Top Ten

April 29, 2021

Durham receives $5M donation for The Barrett Centre

Durham College has announced that it has received $5M over the next five years to support the development of The Barrett Centre of Innovation in Sustainable Urban Agriculture (The Barrett Centre). The Barrett Centre will include an urban farm within the community that will replicate the farm at the Whitby campus, and will address issues such as food insecurity, stability of fresh food supplies and the economy, and land regeneration. “In establishing the new community farm we will refine and enhance the current model while also scaling up more broadly to support the local, regional and national urban environments,” said Durham President Don Lovisa. The donation was provided by The Barrett Family Foundation. Durham (1) | Durham (2) (ON)

MacEwan to offer new BFA program

MacEwan University has announced that it will be offering a Bachelor of Fine Arts. The program features four majors: Arts and Cultural Management, Musical Theatre Performance, Studio Arts, and Theatre Production. Students in the program will learn at Allard Hall, which is close to Edmonton’s downtown theatres, galleries, concert halls, and more. “A Bachelor of Fine Arts gives students room to learn, to share knowledge and to take their careers in many different directions,” said MacEwan’s Provost & VP, Academic Dr Craig Monk. “It will prepare MacEwan students to contribute to diverse teams while working in the arts and beyond. It will allow them to develop the skills to be responsive to that with which the world confronts them.” MacEwan (AB)

Using better language to describe skills, credentials in academic programs: Opinion

The language used to describe program qualities such as skills, credentials, and professional entry points can be misleading, writes Debra Humphreys. The author explains that “skills based” programs such as the trades and nursing are often contrasted with those that are not considered “skills based.” However, degree programs that span a wide variety of fields can also help students build skills, including those related to thinking, reasoning, and communication. The author explains that two reforms are needed: shorter-term credentials must be made more widely available to create pathways to good jobs and institutions need to design four-year traditional degree programs to include both practical and intellectual skills. “We need new words and images, a new language that can help us build a reform agenda that avoids these false dichotomies,” writes Humphreys. Inside Higher Ed (International)

ON university applications increase for Fall 2021 semester

CBC reports that university applications for Ontario universities have increased for the Fall 2021 semester. The article says that while over 479,000 students have applied from secondary school, over 222,000 mature students, transfers, and international students have also applied. The high number of applications from the non-direct group is potentially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We don’t know if that’s because there’s more people out of work because of COVID and they’re deciding, ‘Well, if I can’t get a job, I might as well go and upgrade my skills and a degree,’” said Heather Lane, executive director of the Ontario University Application Centre. CBC (ON)

Camosun celebrates 50-year anniversary with events, new seal

Camosun College is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Camosun has announced that it will be holding a variety of virtual and in-person events to mark the occasion, as well as introducing its first official institutional seal for use on certificates, diplomas, and degrees. The Seal reflects a logo designed by Coast Salish artist and alumnus Dylan Thomas, and will be embossed in gold on Camosun’s parchments. “For five decades Camosun has helped open doors for thousands of students,” says Camosun President Sherri Bell. “I’m proud to say that Camosun has always been a community, a family. We are known for our caring, inclusive learning environments. We continue to focus on delivering relevant, applied, life-changing education for our students and community.” Camosun | Camosun (Seal) (BC)

ON announces support for internships in intellectual property expertise

The Government of Ontario has announced that it will be providing support for almost 900 internships for postsecondary students in order to strengthen intellectual property expertise. The internships will be offered through Mitacs and will have an initial target of 100 spaces within the intellectual property stream. Students will gain real-world experience through the opportunities while helping businesses, start-ups, and new entrepreneurial companies protect their intellectual property. “Helping innovators build in-house capacity, knowledge and expertise will allow businesses to unlock the value of made-in-Ontario intellectual property, contributing to Ontario’s economic recovery, resiliency and growth,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. The support is part of ON’s larger $39.5 investment in internships and upskilling opportunities. ON (ON)

Portage cuts three programs, lays off staff members

Portage College has cut programs and laid off staff members in response to a provincial budget cut that has reduced its Campus Alberta Grant by 4.2%. Three programs will not be continuing: the Heavy Equipment Operator and the Pre-Employment Heavy Equipment Technician programs, as well as the previously-suspended Accounting Technician program. “Despite what might seem like small numbers compared to others in the news, these are tough times for the College,” said Portage President Nancy Broadbent. “As a small institution we are closely connected to our colleagues and as such releasing people from their jobs is a difficult decision.” MyLakelandNow reports that Portage will consider partnering with another institution if there is future demand for the programs. MyLakelandNow (AB)

NB nurse practitioner students struggle to find employment

CBC reports that students who will soon graduate from the University of New Brunswick Fredericton’s nurse practitioner program are having issues getting hired by Horizon Health, despite NB’s desperate need for nurse practitioners. CBC explains that while other provinces are attempting to recruit students from the class there is a disconnect in NB between health authorities and the government. Health Minister Dorothy Shephard has said that there were positions she would “hire them [for] today,” but students report that they have not been contacted about their applications. “From February until now, we have all, as a class of seven, repeatedly sent our resumés not just to the general application pool, but for specific job postings, and just no contact whatsoever,” said nurse practitioner student Natasha Stephen. CBC (NB)

Redeemer launches new BBA, closes programs

Redeemer University has announced a number of changes to its programming, including the launch of a bachelor of business administration (BBA) program and the closure or restructuring of other programs. Students in Redeemer’s BBA program will complete the interdisciplinary Core Studies program and achieve a business concentration in accounting, management, marketing, or not-for-profit management. Redeemer has hired two new faculty members to teach in the Core studies program, and plans to add new faculty positions in areas of growth such as business, social work, and education. The release also notes that Redeemer has cut its French studies and theatre arts programs due to under-enrolment or decreased enrolment, and in an effort to ensure lower tuition. The move has reportedly resulted in the loss of three faculty positions. Redeemer (ON)

How to encourage students to learn about entrepreneurship: Opinion

Students increasingly have more opportunities to learn about entrepreneurship, writes Anna McKie, and learning about it can be encouraged in a variety of ways. McKie talks to instructors about the benefits of teaching entrepreneurship, particularly in the humanities, arts, and social sciences. The author writes that the programming and the language used to describe entrepreneurial education should be tailored to what an institution thinks students will want to achieve. Additionally, McKie explains that it is important that students are taught skills that will continue to be useful even if they choose not to start a business. THE (Subscription required) (International)