Top Ten

November 16, 2020

ON pharmacy graduates have OSCE tests postponed due to COVID-19

Graduates of Ontario pharmacy programs have had their Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) exam delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions. The exam, which had been scheduled for May, was postponed until November, and subsequently postponed again for some students. Many reported receiving only 48 hours’ notice that the exam had been cancelled. CBC reports that postponing the exam puts the graduates’ careers on hold, and keeps them from filling front-line roles in pharmacies giving flu vaccinations and performing COVID-19 tests. “It’s very hard for us because most of us are carrying over $100,000 in debt right now and we've had to start repaying our loans,” said Michelle Wang, student president of the University of Toronto’s pharmacy program. CBC (ON)

UQAM to develop DÉFI to bring UQ network together

The Université du Québec à Montréal will develop the développement d’un écosystème fédéré et interconnecté (DÉFI), an interconnected digital learning environment that will bring the ten universities in the UQ network together. The web platform will connect learning management systems that UQ instructors already use, such as Moodle and Mahara, to support communication between professors and students, facilitate student evaluation, and organize course management tools. Students will be able to log into the system from a single point of entry. The project is part of a $40M investment from the Québec Government that is aimed at enhancing educational success and meeting training needs. UQAM | UQ (QC)

Polite racism in Canada’s graduate schools: Opinion

A polite kind of racism is smothering Canada’s BIPOC graduate students, writes Karine Coen-Sanchez. The author describes conducting a survey of racialized students and a series of panel discussions for BIPOC students. Most participants reported that they faced racism, but were told not to question it. Additionally, many students reported being told to downplay experiences of racism, avoid conflict, and see their experiences as exaggerated. The article calls for challenging the status quo through the recruitment of more racialized faculty and through questioning social structures of whiteness that normalize the suffering of racialized people. “Ideally, we must challenge and unscramble anti-racism to reinforce policies and structures in our universities, in our teaching, and in our research, in order to promote the need for systemic change,” writes Coen-Sanchez. Univeresity Affairs (National)

District of Squamish concerned over QuestU’s agreement with Primacorp

The District of Squamish has released a statement which expresses concern over Quest University’s signed agreement with Primacorp. Specifically, the District is concerned that the agreement does not reflect the community’s interests. The statement explains that for 20 years, Squamish has contributed to QuestU’s vision, with the intention of QuestU benefitting the community. “We know Quest staff and the Board of Governors have the best of intentions, but I believe more due diligence is required and I have grave concerns over the future of the University’s brand, reputation and ultimate success, and will continue to engage with Quest leadership to ensure our voice is heard,” said District of Squamish Mayor, Karen Elliott. Squamish (BC)

Canadian business schools take leadership courses online due to COVID-19

Canada’s business schools have creatively rethought leadership courses which would normally be offered in person. The University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business’ leadership retreat went virtual with pre-recorded lectures, instructional videos, and Zoom sessions. Memorial University’s business administration faculty created a multimedia resource for MBA students to use on a consulting project that had previously been out-of-classroom. Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business’s “Fit to Lead” program went virtual, with online workouts and health sessions. Western University launched a virtual trip which promoted online collaboration and allowed students to demonstrate abilities in basic Portuguese and Spanish over Zoom. “It will never replicate the actual experience, but at least we have invested in technology to give students a feel for it,” said Lucas Monzani, Ivey assistant professor and trip organizer. The Globe and Mail (National)

NBCC, LIT sign pathway agreement

New Brunswick Community College has signed articulation agreements with Limerick Institute of Technology in Limerick, Ireland. The agreements allow graduates from seven NBCC programs to enter the third year of a number of LIT degree programs. “We recognize that, in times of economic uncertainty, decisions about post-secondary education take on special significance,” said Ann Drennan, Vice-President Academic and Research at NBCC. “Prospective students want to ensure they make the right decision between college and university. Because of pathway agreements like these, NBCC students don’t have to choose; they can have both.” NBCC (NB)

NLC to open campus in Fox Creek

Northern Lakes College has announced it will open a campus in Fox Creek, Alberta. Beginning in January 2021, residents of the town will have local access to the college’s programs and services. “Northern Lakes College is excited to partner with the Town of Fox Creek to offer access to post-secondary education in the community,” said NLC President Glenn Mitchell. “Our model is to provide opportunities to students to engage in training and further education at home, so that they do not have to leave their communities.” NLC has campuses in over 50 other communities in Alberta. NLC (AB)

ACC to offer Social Service Worker program at Parkland campus

Assiniboine Community College has announced that it will offer a one-time Social Service Worker diploma program at its Parkland campus. The program, which is the latest in a series of programs added to Parkland campus offerings, will have space for 25 students. The program will prepare graduates to address social challenges in a variety of different contexts, including health centres, social service departments, mental health services, and schools. “With this diploma in high demand, we are happy to give those in the parkland region the opportunity to receive training in this area,” said Karen Hargreaves, Dean, School of Health and Human Services at ACC. ACC (MB)

Journal, symposium systems should modernize by coming together: Opinion

The journal and symposium systems must adapt to meet the demands of the 21st century, writes Richard Oliver. While journals have traditionally been considered more important for career progression, Oliver suggests bringing written submissions and recorded verbal presentations together for peer review. This would enable journals to organize talks into symposiums, which would allow for discussion and feedback from academics anywhere in the world. Additionally, data on people watching the talk at the beginning and the end would give information about the speaker’s esteem and impact. Times Higher Education (International)

GBC, The Rekai Centres announce innovative approach to PSW training

George Brown College has partnered with The Rekai Centres to provide clinical placement opportunities for Personal Support Workers in long term care facilities. The initiative will allow students to complete their placements, which were affected due to COVID-19. Through a Blocked Placement Model, small groups of students will participate in “intensive, immersive” training eight hours per day, four days per week. “The global pandemic severely disrupted PSW education for students and post-secondary educators,” said GBC president Anne Sado. “Not only is this new clinical model providing students with the on-the-job experience they need to succeed, it’s also ensuring that Ontario has a stable, well-trained PSW workforce now and in the future.” GBC (ON)