Top Ten

January 24, 2019

ON students protest OSAP changes

Over 200 students from Queen’s University and 100 from Wilfrid Laurier University gathered this week to protest the Government of Ontario’s changes to the Ontario Student Assistance Program, reports the Kingston Whig-Standard. Several community members and local politicians—including city councillors Robert Kiley and Jim Neill, former Liberal politician Steven Del Duca, President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada local 901 Craig Berggold, and a representative from MPP Ian Arthur’s office—also joined. “I'm concerned with low-income students losing potential grant money,” said WLU Economics and Accounting student Reed Sicard. “I'm part of that group, and based on my calculations I'm going to be losing about $3,000 in grants.” Kingston Whig-Standard|Waterloo Region Record (ON)

Ottawa taps CICan to provide services for newcomers to Canada

Colleges and Institutes Canada announced that it has been selected by the federal government to provide pre-arrival services for future Canadians. CICan’s Canadian Immigrant Integration Program will reportedly continue to operate field offices in India and the Philippines in order to connect newcomers with a variety of services and supports, such as those offered by Canadian higher ed, to help with their integration into communities and workplaces. “CICan is thrilled to have this opportunity to continue to work with newcomers, helping them to succeed in Canada,” said CICan President and CEO Denise Amyot. CICan adds that the new initiative is part of a four-year, $113M federal investment to improve services for future immigrants. CICan (National)

Charting the career pathways of provosts

In a feature article for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Audrey Williams June and Dan Bauman delve into the career pathways of provosts. The authors discover that current and former provosts come to the job for a variety of reasons, and that their trajectories continue to diverge after their appointments. While university presidencies appear to be the next logical step, a number of provosts that June and Bauman interview state that they chose the provost position because it let them stay connected to faculty. While some provosts do go on to assume the role of president, others return to their faculty roles, some retire, and still others leave the academy altogether. Chronicle (International)

ULethbridge women's hockey coach leaves job following harassment complaints

Following allegations of harassment, Michelle Janus is no longer head coach of the University of Lethbridge women’s hockey team. According to CBC, ULethbridge did not elaborate on Janus’ departure beyond calling it a “human resource matter.” CBC also reports that the school investigated a complaint by six team members and determined that “the policy on harassment has been violated.” However, officials kept Janus as head coach and said it would work with her to "to correct the harassment behaviour and to work towards ensuring a healthy team environment." Several players are also suing Janus, the university, and its Sports Director, CBC adds. None of the allegations have been proven in court. CBC (AB)

YouTube can influence high school students’ enrolment decisions, but must be authentic: Nguyen

Across the US, YouTube has emerged as one of the primary tools that high school students use to learn more about post-secondary institutions they’re considering applying to, writes Terry Nguyen. Many of these videos are shot by real-world post-secondary students from inside their dorm rooms, offering viewers everything from a take on campus life to tips on how to improve their GPA. Experts say that the perceived authenticity of student-created content inspires trust in viewers. The article notes that although schools use this platform to influence student decisions on where to enrol, the more a school tries to control the message of student-generated content and minimize risk through “brochure storytelling,” the less effective the content becomes. Chronicle (International)

NWC signs MOU with USask

North West College has signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will allow students direct entry into the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan. The Battlefords News-Optimist reports that BComm students will be allowed to take all of their first-year courses in the Battlefords, and will also be eligible for scholarships through both USask and NWC. “We are pleased to enter in to this agreement with the Edwards School of Business, which will give students more options as they pursue post-secondary studies right here closer to home,” said Jay Notay, President and CEO of NWC. Battlefords News-Optimist

SLC rolls out career skills program

St Lawrence College has announced that it will continue a pilot program that seeks to provide students with so-called “soft skills” like work ethic, communication, time management, problem-solving, and self-confidence. “Through mock interviews I was able to overcome my nervousness and show the full range of my abilities to land a job in my chosen field,” said SLC graduate Andrea Sofia. A release states that the program focuses on knowledge enhancement for the workplace; project management; insights into plotting career paths; resume enhancement and networking; and greater confidence for career planning. SLC (ON)

STU rewrites policy on gym attire

St Thomas University has announced that crop tops and sports bras are officially considered appropriate gym attire, reports CBC. The shift in policy follows the university’s 2018 apology to student McKenzie Parsons, who was told by a staff member that her crop top was distracting. “Because we lacked policy we had no basis on which to deal with the issue,” STU spokesperson Jeffrey Carleton said about the incident. “When you make a mistake, and you realize you've made a mistake, then the right thing to do is to apologize.” The university’s policy will be focused on safety and etiquette, and will now exclude articles of clothing with zippers, studs, or snaps that could get caught or cause injury. CBC (NB)

Bounce back from a tough Fall semester by increasing transparency in the classroom: Junior Prof

“If you feel your teaching during the fall term was lackluster, you aren’t alone,” writes a US-based instructor going by the name Junior Prof. The author then suggests a number of initiatives to improve transparency. Professors may tell students what to expect from that particular class, conducting a mid-semester feedback survey; invite a colleague to observe a class and provide feedback; or inform students about research that has uncovered biases in student evaluations of teaching. “I will trust that if I show them how I do my job, it will allow me to do my job better thanks to their accountability,” the author concludes. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Student president: Opt-out could jeopardize Laurentian's radio station, newspaper

Tommi-Lee Gauthier, President of Laurentian University's Students General Association, has expressed concern that provincial legislation that lets studentsopt-out of non-essential feescould jeopardize services such as student-run newspapers and radio stations. According to CBC, Laurentian students currently pay $127 in student fees, which the SGA then distributes to different groups on campus. Gauthier states that the lost revenues could “take away our students' opportunities to participate in these things. We do have students on campus, as well as professors, who run radio shows and talk shows. And there's multiple students I know who contribute to the [newspaper] through their writing." Currently, the newspaper and the radio station each receive $10 of the $127 fee. CBC (ON)