Top Ten

October 13, 2020

GPRC, TELUS partner to provide students with access to Smart Hubs

Grand Prairie Regional College and TELUS have partnered to give students access to 200 Smart Hubs, which provide wireless connections to students in rural areas. With GPRC mostly offering remote courses this semester, the Smart Hubs will give students in rural areas or students with no access to internet the ability to connect and access their courses. “GPRC is proud of this innovative partnership as the College transitioned to a predominately remote learning model this semester,” said Robert Murray, GPRC President. “Providing our students with accessible and reliable connectivity for course instruction is a primary focus.” GPRC (AB)

MHCC announces national standard to help Canadian PSE support student wellbeing

The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) has championed a new national standard for student mental health and wellbeing in Canada. The voluntary standard, which MHCC says is the first of its kind, will enhance and expand the strategies that have been put in place by institutions looking to foster positive mental health for students. “Students may be experiencing even higher levels of stress and anxiety as the pandemic unfolds,” said MHCC President Louise Bradley. “There is a clear and pressing need. This new national Standard will help post-secondary institutions address this critical societal issue for our young people.” BCE (National)

York launches FSL knowledge mobilization hub

York University’s bilingual Glendon Campus has launched the Glendon Accelerator for Innovation and Best Practices in French Teaching knowledge mobilization hub. This hub will recruit French as a second language teachers to help address the shortage of FSL teachers in Ontario and Canada. It will include a new certificate in French language and community stewardship, a FSL research centre, and Open Education Resources on FSL teaching and learning. The hub will help foster FSL teacher skills and knowledge as students, continuing learners, and experts come together to network and share resources and knowledge. YorkU (ON)

UBCO receives $1.9M from Stober Family Foundation, Aspire

University of British Columbia Okanagan has received $1M from the Stober Family Foundation, which will be nearly doubled by Aspire to a total of $1.9M. This donation will be used to create needs and merit-based scholarships and to create the Stober Fellows Program. It will also fund student support programs such as those run by the UBCO Social Work Mental Health Clinic and the clinical psychology training program. “With these new scholarship and fellowship opportunities in health, exercise science and mental health, not only will students benefit but so too will initiatives that improve the lives of so many in the Okanagan,” said UBCO Principal Lesley Cormack. UBCO (BC)

Boréal launches French corporate training for communications

Collège Boréal is launching four new customized corporate training courses focused on communications. The courses are offered online in French, and are accessible from anywhere in Ontario. The four courses being offered are rédaction d’affaires, conversation espagnole, gestion d’association, and expression pour divers médiums. “Communications are increasingly important in the context of the current pandemic,” stated Boréal Director – Communications, Strategic Planning, and Government Relations Marc Despatie. “These four courses each offer an opportunity to sharpen specific communication tools.” Boréal | (ON)

Maclean’s releases university rankings 2021

Maclean’s has released its University Rankings for 2021. The top three universities in the Medical/Doctoral category were McGill University, the University of Toronto, and the University of British Columbia. The top three universities in the Comprehensive category were Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria, and the University of Waterloo. The top three universities in the Primarily Undergraduate category were Mount Allison University, the University of Lethbridge, and Acadia University. Maclean’s (National)

Conestoga launches new SER tool

Conestoga College students now have access to a new tool, the Student Experiential Record (SER), which tracks their work-related curricular activities and work-integrated learning experiences. Students can use the SER to prove experience in the field to employers, show areas of competence, and show how their Conestoga experiences fit them for a particular job when they are joining the workforce. “The SER is more than a physical record of experience,” said Kristine Dawson, director, Co-operative Education, Career Services and Work-Integrated Learning. “It helps students and graduates understand and articulate the skills, experiences and competencies they’ve acquired throughout the duration of their programs.” Conestoga (ON)

Laurentian hires external financial advisors to address financial challenges

In light of both a pre-existing $7M structural deficit and an additional $5-10M deficit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Laurentian University has hired an external advisor to address its financial challenges. The firm will be reviewing financial results, budgets, and various initiatives to identify solutions and opportunities. Jean-Charles Cachon, secretary and treasurer of the Laurentian University Faculty Association, pointed to both the university’s senior administration at Laurentian and the provincial and federal governments as contributing to the situation. "There is no relief for the institutions to help with the salaries or any type of special expenses that have been caused by the COVID situation,” said Cachon. “I think there has been a kind of disregard of post-secondary institutions." Laurentian | CBC (ON )

MB receives auditor report on postsecondary sector

A report by the Office of the Auditor General on Manitoba’s postsecondary institutions, titled Oversight of the Post-Secondary Institutions, has been released. The Government of Manitoba and publicly funded MB postsecondary institutions will be using this report to guide the development of MB postsecondary institutions. The report examined 2010-2018 and gives 22 recommendations for postsecondary education system improvement. “We look forward to improving Manitoba’s post-secondary education system and advancing our shared goals of increasing positive outcomes for students, building the skilled workforce needed to drive our economy forward and promoting a high quality of life for all of our residents, while ensuring financial accountability,” said Economic Development and Training Minister Ralph Eichler. MB (MB)

Expanding midwifery programs poses challenges

Midwifery is an in-demand profession in Canada, but institutions face difficulty expanding midwifery programs, reports Maclean’s. In an examination of the profession, Maclean’s writes that a total of around 150 students are admitted each year into the four-year midwifery degrees offered by seven postsecondary institutions in Canada. More students apply for the programs, but institutions find it challenging to add more seats because it is difficult to find midwives who can train new students, and it “requires a huge amount of government will, backed up with funding to add seats in new programs and create jobs for new grads.” Programs also must consider diversity. “We need to think about trying to ensure that we have midwives who are working in areas that are less served,” said Liz Darling, director of McMaster’s midwifery program. Maclean’s (National)