Top Ten

July 15, 2019

FedDev Ontario announces $14M for SONAMI partnership

The Federal Economic Agency for Southern Ontario has announced $14M in new funding for the Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation. The investment will help SONAMI grow to 10 partners and enhance its reach into the manufacturing community. “Niagara College is proud of the network’s tremendous success as a one-stop shop for advanced manufacturing applied research in southern Ontario,” said Niagara College President Dan Patterson. “With this expansion, we will continue to help small- and medium-sized enterprises remain competitive, while enabling our students to gain valuable skills working on cutting-edge solutions for our industry partners.” The SONAMI partnership is led by Niagara College and includes Mohawk College, Sheridan College, McMaster University, Conestoga College, Fanshawe College, and Lambton College. Canada (ON)

Rancourt and Archer-Kuhn: How universities can really help PhD grads get jobs

Recent surpluses of science graduates have contributed to underemployment and re-training, but the skills that scientists acquire in university can be leveraged for careers in relevant fields, write Derrick Rancourt and Beth Archer-Kuhn. The authors discuss two avenues of professionalization, the informational interview and project management, for young researchers to consider. According to Rancourt and Archer-Kuhn, informational interviews develop skills for stakeholder engagement at the same time as they support critical self-reflection and inquiry-based learning. The authors also find that project management is highly in-demand among hiring managers, and that graduate students can leverage their experience with thesis writing to address this gap. The Conversation (International)

Sheridan plays significant role in creation of new “Blown Away” Netflix show

A new show on Netflix has benefitted from the heavy involvement of Toronto’s Sheridan College. Titled “Blown Away,” the series will follow ten highly skilled glass blowers as they compete to win the show’s top prize. Sheridan reports that Koen Vanderstukken, head of the school’s Glass Program, served as the series consultant. The college also loaned over $10K worth of equipment to outfit the show’s facility, located on Imperial Street in Hamilton. Students and alumni helped to build the hot shop, and 14 students and alumni from Sheridan are featured as assistants in the show’s first nine episodes. In addition, Benjamin Kikkert, a Sheridan Glass alumnus, is a contestant on the show, and Sheridan’s President Janet Morrison serves as a guest evaluator on episode eight. Newsweek | Sheridan (ON)

Mohawk establishes diploma to degree pathways with TRU, Queen’s

Mohawk College has established new transfer pathways with Thompson Rivers University and Queen’s University that will enable Mohawk graduates to enter directly into degree programs at the universities. Graduates of select Mohawk diploma programs – such as Cardiovascular Technology, Pharmacy Technician, and Practical Nursing – will be eligible to enter TRU’s Bachelor of Health Science program. Graduates of the Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees Certificate program will be able to enter Queen’s Bachelor of Health Sciences Degree Program. Mohawk | Mohawk (ON | BC)

Higher ed is not the place for retraining after skills become outdated: survey

A significant majority of adults in the US, Canada, and UK believe that if their skills and education were to become outdated, they should receive education and retraining through their employers and not through a post-secondary institution. This is the finding of a new study that surveyed more than 10,000 respondents across the three countries. The study found that seven in 10 adults said that if their own skills and education were on the line to become outdated, they would look to their employers for on-the-job training or some other form of training to help them over the gap. Only a quarter or less of adults in all three countries considered higher ed the best place to get career training. Campus Technology (International)

Vancouver International College suspended by BC

Vancouver International College of Health and Wellness has been suspended for 30 days from advertising or enrolling new students in its acupressure and body massage esthetician programs. The suspension comes from the Government of British Columbia’s Private Training Institutions Branch, which found that the college violated the Private Training Act by selling credentials. The actions came to light during a small claims lawsuit from Zhen Qin, who received the diploma in acupuncture and body massage on the same day she paid her tuition and sued upon discovering that her services were not reimbursable through extended health insurance. The tribunal rejected Qin's bid for a refund of her tuition, saying she should have known better than to trust this particular college. CBC (BC)

Trent, Clarington partner to develop Electric Vehicle Strategy

Municipality of Clarington and Trent University Durham GTA have partnered to develop an Electric Vehicle Strategy. Communications and Critical Thinking students from Trent will work with municipal staff to develop an EV strategy, identify best practices for adoption, and use and maintain electric vehicles and charging stations. "By developing an EV strategy, the Municipality is being proactive and planning for its future," said Clarington's Climate Change Response Coordinator Doran Hoge. "We hope that this strategy will also build awareness within the community about the energy-saving options available to residents." Trent | Clarington (ON)

Amazon announces $700M in-house training scheme

Amazon has announced that it will spend $700M to retrain one-third of its 300,000 employees. Paul Fain reports that the bulk of the training will be provided by spin-off providers created by Amazon rather than traditional colleges and universities. Amazon cited a program called Machine Learning University as an example of the education model it would deploy. "Divided into six-week modules, the program requires only half to one full day of participation a week. MLU is taught by more than 400 Amazon machine learning scientists who are passionate about furthering skills in the field," an Amazon statement reads. The company said it will also create on-site classrooms, expand its apprenticeship offerings, and provide more training in AWS and cloud computing. Inside Higher Ed | Medicine Hat News (AP) (International)

Carleton, George Brown partner with ICTC to expand work-integrated learning

Carleton University’s Co-operative Education department and George Brown College have partnered with the Information and Communications Technology Council to expand opportunities for work-integrated learning. Carleton and the ICTC have renewed and expanded a partnership focused on increasing career opportunities for students within the artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicle sector. George Brown has partnered with ICTC to support education-industry partnerships that will enhance opportunities for students in the digital economy as part of ICTC’s Workplace Integrated Learning (WIL) Digital Program. Carleton | George Brown (ON)

Facing lost revenue from provincial tuition cuts, U of T drops youth criminal justice law course

Due in part to cuts imposed by the Ontario government, the University of Toronto has elected no longer to offer Youth Criminal Justice, a course that the Toronto Star reports has reshaped careers for some of the university’s law students. “After two-hours of Brock Jones’ class, my world was flipped upside down,” said former student Sarah Teich, referring to the course’s instructor, Assistant Crown Attorney Brock Jones. In addition to teaching students about law for children and youth, sessions of the class also focused on mental health and addictions, the impacts of being a youth in care, and examined how young people facing charges are disproportionately Black and Indigenous. Toronto Star (ON)