that the program, scheduled to launch in September, is part of a larger commitment by the government to add 3,000 new tech training spaces within the next five years. “The University of Calgary is home to some very well-recognized technology programs, so it’s encouraging to see that the government is increasing its support in this area,” said UCalgary Provost Dru Marshall. UCalgary adds that students with either an undergraduate degree in software engineering or a minor in computer engineering may complete the program in as little as eight months. UCalgary

Advice for academic writers who fall short of their summer goals

Kerry Ann Rockmore and Anthony Ocampo share several tips for academic writers who feel they have fallen short of their summer writing goals. The authors recommend that writers first let go of any guilt and shame they might feel, and then make a plan for the upcoming months. They also suggest a proactive approach that includes the implementation of a writing support network prior to the beginning of the term and a daily writing schedule. Rockmore and Ocampo add that “double dipping,” or incorporating research and writing into class activities, can also boost productivity. Inside Higher Ed

Lessons from a college president who slept like a freshman for two nights

The president of an American college shares some of his insights after spending two nights in a dormitory for first-year undergraduates. The president states that he emphasized to students the importance of completing their degrees within four years, and reflects upon how the college can better facilitate completion rates. He adds that students also talked to him about their planned majors. When asked if he would recommend the experience to other presidents, he responds, “I would, but I would tell them to have their mothers come and make their beds.” Chronicle of Higher Education

Contact North opens new location on Six Nations’ Brantford campus

Contact North, a provincial initiative that helps Ontarians in rural communities remotely complete their degrees, diplomas, and postsecondary certificates, will open a new online learning centre at Six Nations Polytechnic’s Brantford campus, reports the Brantford Expositor. “We are especially excited about working with Contact North to offer our students online courses on goal setting, WHMIS (workplace hazardous materials information system), workplace safety, personal protective equipment and more,” stated Six Nations Trades Development Officer Mary Fukes. The Expositor adds that a $5M investment from the federal government facilitated upgrades to Six Nations’ Brantford campus. Brantford Expositor

Concussion research at WesternU receives $3M with support of NHLPA

Western University has received over $3M in funding to better understand the symptoms of concussions with an aim to finding new ways to stop the injuries’ adverse effects. The money comes from the completion of the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) challenge, which began six years ago with the NHLPA’s $500K initial gift that called on the community to build on it to reach the $3.1M figure. The funds will go toward Western’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry as part of See the Line, a 10-year program that is looking to educate athletes, coaches, parents and others in the community about the impact of concussion. “It provided a unique challenge for us,” said Schulich Dean Michael Strong of raising the additional funds. “It challenged the community to step up to the plate and donate the $2.65 million that was required.” London Free Press | Global News | WesternU

TRU draft policy proposes ban on recreational pot use on campus

Thompson Rivers University’s draft policy on the use of alcohol, cannabis, and tobacco has listed recreational cannabis as “prohibited,” reports Kamloops This Week. The article further adds that medicinal use of cannabis is permitted provided that the user can produce a prescription from a “qualified physician.” Committee co-chair and trades instructor Pat Barringer expressed concerns about student safety around the use of marijuana and working with machinery in the trades building on campus. “The proposed policy is in keeping with our approach to foster a safe and healthy environment for all who are on campus,” said TRU spokeswoman Darshan Lindsay, “and that this environment supports the best educational opportunities for our students.” CFJC Today | Kamloops This Week

McGill, RI-MUHC receive $500K for collaborative projects

The Government of Quebec has awarded $500K in funding to McGill University and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre to support the completion of two international research and innovation projects. One project will examine the pharmaceutical properties of cannabidiol, while the second project will focus on developing a new treatment for glioblastoma. “It is with great enthusiasm that our government supports the success of these international research projects, which demonstrate the active mobilization and consultation of stakeholders in our education, research and innovation sectors,” said QC Higher Education Minister Hélène David. “Quebec is rich in the expertise it has developed and is undeniably distinguished by the immense capacity of Quebec researchers to innovate.” McGill

Law students benefit from developing accounting, business, computer skills

While pure law courses have historically been viewed as the best way to prepare lawyers for managing clients’ affairs, young students and corporate lawyers can differentiate themselves and become more efficient lawyers by developing skills from other areas, writes Sandra Rubin. Rubin discusses the value of pursuing learning in areas such as finance, business management, and computing, all of which enable new law students to be more efficient in their workplace and differentiate themselves. Rubin solicits the views of a number of working lawyers who highlight the value of new lawyers who can bring financial knowledge to cases such as shareholder disputes, management to leadership and team positions, and coding and computer skills for preparing for upcoming changes in technology. Lexpert