Top Ten

February 18, 2020

Concordia launches new centre to help construction industry digitize

Concordia University has launched the Centre for Innovation in Construction and Infrastructure Engineering and Management to help transition the construction industry into the digital age. Working with an advisory board featuring executives from several companies, CICIEM helps identify industry needs—such as improving safety, productivity, and competitiveness— and applies new technologies to help better manage work on construction sites and the development of civil infrastructure. “We need to raise awareness of the digital world and how to take advantage of big data for running construction better, which in turn revitalizes the city’s physical backbone,” said Concordia CICIEM Director Osama Moselhi.   Concordia  (QC)

NVIT to launch Renewable Energies Technology Diploma

The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology has announced the creation of a Renewable Energies Technology Diploma program, described by the school as "a direct response to the increased need for quality training in the Renewable Energies sector." Beginning September 2020, the program will provide students with foundational knowledge in the relevant electrical, electronic, and mechanical disciplines. NVIT will draw on the expertise of their partner, Fanshawe College, to deliver the program and refine NVIT's curriculum. "The Renewable Energies Technology program is focused on the primary applications of renewable energy and will appeal to individuals seeking formal training to enable them to enter the renewable energies field as employees or entrepreneurs," said NVIT Dean of Technology Aruna Gore. NVIT (AB)

CICan launches program to support green economy education, initiatives in Caribbean

Colleges and Institutes Canada have launched the Skills to Access the Green Economy program to support education and training regarding climate change in Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, and St Lucia. The program will support demand-driven technical and vocational education to deliver gender-sensitive skills training programs that meet economic and environmental needs in the region. Ten Canadian colleges and institutes will partner with twelve local Caribbean organizations across six countries of focus. "We are incredibly pleased to launch this new program, which builds on a proud history of partnership between Canadian and Caribbean TVET institutions," said CICan President Denise Amyot.   CICan  (National)

Mohawk launches collaborative program with local school boards to promote climate change initiatives

Mohawk College has launched the Climate Change Leaders program, a sustainability education initiative that involves nine local school boards. The program aims to give K-12 students a more active role in reducing carbon emissions in their schools. The program will also see Mohawk introduce micro-credits in Climate Change and related topics for students, teachers, and staff. "Working together, this partnership will make a significant impact on the carbon footprint of our schools while providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to be sustainability minded citizens for life," said Mohawk President Ron McKerlie.   Mohawk  (ON)

Using a checklist to enhance collaborative course offerings, improve student success

[If] working from a checklist of best practices can help medical teams care for their patients better, writes Penelope Adams Moon, they can also help higher ed professionals. Like nurses and hospital administrators with patients, non-faculty professionals play an important role in elevating the experience of students. Thus, according to Moon, working together to adopt or co-develop checklists can help nail down basic elements known to improve students’ chances of success. "Checklists and a team approach can help save time and empower us to channel our cognitive energy toward those creative judgments that make student service provision, program development and online teaching so much more than a series of steps," concludes the author. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Canada fails to meaningfully engage Indigenous knowledge in addressing environmental issues

Two researchers from the University of Victoria have published a paper arguing that the federal government is failing to meaningfully engage with Indigenous knowledge in environmental decision-making. In the paper, the authors Lauren Eckert and Nick XEMŦOLTW̱ Claxton identify six categories of obstacles that prevent equitable engagement with Indigenous knowledge. Their key recommendations for improving how the government treats Indigenous knowledge include introducing environmental assessment processes, co-creating research and monitoring programs, and ensuring that Canada’s legislative and federal structures recognize Indigenous-led environmental assessments.   NationTalk  | FACETS  (National)

Postsecondary institutions experiencing cyberattacks, phishing schemes

Two postsecondary institutions were targets of cyber-attacks last week. The University of Saskatchewan experienced an online denial of service (Dos) attack, a situation where an online perpetrator uses a system of computers to overload the system with requests, causing it to crash. "USask IT security continually monitors our IT services to detect threats and reduce the risk to members of the university community," said USask representatives in a statement.  Across the country, Confederation College also experienced a malware incident earlier this month, and some students have since reported receiving fraudulent automated phone calls and spam emails. "There is still no evidence that personal information was accessed during the malware incident," said Rob Zuback, director of advancement, communications and external relations, "but a forensic investigation is underway."      CBC  | CBC  (SK/ON)

Durham launches Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation to respond to increasing digital threats

Durham College has launched the Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation to respond to the complex threat landscape of cyberattacks. Designed as a collaborative enterprise between three Durham departments, the centre will deliver services like applied research in cybersecurity, micro-credentials, a cybersecurity graduate certificate program, and conferences and seminars. “The Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation is our solution for business and industry to help build capacity and the systems they need to protect their interests," said Durham President Don Lovisa.    Durham College  (ON)

Six ideas for improving undergraduate education

Some educational ideas have, quite deservedly, come and gone: programmed learning, iPads in the classroom, zero tolerance, learning styles, writes Steven Mintz. In this piece the author analyzes six higher education ideas that are more than fads or trends, ideas that he believes will "genuinely improve undergraduate education": educating the whole student; integrative education; personalized educational experiences; implementing high-impact practices and co-curricular activities; competency-based educational approaches; and treating student as creators of knowledge. "Some ideas deserve to be embraced if undergraduate education is to be truly learner and learning centered," concludes Mintz.   Inside Higher Ed  (International)

La Cité to launch two pre-apprenticeship programs this spring

La Cité collégiale has announced the launch of two new pre-apprenticeship program in students interested in careers in the skilled trades. Starting spring 2020, the college will offer a Fire Protection System Installer program, and an Auto Maintenance Technician program. Both programs are free of charge and offer both classroom and on-the-job training. The college will be the only postsecondary institution in Ontario to offer the fire protection systems program in French, a compulsory certification for this profession, according to La Cité President Lise Bourgeois.  La Cité  (ON)