Top Ten

November 13, 2020

Concordia announces delayed winter semester in response to student stress, fatigue

Concordia University has announced that it will be extending its holiday break, delaying the start of the new semester until January 13th, to respond to students’ difficulties with stress and fatigue. “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures,” said Concordia Interim Provost Anne Whitelaw, who encouraged students to “take good care of yourselves and each other.” The delay will also give staff a break, since campus services will stay closed an extra week. CTV News adds that while the Winter semester will have the same length as originally planned, other deadlines and time frames – including paying tuition, final exams, and the start of summer term – will be delayed. CTV News (QC)

Universities balance tough sanctions for COVID-19 infractions with gentler persuasion

Universities across Canada have been experimenting with different approaches to reducing student partying and the spread of COVID-19. However, the article says institutions have found that the success of COVID-19 reduction protocols always comes down to the private actions of students. While some institutions have chosen a tougher approach of tightening student codes of conduct and cracking down on students who do not follow the rules, many are using a gentler approach which encourages student buy-in and instructs students on what they are allowed to do. “There are so many opportunities for growth – and mistakes,” says Kate McCrae Bristol, dean of students at Wilfrid Laurier University. “There are authorities in our community who we work with who can apply those punitive measures, but it’s our duty to help students work through this period. We’re here to educate.” University Affairs (National)

SLC launches Addiction and Mental Health graduate certificate program

St Lawrence College has launched an Addictions and Mental Health program that will prepare students to meet the growing need for mental health workers in Ontario. The two-semester graduate certificate program is offered fully online and will prepare graduates to work within the mental health field in a variety of services, including hospitals, homeless shelters, and crisis response services. “This program is another example of how SLC delivers training and educational opportunities that meet the needs of our communities and employers,” said SLC President Glenn Vollebregt. “With the expertise of our faculty, students are equipped with the skills and hands-on experience needed to start their careers upon graduation.” SLC (ON)

MUN plans transition back to campus for non-academic staff

Memorial University has released a plan that will see non-academic staff will begin to gradually return to campus on November 23rd. Employees will transition to a minimum of two days a week on campus, with the intention of a full return in 2021. MUN says that this return will increase student access to support and services. “Since transitioning to remote work in March, Memorial staff have shown incredible dedication, professionalism, nimbleness and tenacity,” said Mark Abrahams, MUN provost and vice-president (academic). “It’s now time to start working towards a new normal for Memorial. Gradually bringing staff back to campus will help to increase support levels to fulfil the academic mission and is an important step in the eventual return of students to campus.” CBC | MUN (NL)

Georgian, MCBT partner in program pathway agreement

Georgian College and Mentora College of Business & Technology have announced that they have established a program pathway agreement. This partnership allows graduates of MCBT’s diploma program in Business Administration Management to receive six course exemptions towards a Georgian Business Diploma or Business Administration Advanced Diploma. Graduates of MCBT’s Hotel management program will also receive six course exemptions from Georgian’s Hospitality – Hotel and Resort Operations Management Diploma or the Hospitality Administration Advanced Diploma. “Through this pathway agreement we can provide additional opportunity for Mentora College students to further their education and to experience Georgian College and its status as a leader in co-op education in Ontario,” said Kevin Weaver, Georgian’s VP Academic. Cision (ON)

Camosun unveils new Indigenous-designed logo

Camosun College has unveiled a new logo in preparation for its 50th anniversary in 2021. The logo was designed by Coast Salish artist and Camosun alumnus Dylan Thomas, whose research on the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations history and pre-history of the region formed the “baseline foundation for the design.” “I started thinking about the word Camosun which means where two waters meet and are transformed,” said Thomas. The new design represents the narrative legend of Camossung, the protector of the Tillicum Narrows waterways, and includes an image of herring to represent the fish offered to Camossung by the Protector. Camosun (BC)

AU, Rick Hansen Foundation partner on new accessibility course

Athabasca University’s PowerEd and the Rick Hansen Foundation have partnered to launch a new online Accessible Spaces 101 course. The 16-hour self-guided course has no pre-requisites. The course will teach students how they can support a diverse workforce or customer base, how they can improve accessibility in work and living environments, operations, and service delivery, and how accessibility can be built into project goals. “Making spaces inclusive for all fits directly with AU’s mission of removing barriers for all learners to increase access to education,” said Jessica Scott, Director of PowerEd. “This is how we enable the transformation of communities, and this starts by looking at the built environment that surrounds us.” AU (AB)

Conestoga joins CoVE, enabling student international collaboration

Conestoga College has joined the Consortium of Virtual Exchange (CoVE) as a founding member. The CoVE platform will allow Conestoga students to work virtually with students around the world on joint projects. CoVE will additionally share best practices and outcomes of research. “Virtual exchange is a meaningful educational experience that provides a global perspective for students,” said CoVE Executive Director Wendi Hulme. “This tool can intensify and complement an active and meaningful discourse on global issues, encompassing opportunities to work interdisciplinary while enhancing multiple and multimodal literacies.” Conestoga (ON)

NIC expands Grounds & Custodial Assistant training to Campbell River campus

North Island College is expanding their Employment Transition Grounds & Custodial Assistant program to their Campbell River campus. The 26-week program provides students with diverse learning needs the opportunity to learn the basics of grounds maintenance, horticulture, light cleaning, and custodial work. Students also participate in a work experience placement, enabling them to practice custodial or grounds maintenance duties. “It’s a program that’s aimed squarely at helping students put a solid floor beneath their feet, to have those core skills to work in the custodial or grounds maintenance sectors,” said Kathy O’Donnell, Chair of NIC’s Department of Accessible Learning. NIC | (BC)

ULethbridge musicians partner with middle school on virtual mentorship

University of Lethbridge musicians have partnered with Gilbert Paterson Middle School’s band program to offer virtual mentorship to beginner wind students. Middle school students join musicians enrolled in ULethbridge’s Wind Orchestra and pair off into breakout rooms, where they receive one-on-one instruction under the mentorship of the ULethbridge musician. “In the long run, it’s only going to help them because they’re getting focused sessions with other musicians, and it’s a good experience for the university students because learning to teach is completely different than learning to play music,” said recent graduate of the ULethbridge’s BMus program and current Wind Orchestra member Gerald Rogers. ULethbridge (AB)