Top Ten

November 11, 2020

Institutions host virtual ceremonies for Remembrance Day

Postsecondary institutions across Canada are hosting ceremonies of remembrance for Remembrance Day in online and socially distanced formats this year. Memorial University hosted a virtual Remembrance Day livestream that will be available as a recording after the ceremony. Carleton University created a commemorative video, which was filmed on campus and will remain on the Carleton home page throughout the day. Thompson Rivers University held a Remembrance Day Ceremony on YouTube Premiere, which includes an Elder’s message, prayers, and a moment of silence. Memorial | Carleton | TRU (National)

Canada increases Universal Broadband Fund to $1.75B to connect Canadians

The Government of Canada is providing up to $750M in addition to its original $1B to accelerate the Universal Broadband Fund with a goal of connecting 98% of Canadians to broadband internet by 2026. Canada has also committed $600M to work with Telesat to provide Canadians high-speed Internet capacity through Telesat’s low Earth orbit satellite constellation. These investments will support those who are working or taking classes from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Canada | Canada (National)

BrandonU, Department of National Defence sign MOU

Brandon University and the Department of National Defence have signed a MOU that allows members of the Canadian Forces to access postsecondary education even while deployed overseas. The agreement streamlines the process of awarding transfer credits for specific military training, as well as providing greater course and exam flexibility for students who are completing classes while deployed. The agreement further lays the groundwork for future collaboration on defence- or security-related programs. “This MOU is an acknowledgement that it is an important bit of business for BU, and an indication to the military that we take this initiative seriously,” said Gary McNeely, Coordinator of Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition at BrandonU. “Their knowledge is worthy of serious consideration, their skills are real and vital, and appropriate to recognize — especially this close to Remembrance Day.” BrandonU (MB)

Fanshawe celebrates military-connected students through initiatives, partnership

Fanshawe College is hosting several student-focused initiatives for members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans, and their families. Through the Fanshawe Funder campaign, the college will be supporting military-related bursaries, academic credits for students who have completed military training and experience, and the recruitment of a student ambassador. The college will also be presenting military-connected graduates will be presented with a unique coin to recognize their success, and is partnering with Terry Kelly for ‘Operation – A Pittance of Time,’ to help Canadians remember to take time on Remembrance Day to remember the sacrifices of serving men and women, veterans, and their families. Fanshawe (ON)

Lethbridge, Enel Green Power partner to provide wind turbine training for Indigenous students

Lethbridge College and Enel Green Power have partnered to train students from the Piikani Nation in southern Alberta in wind energy through Lethbridge’s Wind Turbine Technician program. The collaboration will see the two parties work together to support Lethbridge’s Indigenous Circle of Services programming, create student awards, and develop experiential learning opportunities for Piikani Nation learners. Students participate in a variety of experiential opportunities, including safety training, the opportunity to build and test wind turbines in Lethbridge’s wind tunnel, and VR experiences. “We appreciate the efforts of Enel and the Lethbridge College Wind Turbine Technician program for supporting our Piikani Nation students,” said Doane Crow Shoe, Piikani Nation Councillor. “We will continue to support the efforts in which our members will learn and promote renewable energy.” Lethbridge Herald | Nation Talk (AB)

ON postsecondary institutions experience COVID-19 cases

Postsecondary institutions in Ontario are continuing to experience community COVID-19 cases. Cambrian College has reported that an undisclosed number of community members have tested positive for COVID-19, but adds that there has been no outbreak on campus at this time. A student at St Clair College has tested positive for COVID-19. The student was participating in a placement at Windsor Regional Hospital, and also participated in a lab on campus before receiving test results. The University of Windsor has issued a strong reminder to its campus community to follow COVID-19 prevention protocol after four UWindsor students who were attending placements at the Windsor Regional Hospital tested positive for COVID-19. CBC reports that the students did not contract COVID-19 from the placements. CBC | St Clair | UWindsor (ON)

UWinnipeg launches two-year MESC program

The University of Winnipeg has launched a two-year Master in Environmental & Social Change (MESC) program. Students will be able to choose from three graduate degree specialization options: Master of Science, Master of Arts, and Master of Environment. Students in all specializations will complete training designed to bridge social and natural science with humanities research. “From the implications of COVID-19 to managing the social and ecological impacts of energy production, there is an urgency to address human impact on the environment,” said UWinnipeg Associate Professor Nora Casson. “This exciting and unique program will help to produce the creative, collaborative thinkers needed to solve existing local, regional, and global problems.” UWinnipeg (MB)

Mohawk launches Challenge 2025

Mohawk College has launched its Challenge 2025 program, which makes postsecondary education more accessible to vulnerable people in targeted neighbourhoods through satellite or mobile classrooms. Challenge 2025 will expand Mohawk’s City School program to accommodate around 4,000 students over the next five years. Mohawk also plans to open a Rapid Skills Training Centre and will continue to connect students with “life stabilization” supports so that they can join the workforce. Additionally, Mohawk is considering partnering with institutions in British Columbia, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia to test the City School model in other parts of Canada. “We do think it really has the potential to change how we train people, to change the way we get people into employment and change the way we get people out of poverty,” said Mohawk President Ron McKerlie. Mohawk | The Spectator (ON)

BVC plans relocation to Okotoks Arts and Learning Campus

Bow Valley College has outgrown its current 1,500 space in Okotoks, and will be relocating its regional campus to the Okotoks Arts and Learning Campus in January 2022. The move will allow the growth for programs that had been limited by lack of space. “Our regional campuses offer a blend of in-class and online learning, giving students the option of earning a diploma or certificate that is both convenient and flexible,” said BVC President Misheck Mwaba. “We will incorporate new technology in this new Okotoks campus, which will improve how we deliver education there.” The new space will be designed to include four classrooms, student flex seating, and office space. BVC (AB)

University entrance exams under scrutiny, institutions moving to alternative assessment

Admissions tests, like the SAT and ACT, are coming under increasing scrutiny, write Brock University Professor Louis Volante, Queen’s University School of Graduate Studies Associate Dean Christopher De Luca, and University of Waikato Professor Don A Klinger. Canadian high school students who wish to attend postsecondary institutions in the United States will notice that many US universities will not require these tests for admission for the fall 2021 semester. The authors write that though some say entrance exams ensure students are prepared for postsecondary success, critics say that the exams make teachers teach to the test and can have racial, gender, and economic biases that disadvantage some students. The article concludes by saying that universities that previously relied on these tests are turning to alternative metrics to decide which students to admit. The Conversation (International)