Top Ten

February 9, 2021

BC invests $20M in short-term training for those affected by COVID-19

British Columbia has launched the Skills Training for Economic Recovery program, which will provide re-skilling opportunities to those who have had their jobs affected by COVID-19. BC has invested $20M into short-term training programs in a variety of areas, such as technology, hospitality, and automotive trades. The projects include College of the Rockies’ Child Youth Family Studies project, which will train students to work as early childcare education assistants or education assistants. “Funding for our Child Youth Family Studies project allows us to provide the training individuals in our region need to fill these vital roles and opens the door to rewarding new career options for those whose jobs may have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Leah Bradish, COTR’s director of continuing education. BC (BC)

Atlantic institutions close campuses, cancel classes due to heavy snowfall

Memorial University, St Francis Xavier University, and several other colleges and universities in the Atlantic provinces closed their campuses on Monday due to inclement weather and heavy snowfall. MUN announced the closure of buildings on its campus were closed and cancellation of on-campus activities and classes. CTV News reported that Dalhousie University, University of King’s College, Mount Saint Vincent University, Saint Mary’s University, all Nova Scotia Community College campuses, Holland College, the University of Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick Community College closed their campuses for the day on Monday. Mount Allison University, the University of New Brunswick, and Universite de Moncton announced a delayed opening. MUN | CTV News | (NB | NS | NL | PEI)

Trent Durham raises $5.6M raised for Residence and Academic Building

Trent University Durham has successfully completed its first fundraising campaign, surpassing its goal and raising a total of $5.6M for a new academic building and the campus’ first residence. The fundraiser was supported by donations from many individuals and community partners, including a donation of 1.8 acres of land from the City of Oshawa. “The modern and beautiful new building on campus is a shining symbol of optimism in the future of our students – among them, our future social workers who will take care of our most vulnerable, our future police officers who will be taking care of our community and our future journalists who will report with integrity,” says Sherry Booth, director of Philanthropy at Trent University. “Throughout this challenging time in global history, we thank donors for believing in students and investing in their future success.” Trent (ON)

UQAC to invest $25M in improvements into main pavilion

The Université du Québec à Chicoutimi has announced that it will be investing $25M over the next five years into the main pavilion at its Saguenay campus. The improvements are part of a project that aims to redevelop student spaces at UQAC. The investment will support the rethinking of spaces like the library, cafeteria, student services, and the registrar’s office. Spaces will be rethought with student needs in mind and with a focus on creating a crossroads where student needs are met. UQuebec (QC)

NEC announces tuition-free Indigenous Recycling Employment Entry Program

Native Education College has announced it will begin offering a tuition-free Indigenous Recycling Employment Entry Program. Students in the three-month program will participate in skills training and a job placement in recycling or materials management in order to prepare for a career as a recycling technician. Indigenous cultural components will be incorporated into the program through guest speakers, cultural events, Indigenous support staff, and more. “The recycling industry requires well prepared workers and some Indigenous people have an affinity for entry level jobs in a safe and secure environment,” states NEC. NEC (BC)

TRU, City of Kamloops launch RiR program

Thompson Rivers University and the City of Kamloops have launched a three-year Researcher in Residence (RiR) pilot program. The RIR program engages TRU faculty and staff in city-driven research that will be used to potentially change policies, bylaws, and more. Research will also be used to create new services, programs, and partnerships. “This is not just about making the research resources of the university available to the City, but rather it is about working together and co-creating solutions to real world problems,” said Dr Will Garrett-Petts, AVP Research and Graduate Studies at TRU. “The new Researcher-in-Residence initiative is all about enhancing the impact of our collective research power.” TRU (BC)

Seven approaches to designing courses: Opinion

Instructors should continue to think about course design, writes Steven Mintz, even after the pandemic. The author discusses seven approaches that instructors can use in designing their courses, such as an inquiry-based approach in which students learn how knowledge is constructed, a case study-based approach where students learn from real-world scenarios, and an approach that attempts to decode the discipline by examining how scholars use data. “In practice, you do not need to adopt a single approach. A Franken-course approach, which combines various models, often makes sense,” writes Mintz. Inside Higher Ed (International)

BVC joins MyCreds™ | MesCertif™ network

Bow Valley College has joined the Association of Registrars of the Universities and Colleges of Canada’s (ARUCC) MyCreds™ | MesCertif™ network. BVC students will be able to access their personal credentials through a digital credential wallet, which will include digitized versions of their transcripts, credentials, and other documents. “In our modern society, it is essential that we empower our students with trusted digital capabilities to assist them in their journey into employment or further study,” said BVC Registrar Charles Pankratz. “Verified digital credentials and the vast opportunities afforded to us through the ARUCC National Network forms an important part of our long-term vision and strategic approach.” BVC (AB)

CBU Verschuren Centre receives $672K for biotechnology acceleration

Cape Breton University’s Verschuren Centre has announced that it will receive $672K from the Government of Nova Scotia to support biotechnology acceleration. The funding will support the growth of the Verschuren Centre accelerator, which can use biomass to construct items that are currently created using petrochemical materials. It will also support the region’s job creation and provide support to companies that want to switch to non-petrochemical materials. CBC (NS)

Designing first-round executive interviews: Opinion

First-round executive interviews can often seem awkward or rigid, writes Ryan Crawford, but they can also be structured in ways that will help committee members and candidates have positive experiences. The author offers tips to help committees structure and evaluate executive interviews. Crawford encourages interviewers to work as a team throughout the interview process. The article emphasizes the importance of scripting interview questions, keeping interview questions simple, and ensuring questions do not lead the candidate. The author also discusses the importance of asking behaviour-based questions, asking questions about the candidate’s general vision, and not judging candidates too early. Lastly, Crawford says to revisit candidate materials to keep the interview in perspective and to review how the candidate may fit into the institution. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (Subscription required) (International)