Top Ten

November 11, 2021

Institutions honour Remembrance Day through initiatives, events, projects

Postsecondary institutions across Canada are honouring Remembrance Day this year through initiatives, events, and projects. Fanshawe College students and professors teamed together to start the Poppy Project, which creates sustainable poppies infused with poppy seeds that can be planted in the garden after Remembrance Day. John Abbott College held a ceremony last week at Memorial Field to pay tribute to those who served and to recognize veterans. UWindsor is holding a Remembrance Day ceremony that will include readings and performances of In Flanders Field and The Last Post and Reveille. The University of Alberta held a virtual event on November 10th in which retired Canadian Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire spoke about moral courage and leadership. Kwantlen Polytechnic University history students created biographical videos of Canadian veterans for the public to view as part of the “KPU Remembers” project. The University of Toronto will hold its annual service to honour the alumni, students, faculty, and staff who fell in the First and Second World Wars. MSN (John Abbot) | CBC (Fanshawe) | UWindsor | The Gateway (UAlberta) | U of T | Surrey Now-Leader (KPU) (National)

ON invests $48M in work at research institutes, universities

The Government of Ontario has announced a $48M investment over two years to support ground-breaking work at research institutes and universities in ON. The investment includes $12M for Advanced Research Computing (ARC) facilities at 13 research institutions, as well as $12M for SNOLAB, an underground science laboratory. “Research, innovation, intellectual property management and commercialization are key drivers to attract and retain the brightest minds and enhance our economic competitiveness around the globe,” said ON Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli. ON (ON)

Cégep de Baie-Comeau launches pathway for Indigenous youth to transition to postsecondary studies

Cégep de Baie-Comeau has announced that it is launching the Cheminement Tremplin DEC – Première Nations pathway in collaboration with the Conseil des Innus de Pessamit. The pathway will help Indigenous youth from Pessamit or other communities transition from high school to college studies. Through the program, students can complete the last few units of their high school studies while gradually beginning to take classes at the college. Cégep de Baie-Comeau and Centre régional d’éducation des adultes will create a common timetable for students, and students will be offered activities and resources to help them succeed and encourage them to choose an area of postsecondary study and pursue it. Le Manic | Cégep de Baie-Comeau (QC)

Selkirk celebrates opening of new childcare centre on Silver King Campus

Selkirk College has officially opened a new childcare centre on its Silver King Campus which is run by Kootenay Kids Society. The centre, which received $1.2M from the Government of British Columbia and $300K from Columbia Basin Trust, provides 24 childcare spaces. Eight of these have been set aside for Selkirk students, while the rest will be available to the general community through the Kootenay Kids Society. “Selkirk College’s fundamental mission is accessible, affordable post-secondary education and this addition to the Silver King Campus is an important piece,” said Selkirk President Angus Graeme. “With more availability of licensed child care, parents who face barriers to access now have additional options.” Selkirk | Nelson (BC)

Keyano president discusses challenges of leading college through adapting, planning for future

In a piece from Fort McMurray Today, Keyano College’s new President Jatinder “Jay” Notay reflects on the challenges of his position at Keyano. Notay discusses the way that Keyano must adapt by examining its strengths and weaknesses and creating a plan for the future. Notay also notes the necessity of repairing relationships with the community and rebuilding trust with staff after mismanagement and bullying by the last president. “We want to grow, we want to bring in new types of programming, we want to meet the labour market needs of our community and look five to 10 years down the road,” said Notay, who discussed adapting to address the decline in government funding. Notay also discussed plans to expand outreach to Indigenous students and recruiting efforts to international students. Fort McMurray Today (AB)

Western faculties develop pathway to increase education students with mathematics specialization

Western University’s Faculty of Science’s School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences and its Faculty of Education have signed an agreement that will allow students in fields such as math and statistics to receive guaranteed admission into Western’s Bachelor of Education (BEd program). Students in mathematics, actuarial science, financial modeling, data science, and statistics will be accepted into Western’s intermediate/senior teaching stream with the goal of increasing graduates who are prepared to specialize in teaching mathematics. “We know that there is an enduring shortage of mathematics teachers and this pathway invites our exceptional mathematics and statistical sciences students to continue their academic preparation at Western,” said Western Education dean Donna Kotsopoulos. Western (ON)

MRU, AWS partner to offer AWS re/Start program

Mount Royal University’s Faculty of Continuing Education and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have partnered to offer AWS re/Start through support from the Calgary Economic Development’s EDGE UP 2.0 program. Students in the 12-week AWS re/Start program will be prepared for entry-level jobs in cloud computing. The program is offered at no cost and focuses on providing training to un- or underemployed individuals from the oil and gas sector or a related sector. Participants will learn about topics such as cloud operations, site reliability, and infrastructure support through scenario-based learning, hands-on labs, and coursework. “The AWS re/Start training program is an innovative way to meet labour demands by providing an opportunity for job-specific training that supports displaced workers,” said MRU Interim Provost and VP, Academic Elizabeth Evans. MRU | Calgary Herald (AB)

ULaval clarifies after Baffinland Iron Mines states research statement is tied to approval of mine

Université Laval has issued a clarification after a poster published by Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation stated that, if the phase two expansion of the Mary River Mine is not approved by the Nunavut Impact Review Board, ULaval’s Pond Inlet Research Station would not be built. The poster that circulated read that saying no to phase two of the mine would mean “’No’ to a Pond Inlet Research Station in Partnership with Université Laval.” Gilles Gauthier, scientific director for the centre of northern studies at Université Laval, said the mine’s future would not affect the research station plans. “For Inuit who need to make an important decision … [on phase two] I wanted to make clear that they can make this decision independently of this research station,” said Gauthier. CBC (QC)

UManitoba nursing faculty concerned that low salaries will affect nursing instructor recruitment

Academics from the University of Manitoba Faculty Association have raised concerns over how low wages and overwork affect those teaching future nurses. “Nursing instructors and assistant professors make less [than] the nurses that we graduate,” said UManitoba nursing instructor Katie de Leon. “The faculty that are on the line right now are not here just for their salary. They’re here because they’re thinking long term: how do we recruit talented faculty if we can’t pay them more than the graduates that they’re teaching?” The Winnipeg Free Press says that staffing issues are expected to worsen since the Government of Manitoba has mandated a nursing program expansion, and reports that the strike may also delay this spring’s nursing student graduations. CBC | Winnipeg Free Press (MB)

Training PhD students, faculty in teaching methods can increase quality of education: Opinion

PhD students should have teaching strategies and online instructional methods incorporated into their programs in order to be prepared to teach after graduation, write Judith Altschuler Cahn, James R Stellar, and Suzanne Brooks. Cahn, Stellar, and Brooks say that online learning has become increasingly popular, but the pandemic switch highlighted the issues with current teaching methods. The authors argue that PhD students need to be trained in how to teach online, and recommend that doctoral programs include one or two courses on teaching and learning. They add that doctoral students and university faculty need to receive dedicated training in online instructional methods. They recommend that onboarding programs include student learning-focused skills development, and encourage the addition of professional development to tenure packages to help faculty develop their skills for different teaching environments. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)