Top Ten

March 31, 2021

UBCO launches Bachelor of Nsyilxcn Language Fluency program designed with NVIT, En’owkin

The University of British Columbia Okanagan has announced that it is launching a Bachelor of Nsyilxcn Language Fluency (BNLF) program that was developed in collaboration with the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and the En’owkin Centre. The program aims to produce fluent speakers of Nsyilxcn who have a deep understanding of the language, culture, and customs. Students in the four-year program will spend two years completing a certificate and diploma in Nsyilxcn Language Fluency at NVIT before spending two years at UBCO completing the program. Dr Jeannette Armstrong, UBCO associate professor of Indigenous Studies and BNLF academic lead, stated that the program is one of the first in the world to offer a degree program in an Indigenous language. UBC | The Star (CP) (BC)

USask, Sask Polytech, NITHA partner on accredited dental therapy program

The University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, and the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority (NITHA) have partnered to establish an accredited dental therapy program. The program, which USask says is the only one of its kind in Canada, will train students to become dental therapists in remote communities. The program will focus on recruiting Indigenous students, allowing students to learn where they live, and developing career paths for dental aides and dental assistants through a laddering model. “This marks as a new beginning for dental therapy education in Canada,” said Tara Campbell, NITHA executive director. Sask Polytech | USask (SK)

Paring down pedagogy for the pandemic might benefit students: Opinion

Covering a smaller amount of material during the pandemic might be beneficial for students, writes David Gooblar. The author describes how instructors and students alike have struggled to balance work, care duties, and postsecondary education during the pandemic, and how shifting to a more flexible teaching approach that is understanding of the challenges of the times can help students learn information more efficiently. Gooblar explains that using an active learning environment, focusing on quality of material rather than quantity, and cultivating a supportive learning environment can help students develop their skills and engage with content rather than stress over the material and assignments. The article explains how paring down a course to fit the pandemic can help students develop qualities of lifelong learners. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (International)

International students postpone, cancel study plans in light of travel limitations

After a government decision last month to limit entry options to four airports - Toronto, Montréal, Calgary, or Vancouver – and implement a mandatory hotel quarantine, CTV News reports that many international students have postponed or cancelled their plans to study in Canada. Colleges and Institutes Canada CEO Denise Amyot explained that the requirement could see New Brunswick-bound international students land and quarantine in Toronto, before travelling to New Brunswick for another quarantine period. "This is nonsense. It just doesn't make sense," said Amyot, noting that the cost of quarantine would exceed half of a semester's tuition for some students. "It means that for the spring and summer, we have a large number of deferrals." Universities Canada CEO Paul Davidson noted that overall international student enrolment has declined at universities by 2.1% this year compared to last, while the US and UK are reducing barriers and actively marketing to international students. CTV News (National)

BrandonU launches education program to meet need for vocational, rural teachers

Brandon University has launched a Technical/Vocational Bachelor of Education program that will allow teachers who have completed Red River College’s Technical Vocational Teacher Education diploma to earn a Bachelor of Education. Graduates of the BEd program will be fully certified to teach within Manitoba’s K-12 school system. “This new program will expand the number of teachers available in high-demand subject areas like math and science in a shortened length of time,” said Wayne Ewasko, MB Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration. “By providing technical vocational instructors with the tools and additional training to become certified teachers we are ensuring that regional demands and needs are met.” The program is designed to be taken part-time to allow students to continue to work while they study. BrandonU (MB)

EV skills training expanded to Okanagan, CNC, Camosun

Okanagan College, College of New Caledonia, and Camosun College will now be able to offer EV Maintenance training, thanks to new funding and a partnership with Trades Training BC. “We’re supporting the growing popularity of EVs by helping auto technicians develop the skills they need to work on EVs in service centres across B.C.,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “The expansion of the EV Maintenance Training program will help grow our EV sector and make it even easier for British Columbians to make the switch to an EV, putting us on the road to a cleaner, better future.” The program was originally launched at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in 2019, and the Government of British Columbia is providing $440K to expand the program at the three colleges. BC (BC)

WLU develops path for SCMP professional designation

Wilfrid Laurier University and Supply Chain Management Association Ontario have entered into an agreement that will provide students in WLU’s Master of Supply Chain Management program with the opportunity to earn a Certified Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP) designation. "The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how critical well-functioning supply chains are to our way of life,” said WLU President Deborah MacLatchy. “Having future-ready managers who can design and implement these complex and interconnected systems is vital to the wellbeing of our communities and economy.” WLU (ON)

CBU announces in-person classes, Holland College to have in-person graduations

Cape Breton University has announced that it will have in-person classes this upcoming spring semester. Students will be able to access classes through four different delivery models: In-person; online at a scheduled time; online anytime; and a mixed delivery where some students will stream classes online while classmates attend in-person. “We are hearing a lot from our students that they want to come back to campus,” said Tanya Brann-Barrett, CBU AVP academic and research. “And we’re hearing that not just at CBU, it’s a message that we’re hearing from university campuses across the country.” Holland College has also announced that it is planning to hold in-person graduations in May and June, with students grouped in 50-person cohorts and no guests allowed. CBU | Holland College (PE | NS)

ON institutions experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks in residences

Ontario postsecondary institutions are reporting COVID-19 outbreaks within student residences. Brock University is has reported 22 cases of COVID-19 within their student residences, which have been linked to social gatherings. Western University has reported outbreaks in its residences that are related to student gatherings, with 11 cases at Saugeen-Maitland Hall and 11 at Ontario Hall and variants of concern reported within the outbreaks. The University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier Universities are each experiencing residence outbreaks that are reportedly related to a series of gatherings that UWaterloo and WLU students attended. CHCH (Brock) | Global News (Western) | Global News (UWaterloo and WLU) (ON)

Trent launches new Cleantech initiative, partners on long-term care housing

Trent University has announced two major initiatives recently: a new Cleantech Innovation Portal announced by Trent’s Cleantech Commons, and a long-term care housing build. The Cleantech Innovation Portal will support pandemic economic recovery for cleantech ventures by providing opportunities, creating a virtual marketplace, accelerating the impact of innovation, and connecting companies with customers and investors. Trent has also partnered with peopleCare Communities to establish a 224-bed long-term care home that will address the region’s needs and provide new opportunities for students. “Through this groundbreaking intergenerational project,” explained Trent President Dr Leo Groarke, “we will co-design a long-term care home that will improve the lives of local seniors at the same time that it advances student life and learning.” Trent (Cleantech) | Trent (peopleCare) | Global News (ON)