Top Ten

July 9, 2020

CICan calls for climate change action in COVID-19 economic recovery plans

Colleges and Institutes Canada has called on the Government of Canada to create a “fair, resilient and future-proofed” COVID-19 recovery strategy in an open letter. Alongside signatories from the ImpAct Advisory Committee, regional associates, and various colleges and institutes, CICan requests that the federal government commit to an economic recovery plan that accelerates a green shift and keeps both the 13 goals of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and the 94 recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission central to the plan. In the letter, CICan endorses the recommendations made under the banner of Clean50, which provide “a vision for a green economic future that puts health first, [create] jobs for lasting prosperity, and [invest] in adaptation as needed.” “We cannot return to ‘business as yesterday,’” concludes CICan, “but must build back better to ensure ‘business as tomorrow’ is greener and fairer for all Canadians.” CICan (National)

ON colleges call on province to create new strategy to expand degree programs

Ontario’s colleges have submitted a recommendation to the provincial Colleges and Universities Minister Ross Romano that responds to the recently announced consultations on modernizing postsecondary education. The proposed strategy calls for the province to give colleges the autonomy to independently decide what mix of credentials and programs will best respond to the evolving labour market and accelerating automation in the workplace. Specifically, the proposed changes include allowing ON colleges to create new career-focused three-year degree programs, expand the range of four-year degree programs, and create master’s degree programs for university and college graduates. Colleges Ontario (ON)

ACC partners with Durham to offer online Cannabis Industry Specialization program

Assiniboine Community College has partnered with Durham College to offer an online Cannabis Industry Specialization program. Designed in partnership with industry leaders, the program will provide students with the fundamentals of cannabis business operations, as well as valuable insights into the plant’s chemistry and the industry’s regulatory frameworks. “Assiniboine works to prepare the labour force for new and developing labour needs and the cannabis industry is an excellent example of this,” said ACC Vice President, International Diane Shamray. “With new consumer demand comes a demand for knowledgeable, trained workers and exciting career opportunities in this field.” ACC (MB, ON)

Student accommodations industry preparing for revenue losses amid majorly online Fall semesters

With the majority of postsecondary institutions shifting courses and programs online for the Fall semester, the student accommodation industry in Canada is bracing for significant revenue losses. Matthew Moore, owner of Atlantic Canada’s Moore Student Living, told the Chronicle Herald that he estimates that there will be a 25% drop in tenants this Fall. “It’s very isolating, so recent graduates probably will delay coming to university,” Moore states. “That’s definitely going to lower the demand for student rentals.” While some owners of student accommodations see the shift to online classes for the Fall term as a temporary hurdle to weather, other owners and managers acknowledge that the situation could become dire if classes do not resume in January. They indicated that they may have to court other markets or offer incentive pricing to make up revenue losses. Chronicle Herald (National)

UBC responds to complaints regarding the representation of Taiwan in a recent report

Following complaints from the Government of Taiwan, the University of British Columbia has announced that they will stop referring to Taiwan as a Province of China. UBC has referred to the island simply as “Taiwan” in the past, but in their recent 2019/20 enrolment report, the island was referred to as “Taiwan (Province of China).” UBC Media Relations senior communications director Kurt Heinrich said the language change is tied to UBC’s data governance steering committee’s 2018 adoption of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) data standards, where Taiwan is referred to as a “Province of China.” Heinrich added that, “it is important to be clear that the utilization of ISO data standards is not indicative of the university taking a position regarding Taiwan.” Taiwan foreign ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said they were pleased with UBC’s response, but are pressing the university to correct Taiwan’s name in the current student enrolment report. National Post | The Ubyssey (BC)

Queen’s, SLC, partners launch International Graduate Internship program

The KEYS Job Centre, in partnership with Queen’s University, St Lawrence College, the City of Kingston, the Kingston Economic Development Corporation, and the Kingston Immigration Partnership, have created the International Graduate Internship program. Also supported by the Government of Ontario, the program will help international students at Queen’s and SLC gain work experience and provide funding for local businesses to cover part of the cost of the internships. “International graduates bring so much talent, skills and experience to the local workforce,” said Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson “This is a great program that will help international graduates break into the workforce, set them up with the tools they need for success, and help us address our workforce development challenges.” Whig Standard (ON)

BCIT forensic nursing courses receive accreditation

Two Forensic Health Sciences courses at the British Columbia Institute of Technology have received accreditation from the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN). Specifically, the two courses—Forensic Nurse Examiner Core Education - Adult and Pediatric Sexual Violence Examiner—have met the training content of the IAFN Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners Education Guidelines. “Having accredited courses in BCIT’s Forensic Health Sciences program means that we have attained a level that meets or exceeds standards that were developed by experts in the forensic nursing field,” said BCIT Forensic Nurse Examiner Lead Instructor Aimee Falkenberg, who is also the Clinical Coordinator for the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital Forensic Nursing program. “This knowledge, high level training, and expertise can also help forensic nurse examiners sit on further high-level board examinations in this field.” BCIT (BC)

RMC, DND, CAF assessing outcomes of cyberattack on the college

Federal officials are assessing the damage from a cyberattack targeting the Royal Military College of Canada. RMC’s Principal Brigadier-General Harry Kowal sent all faculty an email stating there “has been a cybersecurity incident targeting the RMC network.” The breach led the college to take their email systems offline, and faculty were advised by their personal emails to not use any RMC computers, access any information on those systems, or plug any devices into these machines. RMC’s website also remains offline. “The situation is being investigated by DND and CAF,” the memo explains, adding that “questions will be addressed by the chain of command in due course.” Globe and Mail (ON)

UMoncton makes nursing science degree more accessible

The Université de Moncton has made the pathway to the third year of its nursing science baccalaureate degree program more accessible. The program will now allow all nursing assistants who hold a license to practice and who have accumulated at least 900 hours of work experience to apply to the program, rather than restricting admission to nursing assistants who have graduated from Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick. UMoncton nursing school director Suzanne Harrison explained that the program also added three days of clinical simulation and eliminated two theoretical courses while updating the program. UMoncton (NB)

Tips for improving the Zoom classroom: Opinion

“Zoom has its drawbacks,” writes Stephen Hersh. “It is not very welcoming to students who lack a good internet connection or a private place to study, it can leave everyone feeling disconnected, and it can trigger Zoom fatigue.” However, the author argues that Zoom-learning can indeed compete with in-person instruction if educators make the best use of the medium. Toward this end, Hersh provides six tips for improving Zoom teaching based on their own experience: talk less; motivate students to come to class prepared; use break out rooms; vary the rhythm and structure; adopt the right mind-set and attitude; and continue to evolve the format with input from students. “If we use the medium for what it does best, Zoom teaching can be great on its own terms,” concludes Hersh. Inside Higher Ed (International)