Top Ten

July 13, 2022

Canadian unemployment rate drops, UPEISU president argues labour shortages not responsibility of students

The Financial Post reports that the national unemployment rate has dropped to 4.9% in June, the lowest point in Canadian history, due to a decrease in people searching for work. Amid tight labour market conditions, employment has risen among groups who traditionally face under- and unemployment. Certain sectors – such as the retail and wholesale trade sector – are facing declines in employment that are exacerbating labour shortages. In Prince Edward Island, where there is a labour shortage in part-time workers, Saltwire reports that the government has considered decreasing student access to employment insurance (EI) to encourage students to take up part-time jobs. University of Prince Edward Island Student Union president Adam Mackenzie stated that being forced to work during the academic year would negatively affect the academic ability of students, and argued that EI should instead be made more accessible. Financial Post | CIC News | Saltwire (National )

Carleton, ARHT Media partner to deploy hologram technology to support distance learning in the North

Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business and ARHT Media Inc have partnered to deploy a new hologram technology that will be used for distance learning in a Northern community in Yukon. The project will evaluate how effective live hologram technology is in supporting remote instruction and community engagement. It will focus on helping students in the Northern community engage more meaningfully with students and faculty in Ottawa and improving remote instruction. “With ARHT’s live hologram technology, we will assess improvements in engagement and content retention through the use of live holograms,” said Carleton Instructor Troy Anderson. “We will also be investigating other promising uses of the technology that might be of benefit to these communities.” Globe Newswire (ON)

Reducing content to implement active learning can improve long-term performance: Study

In a recent article from The Chronicle of Higher Ed, Beckie Supiano discusses the results of a new study published in PLOS ONE that shows that active learning can help students even if it means reducing the course’s content. The study followed students who had completed biology classes using a traditional lecture format and compared them to students who completed the same course using active learning. Students who had completed the active learning section of the course went on to earn the highest grades in their 200-level biology courses, and study author Bryan Dewsbury recommended that professors reduce content to incorporate more active learning. “If done thoughtfully, and with the aim of centering humanism, the students will be more than fine,” writes Dewsbury. Chronicle of Higher Ed (Acct. Req.) | PLOS One (Editorial)

MtA, NSCC partner on pathway for Social Services graduates

Mount Allison University and Nova Scotia Community College have partnered to create a new pathway for social services students. Starting this Fall, eligible graduates of NSCC’s Social Services Diploma program will be able to enter MtA’s Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Sociology Degree with advanced standing with up to 60 transfer credits. The pathway will allow NSCC graduates to complete a bachelor’s degree with an additional two years of study. “These types of agreements make it easier for students to gain both academic credentials and practical experience,” said MtA Provost and Vice-President, Academic and Research Dr Jeff Hennessy. “We are pleased to enter this new partnership with NSCC and look forward to welcoming students looking to continue their education in sociology.” MtA (NB | NS)

USask to develop new Master’s of Sustainability in Energy Security

The University of Saskatchewan will develop a new master’s degree in Sustainability in Energy Security, thanks to $840K in recent funding from the Government of Canada. The program will provide dedicated training in sustainable community energy development to learners in northern, remote, and Indigenous communities. “Our ongoing collaboration with Indigenous people and industry will train a new generation of interdisciplinary professionals and energy practitioners to transform energy systems and promote sustainable energy patterns in northern, remote and Indigenous communities,” said USask Senior Advisor, Indigenous and External Relations for the School of Environment and Sustainability Gary Merasty. News Wire (SK)

Improving mentorship to avoid harming students: Opinion

Principal Investigators need to improve their mentorship and supports to avoid harming students, writes Emily Heffernan. Heffernan recommends that mentors respect their students’ boundaries by demonstrating healthy work-life balance, listening to students, valuing their goals and identities, and ensuring that graduate student workloads are appropriate so that students do not have to say “no” to their supervisors. The author also writes that mentors should treat their postdocs, lab technicians, and staff members as professionals and should not comment on a worker's appearance unless it involves safety or impacts the representation of their lab. Finally, Heffernan encourages mentors to provide a way for students to give anonymous feedback so that issues can be brought to their attention. Inside Higher Ed (Account Req.) (Editorial)

Royal Roads launches pathway program for Indigenous environmental leaders

Royal Roads University has launched a new online Certificate in Indigenous Environmental Leadership Pathways program that will give Indigenous students the opportunity to launch careers in environmental leadership without having to leave their communities. Indigenous knowledge, values, and worldviews are embedded in the program to teach students to consider more effective responses to environmental issues. The program includes three asynchronous courses and culminates in a final practicum which gives students the opportunity to work directly with an organization addressing environmental issues in their nation or community. Students will receive the support of a supervisor, an academic advisor, grants, and credit transfer options for pursuing further postsecondary education. "It's really designed to serve Indigenous communities in a way that post-secondary education hasn't done before," said Royal Roads professor Leslie King. Royal Roads (BC)

SPU announces program to support IEHP integrating into job market

Saint Paul University's Institute for Transformative Leadership has partnered with the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the National Newcomer Navigation Network (N4) to launch a new program that will help internationally educated health professionals (IEHPs) find work in Canada’s health care sector. The program, titled Fostering Canadian Integration for IEHPs: From Learning to Action, will provide IEHPs with 12 weeks of training focusing on the gaps in non-clinical skills and knowledge that bar IEHPs from the healthcare job market. Participants will also benefit from being involved in a learning community with others who share similar experiences. "SPU is proud to partner once again with N4 on the creation of a program that responds to a real need in our community," said SPU Rector Chantal Beauvais. SPU (ON)

Study shows more must be done to encourage youth to consider the skilled trades

A new study from the 3M State of Science Index suggests that more must be done to encourage young Canadians to consider the trades. The study showed that 96% of Canadians believe that Canada needs more skilled trades workers, but 76% said they would not consider the trades for their own careers. The report recommends removing barriers to gaining training in the skilled trades, ensuring resources reach youth, and helping to change the perceptions of the skilled trades. To raise awareness, 3M has committed to creating five million STEM and skilled trades learning experiences for underrepresented individuals by 2025. News Wire (Editorial)

UoGuelph co-hosts IPCA Knowledge Basket

The Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership (CRP), a network that includes the University of Guelph, ISAAK OLAM Foundation, and the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, has announced a new digital resource called the IPCA Knowledge Basket. The interactive site contains a searchable database of stories and resources related to the creation of Indigenous-led Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs). Site visitors can browse resources and collect them in a “basket,” and are encouraged to contribute their own resources to the collection. “The knowledge basket will continue to grow over time,” said CRP lead Eli Enns, who is a Nuu-chah-nulth expert in biocultural heritage. “It’s designed to be a living resource, a place to bring the best of Indigenous knowledge and Western science and modern technology together to solve problems through a two-eyed seeing approach.” UoGuelph is overseeing the partnership’s research and providing administrative support for the resource. UoGuelph (ON)