Top Ten

September 27, 2022

Aurora releases $500M facilities plan to transform into polytechnic university

Aurora College’s transformation team has released a $500M facilities plan as part of the process to change the institution into a polytechnic university. The new Yellowknife campus is estimated to cost $364.6M. The plans for the campus include student and temporary housing, a new student services facility, and a pedestrian-friendly layout that incorporates the natural setting. The Thebacha Campus will remain the institution’s administrative centre and will undergo additions that are estimated at $96.9M. These additions include new student residences and temporary housing and a heavy equipment garage. The plan for the Inuvik campus includes $60M in additions that include new family housing and a student services and amenity building. Preliminary plans for the development of community learning centres are also in place. CBC | NWT (NWT)

UBC launches $3B fundraising, alumni engagement initiative: FORWARD

The University of British Columbia has launched a $3B fundraising and alumni engagement initiative called FORWARD. The campaign will focus on raising funds to support students and researchers at UBC and UBC Okanagan, as well as enhancing alumni engagement through giving, volunteering, and other initiatives to accelerate the university’s impact in advancing healthy lives, creating solutions for the planet, and shaping thriving societies. “Across the globe, the call for progressive and collaborative solutions to pressing real-world problems is clearer and more urgent than ever,” said Chair of the UBC Board of Governors Nancy McKenzie. “Universities have a powerful responsibility to help move society forward and UBC is uniquely positioned to shape our shared future.” UBC (BC)

NAIT, SAIT, Portage to expand apprenticeship seats thanks to $15M from AB

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, and Portage College have expanded the number of available apprenticeship seats through new Alberta at Work funding. The Government of Alberta is investing $15M in the expansion over three years. The funding will create 300 new apprenticeship seats in areas such as plumbing and gasfitting that align with AB’s priority sectors, as well as increasing the available hands-on learning and mentorship opportunities. “Skilled tradespeople are integral to our province, our economy and our communities,” said NAIT Dean of the School of Skilled Trades Matt Lindberg. “This funding will allow more training opportunities provincewide, which in turn will produce more job-ready, skilled tradespeople who will contribute to the communities of Alberta and beyond.” AB | NAIT (AB)

Northern unveils $2M Innovation Hub in Timmins

Northern College has unveiled a new Innovation Hub at its Timmins campus. The $2M facility includes an alternate energy lab that will provide students with the space to work with solar, wind, and geothermal power and hydrogen fuel cells. The hub has a 3D printing lab; welding and machine shops that feature cutting-edge technology and legacy machinery; and labs for manufacturing, prototyping, virtual reality, and mining exploration. “As a college, Northern has the applied learning environment and technical expertise to bring ideas to life,” said Northern President Audrey Penner. “When the industry has a problem, we want to be there to help them solve it. This space will help us do exactly that.” CTV News | Timmins Today | Timmins Press (ON)

RRC Polytech signs Indigenous Education Protocol

Red River College Polytechnic has signed the Indigenous Education Protocol to begin Truth and Reconciliation Week. By joining the protocol, RRC Polytech has committed to a variety of actions, including prioritizing Indigenous education, establishing Indigenous-centred holistic services, and implementing Indigenous traditions in the polytechnic’s curriculum and learning approaches. “We have dedicated ourselves to reconciling a broken trust in our education system and recognize that advancing Indigenous achievement requires organizations to listen, embrace new ways of learning and work together to prompt meaningful change,” said RRC Polytech President Fred Meier. RRC (MB)

Postsecondary institutions show renewed interest in Indigenous-focused courses

Postsecondary institutions across Canada have launched a variety of Indigenous-focused courses that incorporate Indigenous perspectives into curriculum, writes Jessica Wong of CBC. David Varis, a member of Peguis First Nation and an assistant professor in UPEI's new faculty of Indigenous knowledge, education, research and applied studies noted that “there seems to be a renewed interest in advancing the calls to action” from institutions that may not have historically seen much change. Wong highlights new courses and programs such as the University of Prince Edward Island’s mandatory Indigenous teachings course; the University of Ottawa’s two French-language Indigenous law certificates that focus on making law appealing to Indigenous students; and the University of Victoria’s planned MBA in Indigenous Reconciliation, which would follow on its joint degree program in Indigenous and non-Indigenous law. CBC (National)

New collective agreement signed between OPSEU, CEC

The labour negotiations between Ontario Public Service Employees Union’s (OPSEU) college faculty division and the College Employer Council (CEC) have come to a close after 15 months of negotiations with the signing of a new collective agreement. A new agreement will be in place until the end of September 2024. Changes include commitments to EDI, a 1% wage and benefits increase, inclusion of “chosen family” in bereavement leave, and changes to priority for partial-load employees. “This agreement puts us on a clear path to improving the working conditions of Ontario College faculty and the learning conditions of Ontario College students,” said OPSEU President JP Hornick. Newswire | OPSEU (Agreement) | Conestoga (ON)

Recommendations for recruiting minority students: Editorial

In an Inside Higher Ed article, Scott Jaschik shares a collection of best practices and tips for recruiting minority students that were shared by educators at a recent event. Jaschik first highlights barriers to minority student recruitment such as lack of funding, lack of information on colleges, lack of program information in non-English languages targeted towards student families, oversimplification of minority student contexts, and implicit bias in recommendation letters. Solutions to these problems included providing financial aid, providing parents with funded "fly-in" programs so they can visit campus, and providing an opportunity for students to talk to other minority students at prospective colleges. Jaschik shares strategies for reducing implicit bias in recommendation letters, such as implementing audits and peer review. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

CNC provides free menstrual products to students

The College of New Caledonia has set up free menstrual product dispensers in female and gender-neutral washrooms across all of its campuses. The initiative was developed from a College of New Caledonia Students Association proposal through discussions with college leadership. The college leaders endorsed the proposal and CNC's Board of Directors approved the budget for the plan. "We want to ensure students have a positive experience at the college, and our on-going work between CNC leadership and CNCSU representatives highlighted the importance of this project," said CNC vice president of student affairs Shelley Carter-Rose. My Cariboo Now | CNC (BC)

OCAD U partners with Toronto International Festival of Authors, puts students’ work on display

OCAD University has partnered with the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA). Through the partnership, TIFA will host a holographic display called Poetic Projections where student writers perform their works. Visitors can pick up original pieces of writing as part of a fundraiser for the Creative Writing program’s journal. TIFA is also presenting a screening of OCAD Faculty of Arts & Science Instructor Ian Keteku's mini-series Dreams in Vantablack, which features 12 Black youth poets, some of whom are from the Creative Writing program. "We are thrilled to see our students shine, bringing their words to life both on and off the page in what is a unique and dynamic festival environment,” said OCAD U Chair of Creative Writing Catherine Black. OCAD U (ON)