Top Ten

October 12, 2021

UoGuelph, CMHA partner to launch IMPACT program to assist students in distress

The University of Guelph has partnered with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) of Waterloo-Wellington to launch the Integrated Mobile Police and Crisis Team (IMPACT). IMPACT will see a CMHA mental health worker spending four days a week on campus supporting campus safety officers in responding to student calls for help. The mental health worker will be trained to assess people and refer them to the appropriate resources for support. “There is concern and evidence that people may be struggling with their mental health during the pandemic,” said UoGuelph director of student wellness services Alison Burnett. “We want to increase the resources available.” UoGuelph | CBC (ON)

Sask Polytech launches Agriculture and Food Production diploma

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has announced that it has launched the Agriculture and Food Production diploma. Students in the program will be prepared with knowledge and skills in a variety of areas, including farm management, agriculture machinery, agricultural technology, crop production, and livestock production. The program will take three years to complete, and students will complete three cooperative education placements. “Our new Agriculture and Food Production program will produce cross-disciplined graduates, with the skills required to work in Saskatchewan’s diverse agriculture sector,” says Sask Polytech President Dr Larry Rosia. “Agriculture is an important industry in Saskatchewan and directly supports seven per cent of all employment in the province... Sask Polytech is building a curriculum to meet this sector’s continuously evolving educational and training needs.” Sask Polytech (SK)

Student sex workers need institutions to provide relevant, appropriate supports: Editorial

Postsecondary students are increasingly participating in sex work and need their institutions to provide relevant supports, write University of Toronto PhD student Aaron Brown and U of T professor Elizabeth Buckner. Brown and Buckner say that between approximately 2% and 7% of students participate in sex work; international students may be more drawn to it because of high tuition fees and limits on off-campus work, and 2SLGBTQ+ and Indigenous people are over-represented in sex worker communities. The authors say that sex work should be of concern to higher education because students who do sex work are at risk and are more likely to seek support such as counselling. Brown and Buckner encourage student wellness centres to take student sex workers into account when they design and implement services to ensure that supports are relevant and appropriate. The Conversation (Editorial)

USudbury, Kenjgewin announce agreement to ensure provision of Indigenous Studies education

The University of Sudbury and Kenjgewin Teg have signed an agreement to support Kenjgewin in providing high-quality education in Indigenous Studies that is managed by and for Indigenous peoples. Under the agreement, USudbury will transfer the intellectual property of certain Indigenous Studies online courses from USudbury to Kenjgewin; and Kenjgewin will open a campus at USudbury and develop further Indigenous studies programming. “This agreement is a gesture of reconciliation by the University of Sudbury with Indigenous peoples,” said Kenjgewin President Stephanie Roy. “It is a concrete, constructive and bold action that goes beyond symbolic gestures and words and recognizes the legitimacy of our communities to manage our education.” Kenjgewin Teg | CBC (ON)

Concordia receives $2M toward internships, opportunities for Fine Arts students

Concordia University has received a $2M gift from the Doggone Foundation in support of internships for Fine Arts students. The funds will be used to create an additional 40 annual Elspeth McConnell Fine Arts Awards valued at $5K each, and will provide an additional $10K per year to fund the Bill McLennan Northwest Coast Travel Award to support a full-time graduate student who travels to British Columbia to learn about Northwest Coast art-making and Indigenous cultures. “Doggone is a key partner for Concordia in providing paid internships for our students who, in turn, help a variety of arts and cultural organizations thrive,” said Concordia President Graham Carr. The Montreal-based charity provided the gift through the Campaign for Concordia: Next-Gen. Now.. Business Wire (QC)

Algoma, Altitude sign MOU establishing new opportunities for students

Algoma University’s School of Business and Economics and Brampton’s newly launched Altitude Accelerator have signed a MOU that will create new experiential learning opportunities for students. Fourth-year students and Altitude Accelerator company founders will be able to come together and develop innovative products for the future. “We aim to foster and facilitate the growth and development of relationships with our partners while providing our students with real-life learning experiences that will yield innovative business solutions contributing to the region's economic development,” said Algoma President Asima Vezina, “and this is another step forward in supporting these efforts in the Brampton region.” Algoma (ON)

Defining effectiveness, successfulness, and happiness in academia: Opinion

Success in academia is about what an individual accomplishes, write Athabasca University dean of health disciplines Alexander Clark and Baily Sousa, who discuss the complexity of happiness in higher education. The authors argue that those who are doing academic work “should seek to be effective, successful and happy” even though these concepts can be difficult to define. Clark and Sousa say that more work is not always better, and that effectiveness is about using knowledge to generate knowledge. The authors say that success can be narrowly defined, and that those in academia should have explicit ideas of what success looks like for them. Finally, Clark and Sousa note that happiness is a “deep fulfilment and fit, despite the struggles,” and that it is what helps academics continue their work. University Affairs (Editorial)

Georgian launches stand-alone four-year nursing degree

Georgian College has launched a new stand-alone four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. The new program stems from the Government of Ontario’s recent policy change to allow publicly funded colleges and universities to offer baccalaureate degrees in nursing and increase access to nursing education. “Georgian College’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program gives students the option of studying and staying closer to home here in Barrie,” said Andrea Khanjin, MPP for Barrie-Innisfil. “With the demand for nurses at an all-time high, the internationally renowned postsecondary training students get in Ontario is critical to our communities, the economy, and the future of our province.” Georgian | ON (ON )

Using labour market information to promote healthcare, trades to international students

A new article from ApplyBoard discusses how postsecondary institutions can use labour market trends to inform the promotion of programs in areas of shortage to international students. The article explains that Canada is experiencing an increase in job vacancies in healthcare and social assistance industries, as well as in the skilled trades. These industries are projected to continue to have a high demand for the next ten years, and Canada will need immigrant employees in order to prevent critical labour shortages. ApplyBoard says that Canadian institutions that are looking to recruit international students in these areas should consider providing Express Entry PR program information to potential students, include information on labour shortages in marketing materials, and create or increase scholarships for international students who want to study in healthcare or the skilled trades. ApplyBoard (Study)

SFU, CUPE ratify collective agreement for Student Society staff

Simon Fraser University’s Student Society and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) have announced that they have ratified a five-year collective agreement for Student Society staff. The new agreement includes a 2% wage increase over five years and improved access to benefits, and eliminates a two-tier wage structure. “Two-tier wages have no place in the workplace. I want to congratulate our members and thank the Student Society for working with us in addressing this inequity,” said CUPE 3338 president Fiona Brady Lenfesty. “This agreement is a prime example of what collaborative bargaining can yield – concrete improvements for workers.” Business Wire (BC)