Top Ten

September 13, 2021

APIC, Keyano board report finds former president grossly mismanaged funds, employees

CBC reports that a joint investigation conducted by the Alberta Public Interest Commissioner and Keyano College Board of Governors has found that former Keyano President Trent Keough grossly mismanaged senior-level employees, public funds, and the delivery of a public service. CBC says that several Keyano employees made complaints to the board and APIC about Keough’s conduct, which included repeated incidents of bullying or intimidation, creating an “adversarial” relationship with the Government of Alberta, disclosing confidential information, and making financial decisions without appropriate consultation or planning. Keough resigned in May 2020 and the report makes general recommendations for the college to improve its reporting process and conduct through more regular, thorough reviews of senior executives’ performance. “On behalf of the Board of Governors of Keyano College, I would like to thank the Public Interest Commissioner for her thorough and thoughtful investigation,” said Keyano Board Shelley Powell. “We also commend the Keyano College employees who brought these serious allegations forward to both the Board and the Public Interest Commissioner.” APIC Report | CBC | CTV News (AB)

Free to Grow campaign receives new support to bring underrepresented groups into forestry

The Canadian Institute of Forestry and the Centre for Social Intelligence have received over $500K in federal funding to bring more women and under-represented groups into the forestry sector. The funds will allow for the continuation of the Free to Grow project, which was launched in 2018, and enable the initiative to have a greater impact. "We were just over the moon and very excited about this," said CIF Director Mark Pearson. Pearson added that, while it is difficult to track the impact thus far given the short timeframe, “what we have noticed is a significant level of awareness that's happening. Companies are getting engaged in the issue." CBC (National)

BCIT, Canadian Tire partner on automotive apprenticeship training program

The British Columbia Institute of Technology and Canadian Tire have partnered on an automotive apprenticeship training program that will train students to work at Canadian Tire Service Centers. The BCIT Canadian Tire Apprenticeship Training program is a four-year program that will provide apprentices with 32 weeks of training in eight-week intervals. As an incentive, Canadian Tire will cover student tuition, books, and other program costs. Graduates will receive a Diploma of Trades Training from BCIT and become Red Seal-certified automotive service technicians. BCIT states that the program is the first of its kind in BC. BCIT (BC)

CNA, NL secure lease on agricultural land for hands-on learning opportunities

The College of the North Atlantic and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador have collaborated to secure agricultural land to support hands-on learning for students. As part of the pilot project, the parties secured a five-year lease for 40 years on agricultural land. Agriculture Technician (Co-op) students will be able to develop, farm, and sell crops from the land, and Forest Resources Technician students may also benefit by learning how to plan, harvest, and manage timber. “This is how our industry grows:” said NL Premier Andrew Furey, “by providing opportunities for new farmers […] and enabling seasoned farmers to explore innovative ways to expand their operations.” CNA (NL)

AB still reviewing at least 1,500 Alberta Student Aid applications from 2020-21

CBC reports that the Government of Alberta is still reviewing at least 1,500 Alberta Student Aid applications from 2020-21. AB has completed reviewing most of the applications it received, but approximately 1,500 applications are still waiting, potentially due to incomplete data, ineligibility, or contradictory data. “There’s no issues, and funding has been or will be delivered, if it hasn’t been, very shortly,” said AB Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides. CBC says that some students have already completed their programs without the funding that had been promised to them or the institutions they were enrolled at. CBC (AB)

Kingston issues emergency order, new penalties to address student partying

Faced with ongoing street parties in the university area, the City of Kingston has issued a new emergency order and introduced new penalties and controls for unsanctioned parties. The Kingston Whig Standard and CBC report that Kingston Police will be increasing their presence in the university area and immediately issuing fines of $2K for anyone who attends a gathering over the provincial limit of 25 persons indoors or 100 outdoors. Those charged will be publicly identified. “The large street parties that have been occurring in the University District are appalling and downright dangerous in the midst of a pandemic,” said Mayor Bryan Paterson. “Our community is fed up with this disrespectful behaviour that is putting everyone at risk.” CBC | Kingston Whig Standard (ON)

URegina, SCC partner on in-demand skills training

The University of Regina’s Centre for Continuing Education has partnered with the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce (SCC) to deliver non-credit training to SCC members. The training will focus on providing members with in-demand skills training through professional micro-credentials, badges, prep courses, and customized corporate training. “Partnering with the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce is a perfect way to reach out and serve the professional development needs of businesses across the province,” said Dr Christie Schultz, Director for URegina’s Centre for Continuing Education. URegina (SK)

Higher education won’t be “revolutionized” by online learning: Opinion

Higher education is about more than just the transfer of information to students, writes Nick Hillman. The author argues that at many points in history, such as the invention of moving pictures, compact cassettes, and videotapes, people have argued there would be a “revolution” in the traditional model of education. However, this revolution has never come. Even though some have predicted a revolution related to online learning, Hillman says that students are expressing an even stronger demand for in-person education. The author says that in the UK, students have submitted record applications for traditional courses, and seem to be more interested in studying in in-person settings. “[D]on’t bet your house just yet on the claims of all those educational futurologists,” writes Hillman. Times Higher Ed (Editorial)

Anderson, St George’s partner on medical training

Anderson College of Health, Business and Technology and St George’s University in Grenada have announced a partnership that will enable students from Anderson’s Pre-Medical program to study at St George’s Medical School. Anderson students must meet a GPA requirement and complete an interview for provisional acceptance. Once admitted, they are eligible for a $5K scholarship and additional financial aid. “We’re thrilled to partner with St George’s and provide an educational fast-track – our one-year Pre-Medical program paves the way for graduates to access medical school faster,” said Anderson CEO Heather Yang. “Developing strategic partnerships that allow students to access advanced learning and expanded career options is the future of education.” News Wire (ON)

MHC opens new solar classroom on Brooks Campus

Medicine Hat College has celebrated the official opening of a new solar classroom on its Brooks Campus. The classroom, which is located adjacent to the main library, provides the MHC community with an outdoor teaching and learning space. Solar technology is integrated into the environment, which students from MHC’s Built Environment and Engineering Technology program helped to design. “The library is a hub of student activity at the Brooks campus, and MHC’s Library Services envisioned an outdoor teaching and learning space adjacent to the main library that was built harmoniously with the natural environment,” explains Jason Openo, director of teaching and learning at MHC. “Student learning was built into the entire process.” MHC (AB)