Today's Top Ten

July 22, 2016

Study finds ‘alarming’ increase in number of Ontario teens with psychological distress

A 20-year large-scale study has found that one-third of Ontario teenagers have moderate to severe symptoms of psychological distress—an “alarming” jump from one-quarter of students just two years ago, reports the Globe and Mail. Based on responses by 10,426 students from Grades 7 to 12 in 220 schools across the province, the study gauged psychological stress by asking students how often in the past month they had experienced feelings of nervousness, hopelessness, worthlessness, or depression. The study also found that 14% of students qualified as having “serious” psychological distress compared to 10% in 2013. “Whatever is going on—life, social media, poor coping skills or clinical mental illness—needs attention,” says lead researcher Robert Mann. Globe and Mail

Keyano declines $10M for theatre expansion

Keyano College has declined $10M in funding for an expansion to its campus theatre. The funds had initially been offered as a grant by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Interim Keyano President Tracy Edwards noted that she was not in her current position for previous negotiations on the theatre expansion, but explained that the primary cause for declining the funding was the council’s demand that the theatre operate under a new governing council: with 20% representation by the municipality, 20% by Keyano, and 60% by the community. Edwards pointed out that it would be difficult to justify this governance model, considering that Keyano would remain responsible for all of the theatre’s expenses going forward. Fort McMurray Today

Confederation launches summer program showing HS students clear college path

Confederation College is looking to help high school students find a renewed sense of purpose and self-worth by getting themselves back on a clear academic path. Delivered in partnership with Lakehead Public Schools and the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, Confederation’s new Summer CLASS (Centre for Learning and Student Success) program will help over 140 students in grades 10-12 gain a first-hand college experience without missing any of their regular school hours. With support from the School, College, Work Initiative (SCWI), the program also aims to help students gain missing high school credits while building the skills and confidence they need to make committed decisions about going to college. Confederation

OVC to improve companion animal care with $1.5M donation

The University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College has received $1.5M from the Angel Gabriel Foundation to support pre- and post-surgery care for companion animals. The gift will be used to create a sophisticated anesthesia and pain management unit in OVC’s Health Sciences Centre. “The new facilities will help raise the standard of care for pet comfort and safety, with the most advanced anesthesia and medical technology available,” states an OVC release. “It also means our students—the veterinarians of the future—will leave here equipped with the latest knowledge and techniques to help pets live better, healthier lives.” OVC

Three questions that any employer of part-time faculty should ask

“It was as a secretary in a busy English department at a large state university over 30 years ago that I first learned that full-time and part-time faculty occupied different worlds,” writes Maria Shine Stewart for Inside Higher Ed. For this reason, the author poses three questions that any employer of part-time faculty should ask itself: “Are adjunct faculty members treated like professional people? Are they supported in the places on campus where they work? [and] Are they given things they need to do their best?” Stewart concludes by discussing the consequences of responding “no” to any of the three questions posed. Inside Higher Ed

Fleming, TRU form degree pathway partnership for outdoor ed program

Fleming College and Thompson Rivers University have signed an agreement providing a pathway to a degree for students in Fleming’s Outdoor and Adventure Education diploma program. Eligible graduates of the program can apply to enter the third year of TRU’s Adventure Studies in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies program. “Many of our students have been expressing a desire to complete a degree following their diploma studies since the program began just over two years ago,” said Fleming’s Frost Campus Principal Linda Skilton. “This pathway provides the first opportunity for these graduates to do that.” Fleming

BCIT launches new Renewable Energy Electrical Systems Installation Maintenance certificate program

A growing demand for engineers and electricians trained in renewable energy technologies has led the British Columbia Institute of Technology to offer a new advanced certificate in Renewable Energy Electrical Systems Installation and Maintenance. Having reportedly already garnered interest from prospective students, the part-time REESIM program will help established engineers and electricians expand into the growing renewable energy sector. A BCIT release states that program is designed to help working engineers and electricians complete their studies and upgrade their skill through part-time course delivery. BCIT

Should US colleges be need-blind?

It is unclear whether need-blind admissions policies is increasing enrolment diversity in US schools, according to Inside Higher Ed. The report analyzes data from a range of US institutions that have adopted or abandoned need-blind policies in recent years, and finds mixed results. While need-blind policies seem to play a role in drawing diverse applicants and bolstering fundraising, dropping such policies does not necessarily harm diversity figures. The “need blind” label still matters, the article says, but according to college officials, the overarching policy may not be as important as how admissions strategies are carried out in reality. Inside Higher Ed

The difficulty of gaining respect in an academy lacking diversity

“After being in higher education for five years, I was so sure it was my age that led some colleagues to not take me seriously and others to see me as an amateur in need of Socrates-level mentoring,” writes Dhipinder Walia in the Chronicle of Higher Education. But the truth, the author adds, is that this focus on age is only the symptom of “larger issues of underrepresentation and misogyny in higher education.” Walia reflects on moments in her career when she was dismissed or disrespected not only as someone who is young, but as someone who is a first-generation Punjabi-American woman. The author concludes that the only way for the academy to move forward is to admit that it has a diversity problem and to take more meaningful steps to addressing it. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Dal team to investigate financial, environmental impact of urban forest in Halifax

A Dalhousie University group has been tasked with researching how Halifax’s urban forest impacts energy costs and the city’s overall ecosystem services, reports Global News. Commissioned by the Halifax Regional Municipality, the research will build on similar work performed by Dal in 2007 and will amass data from more than 200 randomly selected plots of land. “When we know what the inventory of trees is then we can make calculations about those ecosystem services and present that information… to help [Halifax Regional Council] understand it’s an incredibly good investment to invest in trees,” said Peter Duinker, a professor in Dalhousie University‘s School for Resource and Environmental Studies. Global News