Top Ten

March 29, 2021

AU’s PowerED extends offerings to CPHR Alberta members

Athabasca University’s PowerED has partnered with CPHR Alberta to extend its offerings of micro-credentials to CPHR Alberta members. The extension will allow members to access PowerED’s on-demand micro-offerings and certificates at a preferred rate through the CPHR member platform. Members can complete continuing professional development hours through PowerED’s offerings. “The PowerED™ micro-credentials being offered to CPHR Alberta members have been selected and tailored to fit their unique HR needs and skills,” said Jessica Scott, Director of PowerED. “The environment has been specifically branded and designed for CPHR Alberta members, and we are excited for them to get enrolled and upskill their credentials with our in-demand, on-demand offerings.” AU (AB)

How COVID-19 has spurred postsecondary institutions to innovate technologically: Opinion

Increased use of technology during COVID-19 has pushed universities to creatively use technology to find solutions to pandemic-related problems, writes Bill Flanagan, President of the University of Alberta. Flanagan describes the ways in which COVID-19 has spurred on the use of technology both within the classroom and more broadly at the institutional level. The author describes how technology has allowed more people to express their priorities to the university’s leadership; over 10,000 people participated in online town halls over the fall semester, which would not have been possible in-person over such a short amount of time. The author also explains that since universities were forced to embrace technology, instructors adopted innovative approaches such as the flipped classroom. Flanagan says that the advantages of the incorporation of technology and innovation have benefitted students and will continue to be used post-pandemic. The Conversation (National)

CICan launches national framework for micro-credentials

Colleges & Institutes Canada has launched a national framework for micro-credentials to help postsecondary institutions create high quality offerings in this developing space. The framework, which has been launched with support of Atlantic Colleges Atlantique, l’Association des collèges privés du Québec, BC Colleges, the British Columbia Association of Institutes and Universities, Colleges Ontario, the Council of Post-Secondary Presidents of Alberta (COPPOA) and the Fédération des cégeps, and regional representatives from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories, defines micro-credentials and articulates the roles that postsecondary institutions have in offering them. “Post-secondary institutions must support learners in this new environment and can do so by offering flexible education pathways adapted to their various needs,” said CICan President Denise Amyot. “Micro-credentials are a critical part of that ecosystem and are expected to continue growing, which is why it was so important to find some common ground and elaborate guiding principles on which we can all agree.” CICan (National)

QC, ON, NS release postsecondary funding plans

The governments of Quebec, Ontario, and Nova Scotia have released 2021 budgets that include funding and initiatives related to postsecondary education. Quebec will be investing $369M to increase the number of postsecondary graduates, and $154M on two initiatives that will alleviate student financial burden. ON has announced a temporary tax credit for people paying for education. The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) has criticized ON’s budget, noting that the budget lacks “targeted investments to adequately support post-secondary students.” Students Nova Scotia (Students NS) has also expressed concern for the NS 2021-2022 budget, noting that NS economic recovery relies heavily on investment in accessibility for students. QC | CBC | National Post | OUSA | Students NS (QC | ON | NS)

Durham offers Ultrasonic Testing Level II micro-credential

Durham College has launched the Ultrasonic Testing Level II micro-credential to meet industry demands. The micro-credential is offered through Durham’s School of Science & Engineering Technology (SET), and will train students through hands-on labs and case studies. Students are prepared with the skills and knowledge they need to pass the Level II Ultrasonic Testing certification exam. “It is important to teach students methods that industry demands they know,” said Michelle Hutt, executive dean, SET. “Within the NDE field, employers will not consider job applicants without non-destructive testing (NDT) certification from the Canadian General Standards Board.” Durham says it is the only college in Ontario to offer this certification in the field. Durham (ON)

StatCan releases final FT-UCASS data on full-time teaching staff

Statistics Canada has released the final data from the Full-Time Teaching Staff – University and College Academic Staff System (FT-UCASS) study. The FT-UCASS includes data related to academic rank, salary and administrative stipends, responsibilities, and previous employment. In a review of the data, authors André Lebel and Teresa Omiecinski have also released an infographic reviewing gender parity and the salary gap among university academics and changes to these over the last 40 years. The infographic reveals that the share of female academics has increased at all ranks and that the ratio of women’s to men’s median salaries has narrowed over the last 40 years for full and associate professors. StatCan | StatCan (Infographic) (National)

MUN, CNA, Natural Resources Canada launch M.Sc. (Applied Geomatics)

Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus, College of the North Atlantic, and Natural Resources Canada have collaborated to develop the Master of Science (Applied Geomatics) program. The degree will provide students with comprehensive theoretical and applied instruction in areas such as geographic information systems, geovisualization, remote sensing, programming, and project management. “The program will offer students the opportunity to become geospatial specialists while applying their expertise to a research project, developing the high-level expertise across all geospatial techniques at the outset followed by the opportunity to apply expertise to a master’s thesis project,” said Dr Robert Scott of Grenfell’s School of Science and the Environment. CNA (NFLD)

RRC to launch programs, open new spaces

Red River College has announced that it is launching a variety of new programs this fall as well as opening the Innovation Centre and expanding its Exchange District Campus. New programs include Digital Film and Media Production, Data Science and Machine Learning, Communication Management, Interaction Design and Development, Video and Motion Graphics, Game Development – Programming, Game Development – Design, and Full Stack Web Development, which were designed through collaboration with employers. Many of the courses will be held at the downtown Innovation Centre. “The launch of new programs is about anticipating the needs of our workforce and designing programs that align with the labour market needs, so that we can continue to grow and retain talent right here in Manitoba,” said RRC President Fred Meier. Winnipeg Free Press | RRC (MB)

CEWIL, Canada, partner to create work-integrated learning opportunities

Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada and the Government of Canada have partnered to provide greater access to work-integrated learning opportunities. Supported by $16.3M in funding, CEWIL will fund grants to support the creation of curricular work-integrated learning opportunities and will accept proposals for new WIL experiences through the new CEWIL iHUB. At least one-fifth of the funded iHUB opportunities will be for underrepresented postsecondary students. “The COVID-19 pandemic has forced post-secondary institutions throughout Canada to innovate and advance work-integrated learning so that students gain experience in line with current labour market trends while fulfilling academic requirements for graduation,” said Cara Krezek, CEWIL CEO. “This partnership ensures we can continue to build on that momentum of providing students access to the WIL programming they need.” CEWIL (National)

INRS well contamination project receives $984K

The Institut national de la recherche scientifique’s Professor Geneviève Bordeleau has received over $984K from the government of Quebec’s International Climate Cooperation Program for research on well contamination. The research will be carried out in Madagascar, and will assess the risks of well water contamination and propose solutions that would allow people living along the Ikopa River to access safe water. “Access to clean drinking water is very limited in some parts of the world,” said Bordeleau. “Climate change is accentuating these inequalities, so I’m honoured and proud to be able to work with our Malagasy partner to improve the quality of well water in rural Madagascar.” INRS (QC)