Top Ten

October 10, 2019

Nipissing launches new centre to connect students, faculty, community through business interests

Nipissing University has launched the Sparrow Experiential Learning Centre, a space dedicated to connecting students, faculty, and members of the community through business and entrepreneurial interests. The centre will promote experiential learning by hosting presentations, guest speakers, and job interviews. “By putting them into other situations outside of the classroom they can learn so much, so many rich, rich lessons, and it also allows them to start building their professional skills, building their professional network, so when they graduate, again, they have much more than just a degree,” said Assistant Professor at the School of Business and Teaching Chair of Experiential Learning Denyse Lafrance-Horning. North Bay Nugget (ON)

AAU reverses decision to expel McGill, U of T by limiting membership to US schools

McGill University and the University of Toronto recently received a letter from the Association of American Universities (AAU) indicating they would be expelled from the group of which they have been members since 1926. The AAU indicated that its board approved a new policy that would limit membership to US-based universities in order to “focus on issues critical to U.S. research universities,” reports Inside Higher Ed. Presidents of McGill and U of T responded to the expulsion in their own letter to AAU highlighting their “dismay and disappointment” in the organization’s action that “many may see [...] as a parochial retreat from global engagement.” By late Monday, McGill and U of T were informed via email that the board had reconsidered its earlier vote and withdrawn the policy. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Southwestern ON colleges receive funding to address PSW shortage

Fanshawe College, Conestoga College, Georgian College, and Lambton College have received funding for 200 bursaries to help address the shortage of personal support workers in communities across Southwestern Ontario. Funded by the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), the bursaries, valued at $1M total, will help students in financial need cover costs of taking the PSW program. The Victorian Order of Nurses, CarePartners, and OneCare have also committed to hiring 165 PSW students and paying for their in-school training and work term placements within the South West LHIN’s geographical boundaries. "This bursary program is an investment in community care and is very important to the goal of patient-centred care. It upgrades community skills and enhances patients' lives,” says South West LHIN CEO Renato Discenza. Fanshawe | Shoreline Today (ON)

Large online classes should teach basics, small classes are best for complex knowledge: Study

A recent American study asked how postsecondary institutions can determine “the right balance between an institution's financial goals in online education courses (i.e., raising enrollment levels) and the quality of the education experience for online students." The study revealed that although there is no “one-size-fits-all” rule for determining online enrolment caps, "pedagogical intent should dictate class size." Specifically, researchers discovered that large classes of 40 or more students are best for "foundational and factual knowledge acquisition." Alternatively, smaller online classes of 15 students or fewer are best for the development of “higher order thinking, mastery of complex knowledge and student skill development." Campus Technology (International)

MFNERC, Yellowquill announce merger as part of development of FN-governed institution

The Manitoba First Nation Education Resource Centre (MFNERC) and Yellowquill College have formally merged. The merger, which is part of a Manitoba First Nation Post-Secondary Strategy, is the first phase in the development of a First Nations-governed postsecondary institution. The merger will encourage the continued development of postsecondary degree programming rooted in First Nations worldviews, language, cultures, teachings, and pedagogy, and increase student accessibility with future openings of more locations across Manitoba. “MFNERC has been here for 20 years, staffed with professional educators with degrees, experience, and knowledge. Who better than MFNERC to oversee Yellowquill College, as the longest-standing First Nations-run education center,” said Sean Lake First Nation’s Chief Francine Meeches. NationTalk (MB)

Fanshawe partners with local marketing agency to deliver course series on website development

Fanshawe College has partnered with local business, tbk, to create a new web development course series focusing on practical web development technologies. Beginning in October, the first course will teach students how to develop commercial websites using WordPress in a bid to increase students’ post-graduation employability. The second course, which begins in January 2020, teaches students how to build e-commerce websites. “Through tbk's course series, students will gain an industry standard learning opportunity that will give them a leg up in their future careers," said Fanshawe Associate Dean Michelle Giroux. Fanshawe (ON)

UWaterloo moves to appeal Superior Court decision regarding admission of brain-injured student

The University of Waterloo has moved to appeal a Superior Court decision that would require the institution to use an accommodated admissions process for a prospective student who has a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress. The recent appeal is part of a lengthy legal process dating back to 2013 when the student first applied to UWaterloo as a transfer student from Dalhousie University. CBC reports that the student was told by UWaterloo admissions that “that his marks were still too low for him to have a realistic chance at academic success.” After receiving an unsuccessful decision from the Human Right Tribunal of Ontario in 2017, the complainant brought the case to the Superior Court of Justice where the most recent decision regarding an accommodated admission process was made. CBC reports that a UWaterloo spokesperson declined to comment on the appeal while it is still before the courts. CBC | CBC (ON)

Prince George breaks ground on new off-campus student housing project

Prince George, the city that is home to the College of New Caledonia and the University of Northern British Columbia, has broken ground on a student housing complex project in its downtown area. Scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2021, the six-storey building will hold 205 self-contained micro units and be equipped with lounges, a gymnasium, and a weight room. "We don't see a lot of private developers developing student housing...and the reason for that is it's not really a high-yield investment so our partners on the development are what we call long-term institutional investors where the returns don't have to be extreme, just as long as they're steady," said Factions Projects Inc Design and Operations Director Tim McLennan. Prince George Citizen (BC)

USask employs VR technology to test engineering theories where it is “unsafe to do so in real life”

The University of Saskatchewan is employing a virtual reality technology program, Truss VR software, that allows engineering students to try their bridge-building abilities in a realistic setting. The program enables students to enter a computer-generated 3D bridge-building exercise that will allow them to test their theories in an exciting manner that avoids real-world risk. The success of the program has garnered interest from other departments at the university, such as kinesiology, medicine, and geography. USask is also working on a plan to share the system with other engineering schools in Canada. "In certain areas where [tests are] difficult, impossible or unsafe to do in real life, this is the future of education," said USask Chair of Innovative Teaching at the College of Engineering Sean Maw. CBC (SK)

HEC launches accelerated undergrad business program for entrepreneurs

HEC Montréal has launched a new accelerated distance-learning undergraduate business program that can be completed in three months. Beginning in January of 2020, the program on designing entrepreneurial projects will lead students through 10 modules and earn students 15 university credits. The short program is intended for would-be entrepreneurs who are looking to start a new business and commit to the fast-paced program. “It is a demanding approach, but one we came up with after listening to entrepreneurs’ needs and expectations,” explains HEC Montréal Associate Professor Franck Barès. “The goal is to quickly master the appropriate tools, through a structured process allowing students to figure out everything they need to do to launch a business.” HEC Montréal (QC)