Top Ten

September 21, 2021

AB postsecondary institutions adjust to public health measures to continue in-person classes

Postsecondary institutions in Alberta have adjusted to new public health measures with new rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19 so that students can return to in-person classes. The Calgary Herald reports that Mount Royal University, SAIT, and Medicine Hat College will be participating in the restrictions exemption program (REP), while the University of Calgary has announced that it will only allow vaccinated people on campus starting in 2022. Red Deer Polytechnic has announced that it will be implementing a vaccine requirement program for students and employees. Calgary Herald | Chat News Today | rdnewsNOW (AB)

CNC opens Nahoonai-a student housing facility

The College of New Caledonia has opened the new Nahoonai-a student housing facility at its Prince George campus. The building is fully furnished, and includes 12 units as well as a suite for an elder who can provide mentorship and act as an advisor to students. Students will have access to a shared kitchen, living area, washrooms, and laundry facility. The name, which was chosen by Lheidli T'enneh Chief Dolleen Logan, means “to find” or “to rediscover.” “Our Nation is also honoured to have been part of the design and naming process for the new complex,” said Logan. “CNC recognizes the value in working with its First Nations partners and we salute CNC for taking this approach.” Prince George Citizen (BC)

Fanshawe’s Sexual Violence Prevention team, Student Union host “Take Back Our Campus” event

Fanshawe College’s Sexual Violence Prevention team and Student Union hosted a “Take Back Our Campus” event on Monday to rally against threatening and sexually violent posts made anonymously online. Staff and students were invited to participate in the rally, which included sign-making, a campus march, speakers, and pizza and drinks. “We know this is short notice,” said Fanshawe in a Facebook post, “but it is important to come together during a time like this to show that we are stronger together, we won’t tolerate any form of sexual violence, and that we believe and support survivors.” Global News | CTV News (ON)

Montreal public health asks postsecondary administrations to temporarily assist with contact tracing

Montreal public health has asked postsecondary administrations in the city to assist with COVID-19 contact tracing as a temporary measure while Montreal public health hires and trains contact tracers. Montreal public health spokesperson Eric Forest explained that they will be hiring more investigators “in order to be more efficient in responding to the demands of educational settings.” In the meantime, postsecondary administrators will be identifying low-risk contacts and asking them to monitor their symptoms for 14 days. “We are confident that the expertise jointly developed by our two networks will again be able to make a difference to control transmission in educational settings while allowing students to experience a face-to-face school year,” said Montreal Public Health Director Dr Mylène Drouin in a letter. CBC (QC)

UoGuelph, Guelph Police issue safety warning after students report contaminated drinks

The University of Guelph and the Guelph Police have issued safety warnings after at least four students reported having their drinks contaminated with an unknown substance. The complaints were related to a house party in September and a small on-campus gathering in August. Police said that there were no reports of assaults or physical injuries, but reminded students to be “cautious and aware of their surroundings” and provided safety tips to help students keep safe. The incidents are still under investigation. UoGuelph | CBC (ON)

Providing training to postsecondary leadership: Opinion

Those in postsecondary leadership often could benefit from leadership training, writes Rob Jenkins, who describes three ways that leaders can acquire the training. Jenkins says that off-site training provides high-quality training for attendees, but institutions may be unwilling to invest in this high-cost option. A second option is hiring experts to provide in-house training, which would allow for all leadership members to be trained together, allow administrators to benefit from each other’s experiences, and enable the inclusion of those looking to move to administrative positions. The third option Jenkins outlines is to have experts from your own institution give training. Alternatively, institutions can offer a combination of the three to ensure training needs are met. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (Editorial)

With registrations in education programs declining, ULaval announces master’s program to train teachers

Registrations in certain education programs at Université Laval have been trending downward while schools are experiencing a shortage of teachers, reports Journal de Montréal. While there is a need for primary English and music teachers and secondary math and French teachers, registrations in these programs are at the lowest they have been in six years. ULaval educational sciences faculty dean Fernand Gervais explained that attracting students to these paths is a longstanding issue. To address the problem, ULaval will be creating new master’s degree programs that will qualify those with a bachelor’s degree in select programs to teach secondary or primary school. Gervais said that the earliest the program could be implemented would be the beginning of the 2023 school year. Journal de Montréal (QC)

UWindsor to offer online MSWwp program

The University of Windsor has announced that its Master of Social Work for Working Professionals program will be offered in an online format starting in Fall 2022. The program, which is designed to allow students to continue to work while completing their education, includes classes students must attend online, as well as one or two field placements in Ontario. “In the past, we’ve had students that travelled for several hours — in all sorts of weather — to attend classes on campus,” said Tracy Beemer, program administrator for recruitment with the MSWwp program. “With this new format, we can expand our program to include students in remote communities across the province, while at the same time removing some of the stress of having to commute to campus.” UWindsor (ON)

UAlberta athletics teams, organizations partner to create maskêkosihk Hub for Sport and Well-being

The University of Alberta’s Golden Bears and Pandas cross-country running teams, Ever Active Schools, and Kitaskinaw Education Authority have partnered to create the maskêkosihk Hub for Sport and Well-being. The hub will provide Indigenous youth with culture camps, coaching and sport opportunities, and mentoring opportunities from UAlberta athletes. The partnership aims to give Indigenous youth the opportunity to imagine their futures differently, earn high school credits, and participate in sports and wellness. “We’re trying to create partnerships to think about movement and physical wellness and mental wellness in such different ways,” said Sean Lessard, UAlberta professor and advocate for Enoch Cree Nation youth. “And what better way than to partner with somebody like the University of Alberta so our kids could see themselves eventually in other places, too.” CBC (AB)

Lakehead, KPDSB sign MOU to help students facing barriers to postsecondary education

Lakehead University and Keewatin-Patricia District School Board have signed a MOU that will help students from Sioux Mountain Public School to work towards university education. The collaboration will allow students facing barriers to postsecondary education to enroll in Lakehead’s Achievement Program from Grade 4 to Grade 12. Students in the program earn financial support for future education at Lakehead through completing on-campus programming and meeting certain criteria. Lakehead will provide students with opportunities such as campus and career exploration days, visits from Lakehead staff, and mentorship. “The Achievement Program gives young people who normally face barriers to postsecondary education the opportunity to realize their dreams,” said Lakehead President Dr Moira McPherson. “This program encourages students to see themselves as Lakehead University graduates at an early age by removing those barriers.” Lakehead (ON)