Top Ten

May 5, 2020

UCalgary breaks ground on $90M construction project for Haskayne School

The University of Calgary has broken ground on a $90M, 2-year expansion of the Haskayne School of Business. The project will involve the creation of a new four-storey building, Mathison Hall, as well as renovations to the existing Scurfield Hall, that will provide students with new classrooms, study spaces, group work, student advising, food services, and events. “This is a critical time for the school to expand in support of our strategic growth and bold vision and will add significant capacity for unparalleled learning, innovative research and meaningful community engagement,” said UCalgary Haskayne School Dean Jim Dewald. UCalgary | Calgary Herald (AB)

Universities, colleges continue to unveil spring/summer term plans

Postsecondary institutions have continued to announce their strategies and delivery method for the spring/summer term. The University of Prince Edward Island, which has already announced that the first summer session will be offered online, plans to offer the second summer session online as well. Université Sainte-Anne is cancelling their summer 2020 immersion session and providing students with refunds. Cambrian College is proceeding with an online spring semester and new student orientation day beginning May 4th. Fleming College has announced that they will be offering five modified programs in an online format beginning May 19th. CBC | USainte-Anne | Cambrian | Fleming (National)

NIC to offer certified marine training courses online

North Island College has announced that it is among the first postsecondary institutions to be granted approval to offer certified marine training courses digitally. Online marine training courses will cover subjects like boat safety, identifying hazards, emergency response, and survival and rescue. “Despite the current requirements for physical distancing, it is exciting to be offering marine courses in an online format,” said NIC Continuing Education & Training regional director Lynne MacFadgen. “It will give coastal community members access to industry-recognized training for safe vessel operation, as well as entry-level maritime skills and knowledge.” NIC (BC)

TÉLUQ partners with QC to deliver online education training to teachers

Université TÉLUQ has signed an agreement with the Government of Québec that will see the university deliver free online distance education training to elementary, secondary, and postsecondary teachers. Delivered by a team of teachers from TELUQ’s department of education, the non-credit training offered in both French and English will be composed of four microprograms released online from now until early June. Topics covered in the training include disseminating online content, adapting courses for distance education, and supporting students. TÉLUQ | École branchée (QC)

Universities announce layoffs due to pandemic

Several schools have announced temporary employee layoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The University of Saskatchewan has announced that up to 500 staff could be laid off for up to 12 weeks. “During [that] time we will provide a ‘top-up’ to the current federal support program, Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), to 85 per cent of pre-layoff regular earnings,” stated USask chief communications officer Gord Hunchak. Meanwhile Mount Royal University has signed a MOU with the Mount Royal Staff Association that will see employees whose positions cannot be performed at home or who have seen a significant reduction in work volume put on mandatory furlough. MRU explained that the agreement allows people to remain employees and have full benefits coverage while still being eligible to receive government support programs related to the pandemic. Global News | CBC (National)

SLC announces new name, brand for athletic teams

St Lawrence College has unveiled a new name and branding for its athletics teams: St Lawrence Surge. The college previously had a different team name at each campus: Vikings in Kingston; Schooners in Brockville; and Sharks in Cornwall. “The rebrand process was collaborative, with consultation from student governments, alumni, and SLC’s marketing team,” according to SLC Manager, Athletics & Student Engagement Kevin Biggs. “A big thank you needs to go to everyone involved. The essence of St. Lawrence Surge is the power resulting of things coming together, as was evident during the rebranding process.” SLC (ON)

Dawson Director calls on government for limited opening of cégeps

Dawson College Director General Richard Filion is calling on the Government of Québec to allow limited access to cégep campuses. According to Filion, a limited opening of the colleges would allow students in programs that require a minimal physical presence to complete their studies to wrap up their year, or complete pre-requisite courses needed for entrance to university or other cégep programs next year. “A transition plan to lead us out of self-isolation and back to a gradual return to normal activities on campuses is needed,” concludes Filion. “It would help us address problems related to the completion of training and the certification of studies, while following the public health protocols and respecting as much as possible the limits on public gatherings.” Dawson (QC)

Olds to use autonomous equipment for agriculture research, teaching

Olds College is the deploying the DOT Autonomous Power Platform as a teaching and research tool on the college’s Smart Farm. Described by the college as the only postsecondary institution in the world to deploy this fully autonomous technology, the DOT platform will allow the school to conduct future-focused applied research on the environmental, economic, and labour benefits of autonomous technology in the agriculture sector. “Our students will be exposed to the hardware, software, and data needed to integrate, operate and manage the full DOT Autonomous Power Platform on the Olds College Smart Farm, which provides a one-of-a-kind high tech, hands on learning environment,” said Olds Dean of the Werklund School of Agriculture Technology James Benkie. Olds (AB)

Thorneloe closes Theatre Arts, Motion Picture Arts programs

Thorneloe University, a Federated partner of Laurentian University, has announced that their Theatre Arts and Motion Picture Arts programs will close at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year. "Both programs are highly valued and this decision was not taken lightly,” said Thorneloe President John Gibaut. “It is the result of significant financial pressures which have necessitated a review of our operating budget." The Laurentian University Faculty Association said they strongly oppose the decision to shut down the programs and called on the school to save them. Thorneloe said discussions are underway with Laurentian to see how students who are currently enrolled in these two programs will be able to complete their degree. Thorneloe | CBC | Sudbury Star (ON)

Portage students receive laptops from Frog Lake to support distance learning

Frog Lake First Nation and Portage College have partnered to offer community learners access to laptops, which will allow them to complete their postsecondary training at the college. Frog Lake students, who were previously being supported by instructors through booklet drop-offs and emails, have received a laptop and printer/scanner if they are still enrolled in programming with Portage. "It is truly fantastic to see the commitment that Frog Lake has made to these learners, and speaks to the ongoing partnership between Frog Lake and Portage College," said Portage Associate Dean Don Moore. “The laptop program ensures that adult learners are able to continue their studies despite being physically distanced, and allows them to continue to engage in learning.” Portage (AB)