Top Ten

February 22, 2021

Authentically engaging in reconciliation: Opinion

Postsecondary educators need to face reconciliation with humility and courage in order to authentically engage in reconciliation, writes Kory Wilson, Kwakwaka’wakw woman and Executive Director of Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. The author explains how truth, which is deeply personal, starts in self-awareness and understanding one’s own bias and privilege. The article describes the nuances of finding a path to Indigeneity at BCIT, and the work that BCIT has done to address the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the Indigenous Education Protocol for Colleges and Institutes Canada. “Consider what you can do to make your part of the world better, partner in reconciliation, and seek a world where all voices are heard, honoured, valued and incorporated,” writes Wilson. BCIT (BC)

Sask Polytech, SCC partner to offer virtual programming to business community

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has partnered with the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce (SCC) to allow the business community access to virtual programming through Sask Polytech’s School of Continuing Education. People who are interested in retraining or upskilling in high demand or trending areas will have access to Sask Polytech’s offerings, including professional development programs, corporate training, and micro-credentials. “The School of Continuing Education is also here to help businesses ensure their employees continue to have the skill sets they need to stay competitive as their industries change due to new technologies, shifting demographics and other factors,” said Sask Polytech President Dr Larry Rosia. “We look forward to helping Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce members meet their educational and career goals.” Sask Polytech (SK)

Instructors should collaborate for success: Opinion

Collaboration between instructors should replace teaching alone, write Kwong Nui Sim and Michael Cowling. The article describes how technology-enhanced learning (TEL) can foster collaboration between instructors who could use it to share a teaching space, pedagogy, and scaffolding. The authors write that academics should consider the advantages of collaboration, which is not usually activated in the same way as collaborative work in other areas of academia, but could be. “Digital citizenship is killing the ‘sage on the stage,’” write Sim and Cowling. “But even once we return to our traditional settings on campus, the question will remain: why do we teach alone?” Times Higher Ed (International)

TRU, UBCO, UNBC collaborate on pandemic-related research through IURC

Thompson Rivers University, the University of British Columbia Okanagan, and the University of Northern British Columbia are collaborating on five research projects through the Interior University Research Coalition (IURC). The projects are pandemic-related, and focus on a range of issues, including mental health, telehealth programs, technology, and increasing the lifespan of N95 masks through a responsible and innovative research model. “When researchers from different institutions collaborate across disciplines, the research outcomes benefit from different perspectives and synergies that result from cross-institutional collaboration,” said Kathy Lewis, acting VP, research at UNBC. “These projects are fantastic examples of what’s possible when researchers from across the B.C. Interior come together and seek solutions to pressing public health concerns.” UNBC | UBCO | TRU (BC)

JIBC, SSUNL sign MOU to collaborate on training and education opportunities

The Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) has announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Security Sciences University of Nuevo Leon State (SSUNL) in Mexico. The MOU includes collaboration in training and education, student and faculty exchange opportunities, potential joint research projects, and the development of a JIBC presence in Mexico. “We are pleased to formally establish this relationship between JIBC and SSUNL and to work together to enhance education and training in public safety at both our institutions,” said JIBC President Dr Michel Tarko. “This is part of JIBC’s ongoing commitment to strengthen and develop international relationships in justice and public safety professions to help make communities safer through reflecting, advancing, and leading practice.” JIBC (BC)

AB invests in pilot program to reduce language barriers in health care training

Four postsecondary institutions in Alberta will begin delivering a two-year pilot program that combines English language training with health care aide training. A $3.8M investment by the Government of Alberta will allow 324 students to enter the program. “We are investing in Alberta’s future by empowering students facing language barriers to pursue the education they need to launch their careers in health care,” said AB Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides. “This is great news for students, our health-care system, and the many Albertans who will benefit from the high-quality care these graduates will provide.” Red Deer College, Bow Valley College, NorQuest College, and Columbia College will be participating in the pilot program. AB | RDC (AB)

QC considers bill to cap enrollment at English language cégeps

The Government of Quebec is considering implementing a bill that will cap seats available at English language cégeps. CBC says that this would be done to prevent Francophones from going to English cégeps, with the intention of strengthening the French language. “I understand that some francophones would like to learn English by going to colleges, but I understand also … that French is fragile,” said QC Premier François Legault. Bernard Tremblay, president of Quebec’s federation of cegeps, warns that this plan may backfire if students choose to leave Quebec to access English language education. Montreal Gazette | CBC (QC)

Students, alumni, researchers feel impact from Laurentian insolvency

CBC and the Sudbury Star report that Laurentian University’s students and alumni are feeling the financial effects of the university’s insolvency as funding and donations disappear. CBC says that Laurentian researchers who had been receiving funding for research, including funding from research grants and graduate student fellowships, have seen the funds disappear because it was not kept separate from operational funds. Laurentian alumni are also questioning where the $7.8K in COVID-19 relief funds they raised for student swimmers has gone. “It’s not about the amount of money, it’s about the principle of the donation and the precedent it sets for the donor community,” said Stacey Zembrzycki, who spearheaded the fundraiser. The Sudbury Star also reports that Laurentian is facing a class-action data breach lawsuit which may total $45M. CBC | The Sudbury Star | The Sudbury Star (ON)

UAlberta School of Dentistry, Métis Nation of Alberta partner on affordable dental services

The University of Alberta’s School of Dentistry has partnered with the Métis Nation of Alberta to provide access to affordable dental services, including check-ups, pediatric, emergency, and denture services. The article explains that through the initiative, UAlberta students studying dentistry and dental hygiene provide dental care to members of the Métis Nation of Alberta in a respectful environment while gaining exposure to Métis culture. “Training the next generations of dentists and oral hygienists who can treat us in a manner that is appropriate will bring us the greatest improvement in our oral health outcomes,” said Reagan Bartel, health director for the Métis Nation of Alberta. UAlberta (AB)

Kiuna Institution announces plans to implement satellite classrooms

The Kiuna Institution has announced that it will be implementing satellite classrooms in urban and rural areas to meet the needs of its students. The satellite classrooms aim to support students in pursuing distance learning while allowing students to remain in their communities. Students using the classroom will have access to a variety of services such as computer equipment, psychosocial support, a language development centre, and technical support. Kiuna’s team members will also travel to the classrooms to further support students and increase student retention. NationTalk (QC)