Top Ten

February 25, 2019

Skills-training a must for Budget 2019: Geddes

The Future Skills Centre, a $225M initiative tabled by the federal government in 2017, is still in the early stages of transforming skills training in Canada, writes John Geddes. The myriad complexities around such an ambitious initiative—such as liaising with provincial governments over post-secondary training or the unpredictable impacts of a technological economy—make it a daunting task from the outset, the author adds. Sean Mullin of the University of Toronto tells Geddes that the government should start by focusing on mid-career employees whose jobs might be at risk because of automation. Geddes adds that others have considered subsidizing overseas education for Canadians, while tax benefits or other supports for suddenly unemployed workers also need to be explored. Maclean’s

Vanier students say CEGEP mishandled online threat

Some students have expressed concern with the way that Montreal-based Vanier College responded to an online threat about a shooter on campus last week, reports the Montreal Gazette. Vanier Spokesperson Darren Becker told the Gazette that the school did not go on lockdown when it investigated the threat. But an unnamed student said that her instructor barricaded a classroom for 40 minutes, while another said that security guards on the first floor told students that the school was, in fact, on lockdown. Becker said that some teachers may have independently decided to lock down their classrooms. “If a teacher decided to go into lockdown on their own, we can’t control that,” he added. “But there was never a threat on campus.” Montreal Gazette

“Diligent hard work” brings ON universities one step closer to pension plan

Unions at Queen’s University, the University of Guelph, and the University of Toronto have voted in favour of the University Pension Plan Ontario (UPP). The United Steelworker Unions and Faculty Associations at all three institutions have all voted to support the conversion. UoGuelph stated that unions at the three universities will now undertake a ratification vote, after which non-unionized employees will be asked for their consent about the plan. “Ratification by the USW and faculty associations is the result of the diligent hard work of so many,” said UoGuelph Vice-President Finance, Administration and Risk Don O’Leary. “This is a major first step forward for the UPP.” Queen's |UoGuelph

SMU rejuvenates graduate business schools

Saint Mary’s University’s Sobey School of Business has relaunched its Executive MBA program and begun development on an Executive Doctor of Business Administration program. The two programs will focus on evidence-based management to help executives make better, data-driven decisions. “Evidence-based management means making decisions using the best available evidence from multiple sources, but it is about more than critical thinking,” stated EMBA Academic Director Wendy Carroll. “It’s developed into a rigorous practice that corporate executives around the globe rely on to identify the highest quality evidence in a sometimes treacherous sea of over-information.” SMU

Canada’s university career centres adapt to provide 21st-century support

“While the traditional career centre services are in place and as popular as ever … most centres have significantly broadened their offerings to focus more on career exploration, self-assessment and even experiential learning,” writes Suzanne Bowness for University Affairs. Bowness notes that university career centres across Canada are today helping students explore career options and plan their professional futures like never before. Highlighting a number of universities that have succeeded in this respect, Bowness notes a number of new tactics that have helped change students' post-graduate lives. These tactics include career-related interventions earlier in the student life cycle, greater focus on experiential learning, actively seeking out students via partnerships with campus groups, and more online career resources. University Affairs

Lancers, Windsor TFC kick off big-league partnership

The Windsor TFC and the University of Windsor Lancers men’s soccer program have teamed up to give both teams a boost. The relationship will introduce new opportunities for UWindsor soccer players to take part in enhanced training and development, see Windsor TFC’s entire league schedule at UWindsor’s Alumni Field, and possibly establish a women’s League1 Ontario program for 2020. “We want to remove any barriers for (university) athletes to continue to develop in the off-season,” said Ryan Mendonca, who will serve as head coach for both programs, “and, on the League1 side, we want to make sure that the program can attract the best players.” Windsor Star

CBU, Unama’ki College develop ethics watch to ensure transparency for Indigenous research

Cape Breton University and Unama’ki College have developed an ethics watch for Indigenous research. A release states that the initiative provides Indigenous communities with transparency about how research is conducted and what happens to the data. The establishment of the ethics watch also coincided with an interdisciplinary symposium that addressed questions around jurisdiction and the movement toward open access and open data for government-funded research. “CBU has more than 40 years of proven partnerships in consultation with Indigenous communities and experience in providing specialized education and services for Indigenous students,” said Stephen Augustine, Association Vice President, Indigenous Affairs. “This symposium will enable us to review our own ethics standards and share them with other researchers.” Nation Talk

UQAC launches degree program in preschool, elementary education

The Université du Québec à Chicoutimi has announced that it will launch a baccalaureate in preschool and elementary education later this year. According to a release, UQAC will deliver the program in a blended format, with in-person courses available at Sept-Îles, Havre-Saint-Pierre, and Fermont. Roberto Gauthier, Director of the Centre d’études de l’est de la Côte-Nord, acknowledged the region’s school boards for providing technological infrastructure and educational assistance for the program’s upcoming cohorts, adding that UQAC’s collaboration with local schools will expedite the program’s work-integrated learning process. UQAC

Norquest, Edmonton Public Schools introduce Health Care Aide program

Norquest College has partnered with Edmonton Public Schools for a Health Care Aide program. A Norquest release reports that the program gives Edmonton students the opportunity to earn high school credits and provincially-recognized certification, and that training will take place at McNally School’s new Health Care Aide space. The space features hospital beds, lifts, and wheelchairs, as well as industry supplies, equipment, and technology. “Our inaugural Health Care Aide class includes 18 students from seven District high schools,” said Board Chair Michelle Draper. “We’re so excited to welcome these students to a program that allows them to explore the health care industry as a career option.” Norquest

Sault certificates serve region’s critical health needs

Sault College will offer online programs in nephrology nursing and children’s mental health learning opportunities, reports the Sault Star. According to the Star, the region needs more nurses trained in nephrology due to an aging population faced with increased cases of diabetes and hypertension. e-learn Program Manager Rachel Hill cited recent data from the Canadian Mental Health Association that found 20% of children are affected by mental illness, signalling a growing demand for specialists. The Star adds that Sault will deliver the courses through OntarioLearn, a consortium of 24 publicly-funded colleges in the province. Sault Star