Top Ten

September 17, 2021

BCCAT releases new report on students’ motivations for credit accumulation

BCCAT has released a new report produced by Academica Group: Exploring students’ motivations for credit accumulation. The report builds on previous quantitative BCCAT research with new qualitative research in order to better understand why students collect more credits than necessary for their credentials. The research found that student generally accumulated extra credits for individual-level motivations, such as curiosity and skills development, or for systemic issues such as transfer inefficiencies or course scheduling. 80% of students who accumulated extra credits anticipated that the competencies gained in the courses would help them in their careers. BCCAT (BC)

ON strengthens sexual assault reporting policies at postsecondary institutions

The Government of Ontario has announced that it is making changes to strengthen sexual assault reporting policies at postsecondary institutions. Institutions must make their amendments by March 2022, which will include the improvement of reporting policies and procedures so that students who come forward will not be asked irrelevant questions and will not be disciplined for violations of institutional policies related to drug and alcohol use at the time of the assault. “[W]e know that too often women wrestle with the decision to report a sexual assault, that the investigative and legal processes can prove to be as traumatic as the assault itself,” said ON Minister of Colleges and Universities Jill Dunlop. “We will keep the investigative focus on the assault ... not on irrelevant aspects.” The Star | ON (ON)

ACC, BrandonU, Campus Manitoba collaborate to launch Indigenization foundation guide

Assiniboine Community College, Brandon University, and Campus Manitoba have collaborated to launch an Indigenization foundation guide called the Pulling Together Foundations Manitoba Foundations Guide (Brandon Edition). The guide, which was originally created in British Columbia, is regionally specific and will give those living in the prairie more information to help them understand Canada’s colonial legacy. “This guide is an excellent resource for educators and for anyone who wants an introduction to the Indigenous Peoples in our area, as well as the history and effects of colonialism and steps that we can take to decolonize,” said Chris Lagimodiere, Director, Indigenous Peoples’ Centre and Aboriginal Initiatives at BrandonU. BrandonU | ACC (MB)

AB postsecondary institutions cancel classes in response to new COVID-19 restrictions

Some postsecondary institutions in Alberta have cancelled classes for the remainder of the week in response to the Government of Alberta’s declaration of a state of emergency and new COVID-19 restrictions. The University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, the University of Alberta, and Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, are cancelling in-person classes for the rest of the week, while online classes will continue. SAITis closing its campuses for the remainder of the week, and Medicine Hat College has cancelled both online and in-person classes. The institutions will be assessing how the new safety measures can be implemented in postsecondary environments. CBC | MHC | NAIT (AB)

Carleton receives $2.5M endowment for Indigenous support

The Joyce Family Foundation has provided a $2.5M endowment to provide supports for Indigenous students at Carleton University. Carleton will be matching the funds with $2.5M to provide support for Indigenous initiatives. The funding will support Indigenous students through bursaries, mentorship, Indigenous programming, student recruitment, and the creation of an environment that supports Indigenous student success. “Indigenous students deserve learning opportunities steeped in Indigenous cultural and philosophical traditions, while being wrapped in a blanket of community support,” said Benny Michaud, director of Carleton’s Centre for Indigenous Initiatives. “This is what the Indigenous Enriched Support Program provides and why this endowment is so significant.” Carleton (ON)

UNBC launches Northern Baccalaureate Nursing Program

The University of Northern British Columbia has announced that it is launching a Northern Baccalaureate Nursing Program to provide people living in the North with local health care. The two-year bachelor of science program will be housed at UNBC’s space at Northern Lights College’s campus. It will be delivered in five consecutive semesters, and will include in-person instruction, online components, and clinical practicums in a variety of settings. “In the North, people deserve access to the high-quality, local care that the Northern Baccalaureate Nursing Program will provide in its graduates,” said BC Minister of Health Adrian Dix. “When students receive the best training on how to deliver care in northeastern communities, the people living in them will benefit from having access to health-care workers who understand their specific needs.” BC (BC )

Instructors in STEM subjects should ensure their teaching is inclusive: Opinion

While STEM subjects seem objective in nature, faculty members should be aware of structural racism that may make their pedagogy less inclusive, writes José Antonio Bowen. Bowen notes that some instructors’ teaching methods can lead to some groups of students experiencing higher failure rates. Instructors are encouraged to evaluate their teaching to ensure that they include genuine care for students, provide clarity on what constitutes “good” work, ensure textbook affordability, and engage students in their feedback and real-world examples. “We need to look harder at the results and how our systems -- placement tests and pedagogy -- are contributing to unequal outcomes,” writes Bowen. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

UQAM announces redesign of baccalaureate in psychology program

The Université du Québec à Montréal has announced that it has redesigned its baccalaureate in psychology program. The program will offer students more hands-on lessons as well as a more flexible and personalized path. Students will be able to choose from a regular thesis path or a path that leads toward applied psychology. The redesign features 16 new courses, including courses on positive psychology, end-of-life and bereavement psychology, and human-animal relationships. Students in the program will be able to specialize in one of nine fields of specialization: including cognitive behavioral approach; community psychology; developmental psychology; and educational psychology. UQAM (QC)

TRU hopes to build modular student housing to address student need

CFJC Today reports that Thompson Rivers University is hoping to build modular student housing to address the need for housing for international students. TRU and the City of Kamloops have been working together to fast-track a building permit that would allow TRU to build a $2.5M temporary student housing “village” in a university parking lot that would accommodate 152 students. The village would have four separate buildings, and students could move in within two weeks of its construction. The new residences would provide a space for those who are currently living in temporary locations such as motels. CFJC Today (BC)

Students at Western plan walkout to protest “culture of misogyny,” call for change

Students at Western University are planning a walkout today to protest what they are calling a “culture of misogyny.” The walkout will see students leaving their classes at noon to walk around the campus and hear from survivors of sexual assault. Hayden Van Neck, a Western student and event organizer, said that Western has a “culture of misogyny, and homophobia, that are the underlying issues on campus that allow events like [the recent violence] to happen.” The walkout organizers are making demands of Western to implement mandatory sexual violence education and training, create a clearer sexual assault reporting mechanism, and provide supports for students going through the process. The Star | Daily Hive | The Sudbury Star (ON)