Top Ten

February 8, 2021

Canadore receives approval to offer first degree program

Canadore College has been granted approval by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to offer its first degree program. The Honours Bachelor Degree in Advanced Manufacturing Technology Management will officially launch in Fall 2022. Students will learn at Canadore’s Commerce Court Campus within the Innovation Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping (ICAMP). “This is a significant milestone for Canadore, our community, and post-secondary education,” said Canadore VP Academic Dr Ahmed Obaide. “We remain committed to designing, developing and delivering market-driven niche academic programs with a focus on applied learning and an eye to the future.” Canadore (ON)

Assessing online programs: Opinion

High-quality assessment can ensure success for online programs, writes Cliff McCain. The author describes how important thorough program evaluations are to ensuring the quality and effectiveness of online programs. McCain details four key areas of online learning that should be assessed: student achievement, student attitudes, instructor effectiveness, and overall program effectiveness. Assessments of student achievement can track their performance in past online classes, while assessments of student attitudes can illuminate student views that affect their education. The author suggests assessing instructor effectiveness to examine if instructor interactions with students promote learning and assessing overall program effectiveness to see what changes might need to be made to the program. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Responses to in-person return to postsecondary classes

Instructors and students are responding to the plans to have students return to in-person classes. Quebec Student Union President Jade Marcil said the move is likely to help students who feel isolated. However, CBC says that faculty members are raising issues with the return; Sylvia Santosa, a professor at Concordia University, explained that due to public health restrictions, teaching the same lesson multiple times to different groups of students might be necessary and will significantly add to the instructor’s workload. CBC says that students are responding ambivalently, as moving into a red zone to attend postsecondary classes will cause them to face other restrictions. The Montreal Gazette says that Quebecers have also expressed concern about the plan potentially increasing COVID-19 transmission. CBC | Montreal Gazette | Journal de Montréal (1) | Journal de Montréal (2) (QC)

Collège Boréal, Epiroc partner on Battery Electric Vehicle Maintenance Program

Collège Boréal has partnered with Epiroc Canada on a Battery Electric Vehicle Maintenance Program. The program includes an online component as well as a hands-on component delivered in classroom and workshop settings. Epiroc will participate in the program and will provide tools and materials for future programs. “Our new Battery Electric Vehicle Maintenance Program was launched to respond to the demands of our partners in the mining sector,” said Daniel Giroux, President, Collège Boréal. “One of the College’s roles is to support the private sector with training, including upskilling for its current employees, to strengthen the competitiveness of businesses and employers operating in Ontario. We are proud to count Epiroc among our partners to better support this growing sector.” International Mining (ON)

Conestoga receives $250K for support of School of Creative Industries

Conestoga College has received $250K from alumnus Bernard Forster, which will be used to support Conestoga’s School of Creative Industries. The funds will be used towards the School of Creative Industries’ expansion and growth, particularly in the areas of digital content development and storytelling. “As we look ahead, it is clear that our reliance on digital content and storytelling will continue and the demand for quality content will continue to grow,” said Conestoga’s School of Creative Industries Chair Heather Ryall. “This gift from one of our early graduates will help prepare students to successfully meet the skill demands of the future.” Conestoga (ON)

UAlberta launches Veteran-Friendly Campus pilot project

The University of Alberta is launching a two-year Veteran-Friendly Campus pilot project that will support veterans who are transitioning into postsecondary education and civilian life. The project, which is supported by $714K from Alberta Advanced Education, will focus on improving veteran experience through a network of holistic supports. Students will have access to academic, social, and mental health services, as well as prior learning assessments, peer support, veteran study groups, and specialized advising. Other Alberta postsecondary institutions can also use the program as a blueprint for developing similar programs. CBC | UAlberta (AB)

Lakehead receives investment for mining research, establishes Industrial Research Chair

Lakehead University has announced a five-year research project in mineral exploration and mining, which is funded by the Government of Ontario and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), as well as a partnership with Impala Canada. CBC reports that the project’s total funding is approximately $2.1M. Dr Peter Hollings has been named the new Industrial Research Chair in Mineral Exploration and will work alongside Impala’s geology team. “Dr Peter Hollings’ research program will focus on the development of innovative new techniques that can be used to enhance the mineral exploration industry’s ability to discover new mines,” said Lakehead President and Vice-chancellor Dr Moira McPherson. Lakehead | CBC | ON (ON )

GPRC, Serious Labs partner on virtual reality training

Grand Prairie Regional College has partnered with Serious Labs to provide its students with virtual reality training opportunities and to collaborate on learning solutions for future technical training. GPRC will use Serious Labs’ Mobile Elevated Work Platform operator training simulator in a pilot project to develop micro-credentials that ensure apprentices are ready for the jobsite. Existing tradespeople, employers, and site owners will also benefit from the technology. “This partnership is a catalyst in ensuring GPRC delivers [modern and innovative] opportunities to future learners and industry leaders in our region,” said GPRC President Dr Robert Murray. “Working with Serious Labs allows GPRC to continue to build strong relationships with industry and create jobs that advance the diversification of our economy well into the future.” GPRC (AB)

Atlantic universities should receive funding to update, retrofit infrastructure: Opinion

The federal government should provide funding to support postsecondary infrastructure in Atlantic Canada to benefit the whole nation, writes Peter Halpin, executive director of the Association of Atlantic Universities. The article describes the economic benefits of infrastructure investments and explains how these investments can lead to regional growth through attracting students from other regions. Halpin argues that due to their ages, Atlantic Canada’s universities often require significant infrastructural work, but that due to COVID-19, institutions are balancing investments in physical infrastructure with those in digital infrastructure. “In the higher education sector, we firmly believe an investment in university campus infrastructure should form a key component of the government’s broader infrastructure recovery package as we rebuild and reboot the region post-COVID-19,” writes Halpin. The Chronicle Herald (National)

UNBC closes university advancement office due to budget

The University of Northern British Columbia has announced that it will be closing its university advancement office in an attempt to balance its 2021-22 budget. The decision will eliminate nine jobs and will save approximately $800K. UNBC president Geoff Payne said that this step is part of a four-year plan to increase UNBC’s financial stability. “This is an outstanding school with outstanding people and if we can get a handle on our budget deficit, which we are doing...we will make sure that UNBC moves forward and is the institution that we all know it is,” said Payne. Prince George Citizen (BC)