The Public Health Agency of Canada is providing $4M in funding to the Mindful Campus Initiative to support the creation of mental health promotion materials linked to a peer support network, mindfulness training, and practice programming. The initiative supports students who are emerging creative artists and designers by helping them to develop their coping and resilience skills and by creating a supportive environment. The collaborative initiative is being delivered by OCAD University in partnership with Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts; NSCAD University; Seneca College’s School of Creative Arts and Animation; and York University’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design.
École de technologie supérieure has inaugurated its new $55M pavilion. The cutting-edge learning facility includes labs, learning spaces, and multiple spaces that will be used primarily for extracurricular group projects and clubs. “We are very proud of this magnificent pavilion, which supports the dynamic student experience that is at the heart of ÉTS education,” said ÉTS CEO François Gagnon. “This new space allows our student community to explore and innovate and to get ready to make a profound impact on the technological and economic development of tomorrow’s society.”
Laurentian University has launched a Master of Health Administration (MHA), which will be offered through a partnership between its nursing and business administration graduate programs. The online program will include courses in management and health areas, as well as Indigenous Cultural Competency Training. “The program has been designed to meet the needs not only of nurses but all other health care providers who have transitioned to leadership roles,” said Laurentian Professor Dr Roberta Heale. “The content encompasses all essential knowledge for health administrators in addition to having a strong rural, northern and Indigenous focus.”
Academic misconduct case numbers at the University of Manitoba have decreased from 2020-21 rates, but continue to be higher than pre-pandemic numbers, reports CBC. Of the forms of academic misconduct cases reviewed, inappropriate collaboration reportedly hit a five-year high in 2021-22. UManitoba discipline committee chair Sheryl Zelenitsky noted that consequences are matched to the severity of the infraction and that “[s]tress and a pandemic weren’t an excuse to take shortcuts.” University of Manitoba Students’ Union President Jaron Rykiss said that students need to better understand the rules around academic integrity. Students shared that they believe that cheating is easier now than before and that some may not recognize that they are cheating.
With a more diverse set of prospective students exploring postsecondary education, competency-based education (CBE) may present a more effective way to meet the educational needs of learners, writes Dick Senese for Higher Ed Dive. Senese explains that CBE is a flexible learning model where learners can earn credentials by demonstrating their mastery of particular skills or knowledge through multiple forms of assessment. He touches on Capella University’s FlexPath model, which has improved the completion speed for learners, resulted in lower financial borrowing, and reduced student tuition costs. Senese concludes by outlining five recommendations for accelerating the adoption of direct assessment and CBE.
Queen’s University has reportedly suspended admissions to its Bachelor of Fine Art program for the next two years. Global News states that the program—which was also suspended in 2011 due to a lack of funding—is currently plagued by issues related to its staffing, enrolment, and structure. “It’s built in blocks that [require] students to enroll in one large class each semester,” said Queen’s Associate Dean of Arts and Science Warren Mabee. “That makes it difficult for students who want to take internships or exchanges [… or] who are looking to combine their program with other programs on campus.” A record of the Queen’s Faculty of Arts and Science’s faculty board meeting in December highlights some of the past recommendations made for reforming the program for sustainable success and discusses what a more enriched visual arts program could look like.
The University of Victoria and Kaplan International have formed a partnership to support international recruitment. Under the new agreement, Kaplan will recruit students for UVic’s graduate and undergraduate programs, with the first cohort of students beginning their studies in Fall 2023. “We’re thrilled about this partnership which will truly bring UVic to the forefront for students around the world,” said UVic President Kevin Hall. This is reportedly the first pathway partnership between a Canadian university and Kaplan.
The University of Saskatchewan’s College of Dentistry has acquired five state-of-the-art dental simulator machines to provide students with a more realistic experience as they develop their skills. The machines will be used to train students before they begin working in real-life situations, and offer a more sustainable practice option as students will not have to practice by drilling plastic teeth. “Here we can save a huge number of plastic teeth because we don’t have to drill plastic,” said Walter Siqueira, Dean of USask’s College of Dentistry. “We go to everything with mixed reality and this new simulator, in terms of the big picture of the next 20 years.” The simulators are reportedly the first of their kind in Canada, and the university plans to install five more in March.
In an interview with The EvoLLLution, Nick Williams and Mary Elizabeth Smith discuss approaches to efficiently creating sustainable micro-credentials. These short programs are particularly attractive to working adults, explain Williams and Smith, and so they present a major opportunity for institutions. However, the authors advise institutions interested in entering the micro-credential space to start slow by piloting new programs that resonate with learners and employers and ensuring the appropriate infrastructure is in place before scaling their offerings. Both interviewees discuss the challenges presented by scaling offerings, automating processes, and implementing digital credentialing. “It’s paramount for any institution who wants to thoughtfully offer digital credentials to test assumptions,” said Smith.
Holland College has partnered with the Government of Prince Edward Island and the Construction Association of PEI to create 32 tiny homes for Islanders on the social housing registry. Holland College students from programs such as Carpentry, Construction Electrical, and Plumbing will be involved in the project. Those participating through the Construction Association of PEI’s Discover Carpentry Program will be paid as they receive apprenticeship hours toward their Red Seal Certifications. “This project involves three of our Summerside based trades programs, so it is gratifying that our students’ hands-on training will have a meaningful impact on PEI’s housing crisis,” said Holland College President Dr Sandy MacDonald.