Vancouver Island University will be offering a tuition-free trades program for newcomers to Canada. The Trades Pathways for Newcomers program will cover trade-specific English language skills, math, and other workplace skills and knowledge. Students will have the opportunity to shadow VIU trades programs such as carpentry, electrical, baking, and culinary and will meet with employers to learn more about working in different trades. The program’s design prioritizes flexibility, given the other commitments that students may have, and offers wraparound supports to students who decide to enter a full-time trades program at the university. The program is tuition-free thanks to a previous $1M investment from the Government of British Columbia.
Staff at Red River College Polytechnic and Assiniboine Community College–who are represented by the Manitoba Government Employees Union (MEGU)–have voted to ratify a new four-year contract (2021-24). The contract covers approximately 1,900 staff between the two institutions, including educators, administrators, and information technology workers. The agreement includes an annual salary increase of 2% each year for all employees, as well a new maximum salary schedule step, benefit improvements, and the provision of signing or “recognition” bonuses. MGEU President Kyle Ross congratulated staff at RRC Polytech and ACC on the new agreement, stating that they have “achieved their bargaining priorities.”
In an editorial in , Lauren Coffey profiles how the use of technology in student dining operations”from pizza-hauling robots to self-checkouts”can improve the postsecondary experience. Specifically, the author highlights how automation in postsecondary dining operations can save worker time, boost bottom lines, and meaningfully serve a “tech-savvy student body.” Coffey explains that many automated food delivery services were rolled out on postsecondary campuses during the pandemic to meet distancing requirements. Self-checkouts and order kiosks have been used to help reduce bottlenecks and improve worker efficiency, while food lockers were introduced to reduce student travel time. Coffey argues that the need for these technologies remains, as they can combat declining dining revenue while improving the experiences of students and campus workers.
Toronto Metropolitan University’s Ted Rogers School of Management will be holding a Mini-Masters program that will prepare racialized newcomer women for employment in healthcare. The program will provide intensive training to newcomer women who already have a Bachelor’s degree and past work experience. The participants will learn about healthcare management in the Canadian context, federal and provincial legislation and regulations, community care health models, policy and strategy, and more. The program is funded through a partnership with Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto, which recently received a $1.55M investment from the Government of Ontario.
Okanagan College will launch a new early childhood education (ECE) program at its Penticton campus by the end of August. The program will offer free tuition and flexible delivery options for people living in the South Okanagan region in collaboration with OneSky Community Resources and the Government of British Columbia. The program’s upcoming cohort will have 15 seats. It will use a hybrid format, with participants required to attend one in-person class per week. “This Early Childhood Education program is a perfect example of working with a great community partner like OneSky Community Resources to help train the workforce of the future and support children and families in the South Okanagan,” said Okanagan President Neil Fassina.
Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law will launch a new online study option this upcoming academic year. The new 1L Online Intensive program will allow a cohort of students to pursue their first year of law school through a combination of online learning and four weeks of in-person, land-based learning. The initiative opens up an additional 25 spots for students looking to enrol in Lakehead’s Juris Doctor program. After completing their first year of learning, the online cohort will then study in person for their second and third years. “We believe this exceptional opportunity offers an unparalleled legal education experience, embracing both tradition and innovation,” said Lakehead Bora Laskin Dean Jula Hughes.
Some students at the University of British Columbia have penned an open letter to express frustration over the university’s decision to end overnight staffing at the university residences. The open letter argues that the change reduces safety on campus. “If something were to occur overnight, students will not only need to have access to a phone in order to get assistance, but they will also need to wait for the (overnight mobile team) to arrive “¦ this change could have dire consequences in emergency situations,” reads the letter. The move also ended overnight access to the residence gyms, study areas, and common areas. “It’s really inconsiderate because so many students have different schedules,” said UBC student Vivica Sparrow.
Postsecondary campuses host a myriad of groups, run a variety of types of events, and are stewards of private or classified data, which makes cybersecurity an essential but complicated consideration for the sector. Lois Brooks (University of Wisconsin-Madison) discusses the unique considerations of cybersecurity at a higher education institution, before turning to the work of improving cybersecurity on campus. Brooks encourages leaders to learn whether cybersecurity training is required at their institution and if it is focused on the right topics, evaluate the security and functionality of their postsecondary’s systems, and to understand where the key security vulnerabilities are on campus.
Kings District RCMP have charged a man with three counts of uttering threats against an Acadia University employee. Last week, Acadia reported the man to the RCMP for threatening to cause harm against an employee. A statement from the RCMP indicates that Rick Mehta was subsequently arrested, charged, and released on conditions to appear in the Kentville Provincial Court this fall; investigation regarding the threats remains ongoing.
In a recent editorial, Alcino Donadel outlines several ways that postsecondary institutions can provide support to first-year students this fall. Donadel writes that this incoming cohort may still be struggling to recover from the pandemic, especially from a socioemotional standpoint. The author advises postsecondary institutions to leverage their data-collection resources to identify at-risk students and “buff up” their mental health resources to promote academic success. Donadel argues that students should be encouraged to engage with others in a face-to-face format. He also encourages postsecondary institutions to ramp up their communication efforts about the resources available through student affairs.