Top Ten

January 28, 2020

TRU to develop trades programs for Indigenous students

Thompson Rivers University will receive nearly $2M in funding from the Canada-BC Workforce Development Agreement to develop trades programs for Indigenous students. The funding will allow TRU to create the Careers in Construction Trades program and the Transition and Heavy Mechanic Foundation program, enabling Indigenous students to gain training closer to their home. “For years, Indigenous leaders have been calling for skills training opportunities closer to home to support their community’s needs and self-determination,” said the British Columbia Industry Training Authority Chief Executive Officer Shelley Gray. “These new programs will create pathways for Indigenous workers to take advantage of tens of thousands of in-demand jobs forecasted in the trades over the next decade.” TRU (BC)

Ryerson terminates relationship with student union

Ryerson University has terminated its agreement with the Ryerson Students' Union. An official statement authored by Ryerson Vice-Provost, Students Jen McMillen states that school has “lost confidence in the RSU's ability to represent students with good governance and to supply the services that students pay for." According to McMillen, the termination stems from RSU’s failure to meet conditions set out in January 2019 regarding the union's handling of allegations of financial mismanagement. The RSU describes Ryerson's actions as a "shock," and indicated to CBC that the union does not accept the termination as valid under their agreement. Ryerson | CBC (ON) | RSU

SaskPoly, USask sign MOU with GSCS for dual-credit courses

Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s School of Health Sciences and the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Arts and Science have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools that will allow high school students to begin earning postsecondary credits in high school. This winter, grade 12 students enrolled in the Health and Sciences Academy at Bishop James Mahoney High School will be able to earn credit for select courses. "Dual-credit courses provide students with the opportunity to get a head start on their post-secondary education,” said Sandra Blevins, SaskPoly Dean of the School of Nursing and School of Health Sciences. “We look forward to exploring additional dual-credit courses moving forward." SaskPoly (SK)

Loyalist, Seneca sign transfer agreement for business program graduates

Loyalist College and Seneca College have signed a transfer agreement that will introduce new pathways for business students. The agreement will allow graduates of Loyalist's Business Ontario College diploma to enter third year of Seneca's Honours Bachelor of Commerce - Business Management program. "Loyalist is committed to creating exceptional pathways, such as this, which will allow our graduates to stay here and earn a combination of credentials that will enable them to make an immediate impact on our local economy," said Loyalist President Ann Marie Vaughan. Loyalist (ON)

VIU partners with Norwegian schools to create pathways

Vancouver Island University has expanded their partnership with the University of the Arctic consortium to create new pathways for VIU, University of South-Eastern Norway, and Norwegian School of Sport Sciences students. The agreement will allow students from VIU to take “friluftsliv” studies at the two Norwegian schools, and will enable Norwegian students to take courses in VIU's Child and Youth Care, Recreation and Tourism Management, and Kinesiology programs. “I’m excited to see that work progress to involving colleagues across disciplines at VIU and the creation of opportunities for Canadian and Norwegian students from partner institutions to enhance their educational experiences,” said VIU Faculty of Management Acting Associate Dean Rob Ferguson. VIU (BC)

Durham launches Mixed Reality Capture Studio for business development, student learning

Durham College's Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship has launched the Mixed Reality Capture Studio, a space that helps organizations increase productivity, growth, and market potential while also supporting student experiential learning. Clients and students can use the space to build or import virtual spaces, access technical expertise, and develop simulations for training, performance optimization, and safety engineering amongst other activities. “We are seeing a global trend toward industries turning to virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality and motion capture to enhance the user experience and to gain valuable market share,” said Durham Dean of ORSIE Debbie McKee Demczyk. “That same trend is happening right here in Durham Region [where] several companies and organizations approached ORSIE looking for this kind of immersive simulation training. The MRC Studio is our solution.” Durham (ON)

Canada's colleges, institutes integral to delivering a skilled workforce: Opinion

Canada boasts some of the best universities in the world and the share of Canadians with a bachelor’s degree is slightly above the OECD average, writes CICan President Denise Amyot, “but it’s our robust and accessible college system that really sets us apart.” In 2018, 26% of all Canadians aged 25-64 had obtained a short-cycle tertiary diploma—usually granted by colleges and institutes—compared to an OECD average of only 7%. According to Amyot, the success of Canada's colleges and institutes is attributable to these organizations’ proximity to communities, alternative means of accessing education, and their focus on local economies and changing technology. "To ensure Canadians have as many opportunities as possible, […] we need to [continue to] embrace a culture of lifelong learning," concludes Amyot. The Star (National)

UManitoba launches Sexual Violence Resource Centre

The University of Manitoba has launched the Sexual Violence Resource Centre to provide students, faculty, and staff with information and support related to sexual violence. The centre responds to calls to create a single point of contact for all members of the UManitoba community affected by sexual violence, including helping survivors navigate post-assault processes, providing information on mechanisms of support, and ensuring there is appropriate follow-up. “Through this centre, UM will offer students, faculty and staff access to coordinated services, and a team of experts who will answer questions, deliver supportive and well-informed responses to those who have experienced sexual violence, and implement a range of education, outreach and prevention strategies," said UManitoba Vice-Provost (Students) Laurie Schnarr. UManitoba | CBC (MB)

St Clair implements VR technology to promote accessible, engaged learning

St Clair College has implemented new virtual reality technology to promote accessible learning and student engagement in their biomedical engineering program. The VR technology enables participatory education that makes content more accessible to a broader range of learners. "It adds a different perspective to learning, not only from lectures where we sit and learn from our professors, but in labs as well, where we will be able to work on the different devices or some devices that we might not actually have here," explained St Clair biomedical engineering student Matt Logan. St Clair (ON)

Imagining the future of the academy: Opinion

To create something new, higher education will inevitably have to change, writes Madeline St Amour. Reflection on discussions that occurred at the annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges, the author identifies several ideas regarding how higher ed professionals can rethink the academy, such as separating the academy from the university, challenging departmentalization, and embracing technological innovation. "The academy has the power to imagine a different future from the headline-grabbing innovations of online learning, upskilling and mega-university models," concludes the author. Inside Higher Ed (International)