Top Ten

October 30, 2020

Postsecondary institutions find creative ways to host job fairs during pandemic

Postsecondary institutions across Canada are creatively holding career fairs to connect students with employers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Medicine Hat College, in partnership with four other agencies, conducted a number of off-site drive-thru job fairs. Concordia University, in partnership with Youth4Youth and the Black Community Resource Centre, hosted a free online event that included collaborative workshops and speakers. Memorial University students and alumni will be able to build connections with employers during a virtual fair through using an online platform that they can use to upload career resources. Royal Roads University, Camosun College, North Island College, and Vancouver Island University will host a virtual career and connections fair online, that will allow students to make connections through attending one-on-one meetings and video presentations. Medicine Hat News | Royal Roads | Montreal Gazette (National)

Verschuren Centre branches off from CBU

The Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment, formerly part of Cape Breton University, has branched off and incorporated. The centre was established on CBU’s campus in 2009, but CBC states that it has always been self-funded. The motive for the move was self-governance, as more independence will allow the centre to respond more quickly to business opportunities without additional layers of approval necessary within the university structure. “The increased research, innovation and development activity this change will allow is good for the university, it is good for Cape Breton Island, and it is good for the province of Nova Scotia,” said CBU president David Dingwall. The Verschuren Centre will remain a partner with CBU. CBC (NS)

Western, King’s UC, Brescia UC, Huron UC join campaign to support students previously in care

Western University – along with its affiliated colleges King’s University College, Brescia University College, and Huron University College – has joined Laurentian University, Loyalist College, and Georgian College in a new program to expand postsecondary opportunities for people who have been in foster care. 35 students from Western and its affiliated colleges who have spent time in care will receive financial support. The program, spearheaded by the Child Welfare Political Action Committee, aims to ensure that finances are not a barrier to attaining postsecondary education for students who have been in foster care. The Star | King’s UC (ON)

Successfully implementing groupwork in online classes: Opinion

While the switch to online learning has led to some instructors cutting group assignments, the authors Cathy N Davidson and Christina Katopodis argue that “now is exactly the time to be helping students learn how to collaborate online,” as students need these skills for workplace success. The article provides eight recommendations for improving online groupwork. These include enhancing student engagement through structuring group projects around real-world problems, instructor control of equitable distribution of labour, and creating large enough groups to ensure the project can continue if one student “ghosts.” They also suggest using contract grading, prework to help choose students’ roles, and a timeline with checkpoints, while practicing adaptability. Inside Higher Ed (International)

UOttawa experiences second racist hate crime this month

The University of Ottawa has experienced a second case of racist graffiti on campus this month. After racist graffiti was found in a campus building earlier this month, a car parked overnight on campus had a racial slur and the word “Black” scratched into it. UOttawa spokesperson Patrick Charette responded to the incident by saying that “the University of Ottawa unreservedly condemns all acts of racism. Every individual has the right to live in dignity, free from discrimination.” CBC reports that some students are calling for administration to take responsibility for what has happened. “It’s like they’re refusing to acknowledge that students are in pain, students are hurting, students are feeling unsafe,” said Josiane N’tchoreret-Mbiamany, executive of the Black Student Leaders Association and vice-president of equity for the Communications Student Association. CBC (ON)

Building community through personal essays: Opinion

Students need non-Zoom ways to connect with their instructors and with each other, writes Rachel Toor. The author describes using a weekly discussion board to give students the opportunity to write less formal but authentic writing, called the “sandbox.” The students are given a prompt, and then write raw pieces that present students’ best voices even though the writing might not be perfect. Other students then read the “sandbox” pieces and offer positive feedback. Toor describes how the “sandbox” provided an outlet for students dealing with pandemic issues, before giving tips on how to implement the “sandbox” in a wide variety of courses. “One benefit of the sandbox for an instructor is that it builds community without requiring a ton of your time,” writes Toor. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (International)

Conestoga, St Leonard’s, Brant Skills Centre partner to offer free construction skills program

Conestoga College has partnered with St Leonard’s Community Services and Brant Skills Centre to deliver the Construct Your Career Brantford program. This free eight-week program addresses a shortage in skilled labour through training students for a career in the construction sector and includes training in carpentry, plumbing, and electrical trades, as well as math and communications. Graduates will receive a Construction Foundations certificate from Conestoga. “The goal of this program is to support skilled labour entering the field by providing participants with the knowledge they need for entry-level roles,” said Malcolm Whyte, director of employment services at St. Leonard’s Community Services, “and in some cases, starting on a path towards further education or completing an apprenticeship.” Conestoga (ON)

Dal students, alumni create HPJ

Dalhousie University’s Health students and alumni have created The Healthy Populations Journal (HPJ), which is housed at Dal’s Healthy Populations Institute (HPI). “We created this platform for sharing and promoting health research with the intention of expanding typical journal submissions to include artistic contributions related to diverse and intersectional approaches of knowledge expression, while also creating a space for students to gain experience with the publishing process,” said Christie Stilwell co-editor in chief of HPJ. The journal’s first call for submissions focuses on health equity. Dal (NS)

UQAM to offer two new food-focused graduate programs

The Université du Québec à Montréal has launched two new food-related graduate programs. The new programs add to UQAM’s existing undergraduate program in the field and were developed through partnerships between various departments, with the Université Laval, and with the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec. The programs are focused on the future of nutrition and food and the relationships between food, society, economy, policy, and culture. The programs will launch in Fall 2021. UQAM (QC)

CapilanoU becomes Universities Canada’s 96th member

Capilano University has joined Universities Canada as its 96th member. Universities Canada states that members are held to a high standard, and must meet “set principles of institutional quality assurance that must be reaffirmed every five years.” “We are pleased and proud to join our colleagues across the country as a member of Universities Canada,” said CapilanoU President Paul Dangerfield. “As an innovative, growing university on the west coast, we look forward to the engagement, collaboration and learning opportunities offered by belonging to this exceptional Canadian university community.” Universities Canada (BC)