Top Ten

June 26, 2020

VIU, local consulting company collaborate on work-integrated learning

Vancouver Island University partnered with KSG Consulting Ltd, a local home builder, to provide safe, practical training for students enrolled in the Carpentry program. KSG allocated the construction of a detached duplex in a new development in North Nanaimo to the Fall 2020 Carpentry Foundation program. The allocation of the duplex will allow the class of 18 students to work on-site at the same time while ensuring necessary physical distancing requirements are adhered to. “We've consulted WorkSafeBC, The Canadian Home Builders Association and the BC Construction Safety Alliance and have done extensive planning to make sure we maintain a safe work environment,” says Cam Frenette, VIU Carpentry Instructor. “We teach workplace safety in all of our trades classes, and this is an additional layer of safe practice our students are learning.” VIU (BC)

Sheridan, Coca-Cola partner to develop protective cashier shields for small businesses

Sheridan College’s Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies (CAMDT) has partnered with Coca-Cola to provide protective countertop shields for small businesses across the province. The partnership enables staff and students to work alongside industry to develop a shield made of thin sheets of polyester and extruded aluminum. The design file and assembly instructions for the shields has been made publicly available online. “Addressing bottlenecks in the supply chain is one way CAMDT’s expertise and equipment provides real, timely and tangible solutions,” explained CAMDT Director Michelle Chrétien. “We’re hoping that by sharing our designs we can continue to support small businesses and other organizations who are seeking access to these shields.” Sheridan (ON)

York Glendon, LFS sign MOU supporting French education

York University’s Glendon Campus and Lycée Français de Toronto (LFT) have signed a partnership agreement to collaborate in French education from preschool to university. The agreement enables Glendon FSL education students and newly graduated teachers to participate in a work-integrated learning opportunity in a French-language setting, and provides LFT teachers with continuing education opportunities and LFT students with credit recognition if they pursue studies at York. “Glendon is committed to the promotion of French in Toronto and around the world. With this agreement, we strengthen our ties with one of Toronto’s pivotal French institutions,” explained Glendon Interim Principal Ian Roberge. “Working together will benefit both of our communities and support the work of our researchers, as well as create exciting opportunities for our students.” YorkU (ON)

UWindsor to launch ground-breaking esports program this September

The University of Windsor has announced the launch of Lancer Gaming, an esports program, for this September, which it states may be the first official university-level competitive intercollegiate esports team in Canada. “Our students have been waiting for their chance to compete on the international stage,” said UWindsor PhD Candidate Paul Meister. “I’m excited to finally give it to them with the support of the phenomenal partner ecosystem we’ve established.” Over 250 students from all faculties have signed on, and Meister plans to have the school join the Ontario Post-Secondary Esports league launching this Fall. UWindsor (ON)

Western, Mitacs partner on internship program to support SMEs impacted by pandemic

Western University’s Ivey Business School, in partnership with Mitacs, has launched an internship initiative that will pair business students with small and medium enterprises (SME) that have been disrupted by the pandemic. Participating students will undertake a strategic analysis of their partner SME to help them restore or modify their business operations under the supervision of an Ivey faculty member. Mitacs, the SME, and Ivey will each provide funds to support the student as they work with the SME on the assigned project. “We are excited to engage in a program specifically addressing two issues that are critically important to students and entrepreneurs alike,” said Ivy Executive Director of the Pierre L Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship Eric Morse. Ivey (ON)

SAIT bookstore taken over by private contractor, AUPE accuses AB of privatizing PSE

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology’s campus bookstore will reportedly be taken over by a third-party contractor. The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees stated that eleven of its members will be out of work following the exchange. “Privatized services cost more,” said AUPE Vice-President Kevin Barry, who accused the provincial government of trying to privatize postsecondary education. “Now the campus bookstore will have to make money for its owners on top of what operations normally cost. That’s going to result in more expenses for students and reduced wages, hours and benefits for new staff. It’s that simple.” Government of Alberta Advanced Education Press Secretary Laurie Chandler stated that the move was “an internal business decision” by SAIT. Calgary Herald (AB)

Campaign to change SFU Clan team name gains traction

A campaign to change Simon Fraser University’s team name – the SFU Clan – is gaining traction as an online petition surpasses 3,600 signatories. Despite the Scottish origin of the name, the SFU Clansmen, campaign leader Holly Anderson argues that when spoken, the name sounds like it is referencing a white supremacist hate group, the Ku Klux Klan. “It is a time to hear what student athletes have been trying to tell us for a long time,” explained Andersen. “They deserve a new team name that includes them all, that they can play for with pride.” The Province (BC)

Mount Allison implements president-powered diploma delivery

Mount Allison University President Jean-Paul Boudreau, an avid runner, decided to introduce a special diploma delivery system for the Class of 2020. Boudreau ran 18 of the 31 local students their graduation certificates on June 19th, covering approximately 20 kilometers followed by a van that carried the diplomas and his president gowns. Some students, unaware that Boudreau was running, asked why he was sweaty when he arrived. “This is a difficult time right now and this was a nice opportunity to do something good,” Boudreau said. “I thought this would be a nice touch to hand-deliver degrees where possible. Running was the best way I knew how.” Running Magazine (NB)

Students are seeking therapy-like help from professors online as a result of the pandemic (opinion)

Faced with high levels of anxiety and stress, some students have sought therapy-like consultations from their professors. “I am not a psychologist, but I do like to listen to people,” says Irina Popescu in a reflection on how the desire to acknowledge the difficulties her students were facing and the move to online learning took an unanticipated physical, emotional, and mental toll on staff and students alike. Popescu further notes that students tend to gravitate towards people they are familiar with, and so awareness of counselling is not the core issue. “If we are to persevere during the upcoming academic year,” concludes Popescu, “we need to understand how to embody those new roles -- not only as educators but also as mentors and oftentimes as individuals put in a position of being crisis counselors without any credentials.” Inside Higher Ed (International)

Algoma, Athabasca partner to transform courses for online delivery

Algoma University and Athabasca University’s PowerED™ have partnered to allow students to make a smoother transition to online courses in June. The partners have transformed 20 in-person, undergraduate courses into high-quality online courses. With this partnership, Algoma will be moving into the second phase of development, part of a five-year plan to convert 184 courses for online delivery. The SooToday reports that Algoma now has access to a customized digital infrastructure and learning management system that is modern, mobile-friendly, and secure. SooToday (ON, AB)