Top Ten

January 21, 2021

UWinnipeg, URegina, IISD announce the founding of ClimateWest

The University of Winnipeg’s Prairie Climate Centre, the University of Regina’s Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative, and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) have co-founded ClimateWest. ClimateWest will offer climate services such as climate analysis, tools for different sectors, and help desk services on climate information, as well as raise public awareness about climate change. “ClimateWest is an innovative partnership supported by and bridging the prairie provinces and federal government, which will ensure that our region has high-quality climate services to address the challenges while creating opportunities and prosperity in an era of climate change,” said Dr James Currie, Interim President at UWinnipeg. The new partnership is supported by the provincial governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, as well as Environment and Climate Change Canada. UWinnipeg (MB | SK)

OCAD U receives $1M from RBC Foundation, renames centre in recognition of support

OCAD University has received $1M from the RBC Foundation to support students and recent graduates in launching their careers. The funding will support mentorship programs, work-integrated learning opportunities, and skills development opportunities with the goal of enhancing graduate employability. The programs will be offered at the RBC Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers, which has been renamed in recognition of RBC’s support. “We are very grateful to RBC Foundation for this generous gift to help empower students and alumni to create a better future, especially now, during these unprecedented times,” says Ana Serrano, OCAD U President. “The COVID-19 pandemic heightens the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation and these funds will impact the art and design community in a tangible and positive way.” OCAD U (ON)

Camosun, VIU, NVIT, Selkirk receive provincial investment for community mental health worker training

The Government of British Columbia is investing $800K to Camosun College, Vancouver Island University, the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, and Selkirk College for the training of community mental health workers. The funding, which is part of the province’s COVID-19 response, will support the training of students to work in areas such as addictions counselling and shelter support. “Government is working on ways to help B.C. recover from the impacts of COVID-19,” said BC Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training Anne Kang. “The funding we’re announcing today will support training for highly valued and respected positions working with some of BC’s most vulnerable citizens.” Times Colonist | VIU | NationTalk (NVIT) (BC)

Humber launches three Bachelor of Engineering programs

Humber College has launched three Bachelor of Engineering programs: Bachelor of Engineering – Information Systems Engineering, Bachelor of Engineering – The Built Environment, and Bachelor of Engineering – Mechatronics. The degrees are designed to use Humber’s campus as a “living lab,” which gives opportunities for students to engage in project-based learning. “This blended approach encourages students to develop their problem-solving and critical systems thinking skills through their involvement in real-life industrial projects,” said Farzad Rayegani, senior dean in the Faculty of Applied Sciences & Technology at Humber. The programs are designed to meet the current industry needs for engineers in the area, and to meet the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board’s accreditation requirements. Humber (ON)

Sask Polytech, BVC, NBCC, Okanagan receive $750K for outdoor pedagogy in ECE project

Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Bow Valley College, New Brunswick Community College, and Okanagan College have received a $750K grant from the Lawson Foundation to support the collaborative Outdoor Pedagogy in Early Childhood Education: From Colleges to Communities project. The three-year project aims to “demonstrate a model of outdoor pedagogy practices, teaching, learning and mentoring that will create a shift in curriculum in post-secondary ECE programs and in community early learning and child care programs.” It will also support training of instructors, students, and early childhood educators on the implementation of outdoor experiences for children. Sask Polytech | Lawson Foundation (SK)

Barriers to students receiving mental health support available at postsecondary institutions

While many institutions have introduced new or altered mental health supports, an article from The Star describes the challenges that postsecondary students face in reaching the support offered by their institutions. The article discusses barriers to seeking help, such as time constraints, a lack of awareness of supports, and the belief that the stress of being in a postsecondary learning environment is normal. University of Toronto Assistant Professor Chloe Hamza explains that, although postsecondary institutions are working on implementing the Mental Health Commission of Canada standards of caring for students, they still must work on reducing stigma, removing barriers, and highlighting ways students can access support. The Star (National)

Southeast College launches Powerline Technician Apprenticeship Program

Southeast College has announced the start of a Powerline Technician Apprenticeship Program. Students in the program will take classes in-person at the college’s new Powerline Technician Training facility. “The feedback we have received from this cohort of students has been nothing short of tremendous. The students appreciated the flexibility of the online classroom portal that was used and were able to apply the practical knowledge they learned in the training facility,” said Jody Holzmiller, VP Education and Training. Southeast College is projected to train 160 Powerline Technician Apprentices in the 2021-2022 academic year. Southeast College (SK)

Canadore joins AWB’s network of Canadian colleges and universities

Canadore College has announced that it has joined Academics Without Borders’ network of Canadian colleges and universities. The membership will allow Canadore’s faculty and staff to propose projects to AWB and to volunteer on projects with postsecondary partners in developing countries. “The partnership aligns with Canadore values and opens an additional avenue for our faculty and staff to influence higher education globally while appreciating the key impacts in a knowledge economy,” said Ahmed Obaide, Canadore’s Vice President, Academic. Canadore | The Sudbury Star (ON)

McGill students express anxiety, await update on misconduct investigation

Some McGill University students have said that they are “anxious for an update into an investigation” into sexual misconduct allegations against a student. CBC reports that several students have said they are uncomfortable seeing the student’s name appear in their online Zoom classes, particularly classes that use breakout rooms. CBC explains that McGill must complete the investigation into the allegations within 90 days. “The entirety of this process is covered by confidentiality regulations imposed on us by law, and as such, details or updates concerning particular cases cannot be provided to anyone outside those immediately involved,” explains Cynthia Lee, associate director of media relations for McGill. CBC (QC)

Lakehead launches Lakehead Global Certificate

Lakehead University has launched the Lakehead Global Certificate (LGC) to enable students to develop leadership and intercultural communication skills and to give them an edge in their future careers. Students can pursue one of three levels: Global Inquirer, Global Explorer, and Global Citizen. “Not only will this program enable students to set themselves apart from their peers by giving a global edge to their Lakehead University degree, it provides students with an opportunity for personal development and growth,” said James Aldridge, Lakehead’s Vice-Provost, International. Students can complete the LGC at no cost while completing their undergraduate or graduate studies. Lakehead (ON)