Top Ten

November 12, 2019

ON invests $20.8M in skilled-trades pre-apprenticeship training program

The Ontario government has announced that it will invest $20.8M to attract more people to the trades and boost the province’s skilled workforce. The funds will support the province’s Pre-Apprenticeship Training program, an initiative delivered by Ontario colleges, private career colleges, union and non-union training centres, and other community organizations to help introduce over 1,800 people—including youth at risk, new Canadian, women, and Indigenous people—to the skilled trades. “Our government is increasing support for pre-apprenticeship training programs, because exposing people to careers in the skilled trades will make a difference in their lives and in our economy,” said ON Minister of Labour, Training, and Skills Development Monte McNaughton. ON (ON)

QC halts changes to fast-track immigration program amidst criticism

The Quebec government has halted its plan to restrict eligibility for Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ) amidst heavy opposition from students, the business sector, and higher ed institutions. Last week, the province cut about 300 fields of study from the program, leaving thousands of international students who hoped to settle in Quebec with an uncertain future. On Friday, QC Immigration Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette announced on his Facebook page that to “reassure stakeholders,” the government is temporarily suspending all modifications to the Quebec Experience Program, reports the Ottawa Citizen. CBC | Ottawa Citizen (QC)

Georgian launches new degree programs in counselling psychology, business admin in health

Georgian College has announced the launch of two new degrees for fall 2020: Honours Bachelor of Counselling Psychology and Honours Bachelor of Business Administration in Health. The school reports that its counselling degree will be the first “undergraduate psychology degree of its kind in Canada,” providing students a theoretical background and the opportunity to learn and practice counselling techniques. The business administration program will allow students to study health management through a business lens and develop skills that will help them learn how to create health policy and manage organizations. Georgian College | Global News (ON)

Concordia, partners create the first Industrial Research Chair in Blockchain Technologies

Concordia University has partnered with Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, Catallaxy, and NSERC to create the first Industrial Research Chair in Blockchain Technologies. The Research Chair will bring together engineers, graduate students, software developers, and business analysts to figure out how blockchain and digital currencies can be managed under current financial regulations. “We are very excited to take a holistic look at how problems can be addressed with technological innovation,” says the principle chairholder of the new position, Jeremy Clark. “This research program will engage with challenges that impact day-to-day operations of accounting firms, to help protect Canadian consumers and investors.” Concordia (QC)

UCalgary launches its own funding platform to help students, faculty turn ideas into reality

The University of Calgary has launched its own funding platform, UCalgary Crowdfund, to help faculty, students, alumni, and staff fund their projects. The platform allows eligible applicants to submit a project online, and once approved, the team behind the pitch has 30 days to raise funds via the platform. Unlike other funding platforms, UCalgary Crowdfund presents less risk to participants, as all money raised goes to the projects—even if goals are not met—and UCalgary does not take a cut of the money raised to run the platform. "If we're asking people to be entrepreneurial, we need to give them the tools that they need to be successful, and this is an important one,” said UCalgary Associate VP for Alumni Engagement Michael Sclafani. CBC (AB)

Educators should prioritize creating superior conditions for learning over teaching strategy: Opinion

Are lectures really as uninformative as studies suggest? asks David Gooblar. Responding to a recent study from Harvard University suggesting that active learning teaching methods are more effective than a lecture, the author pushes back on interpretations of the study that say learning from lectures is “a complete illusion.” Instead, Gooblar argues that less attention should be paid to teaching strategy and more should be given to how students learn. “What matters more than the particular teaching techniques you use, I suspect, is the spirit in which you use them,” concludes the author. “Lectures can be good teaching, but only if they are designed to produce good learning.” Chronicle of Higher Education (International)

UNB holds groundbreaking ceremony for the school’s first geothermally heated student residence

The University of New Brunswick has broken ground on the school’s first residence building that will use geothermal heating and cooling. Projected to be open by fall 2020, the new 40,000 square-foot building will house 104 students and will help address UNB’s student housing shortage while meeting some of the institution’s sustainability goals. “The design and development of this new residence responds to the current needs and values of our students and our university,” said UNB President Paul Mazerolle. “It’s modern, private and environmentally responsible.” UNB | Global News (International)

Planning your career through backward design: Opinion

“As you pursue your [career] path, you should start with the end in mind,” writes Gina Shereda. Drawing from her experience as an instructional consultant, the author argues that the tactic of backward design can be applied to career planning to help graduate students and other early-career professionals plan their futures. To practice backward career design, the author recommends that one should begin by identifying desired results, determine acceptable proof that results have been achieved, and then plan learning experiences. “Backward designing your career does not mean that your path will be perfectly streamlined,” the author notes, adding that “as your needs and interests will continue to shift throughout your life, and you will find yourself taking on new challenges and stretching yourself in different ways.” Inside Higher Ed (International)

The growing problem of provost burnout: Opinion

The position of provost is one of the toughest jobs at vulnerable American colleges, writes Scott Carlson. Whereas the provost used to be a fixture at many college campuses compared to other senior administrative positions, a recent survey of chief academic officers of American colleges revealed that provosts today stay in their positions only 4.6 years, the shortest span since the 2008 recession. According to Carlson, this is occurring because provosts are increasingly acting as the buffer between the vision and message of the president and the needs of the faculty. Combined with the fact that the position of provost now requires knowledge and abilities that typically go beyond academic training, it is unsurprising that some provosts are experiencing burnout, the author concludes. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription required) (NB)

ON, Loyalist to create pilot project to transition former CAF members to civilian life

The ON government has partnered with Loyalist College and Quinte Economic Development Commission to create a new pilot project to help members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) transition to civilian life. Known as Elevate Plus – Military, the project teaches former CAF personnel soft skills like conflict resolution and technical skills, in addition to providing paid job placements. With over $800K in funding from ON, the project will create 56 training opportunities at CFB Trenton for careers in the IT and financial sectors. "Through partnerships like this, we can help our veterans and their families support job creation, and help businesses find the skilled employees they need to succeed,” said Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith. ON (ON)