Alberta should consider the actions taken by provinces such as British Columbia, Manitoba, and Ontario to support open educational resources and reduce the cost of study materials, write Sandra Amin (University of Calgary Students’ Union), Magdalena Beukes (King’s University Students’ Union), Erik Christiansen (Mount Royal University), and Michael B McNally (University of Alberta). Amin, Beukes, Christiansen, and McNally write that the cost of textbooks and other learning materials have—like tuition—increased well above the rate of inflation, and that other cost saving measures such as reselling textbooks or using free library materials have become more difficult with the launch of digital books. Given the value that educated citizens bring to their province, the authors encourage students to consider how AB best addresses the costs of and brings value to their education.
During the celebration of a major construction milestone for its Markham Campus, York University shared that it had received a $5M donation from Metropia. At the topping-off ceremony, the final structural I-beam was signed by the university’s leaders and local dignitaries before being placed by a crane to complete the building’s frame. In honour of the $5M donation, which will go towards capital construction costs, York announced the newly named Metropia Student Success Centre. The centre will include the student success and academic advising office, an interfaith centre, multipurpose wellness studio, and more. The new campus will officially open in 2024.
Capilano University and Langara College have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to increase student and faculty opportunities and enhance collaboration activities. Through the five-year MOU, CapilanoU and Langara will work together to create new opportunities for students to access programming at both institutions, increase access to research activities and funding, cultivate student learning opportunities, and more. “Working closely with Capilano University, as we have done for several years, provides exciting opportunities for students from both communities,” added Langara Provost Margaret Heldman. “We look forward to exploring and expanding on this collaboration in the years ahead.”
Ontario Tech University’s Faculty of Social Science and Humanities has launched a Master of Arts in Social Practice and Innovation (MSPI) degree program. The interdisciplinary graduate program will bring together programming from the university’s media studies, legal studies, and political science departments to train leaders and change agents to drive positive change. Students in the MSPI will collaborate with diverse communities to address social problems such as human rights violations, health care and social service inaccessibility, and climate change adaptation
University College of the North’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) program has gained a five-year full approval from the Province of Manitoba. The program prepares students to care for children in a variety of settings, with a particular focus on the Northern Manitoba and Indigenous community contexts. Program graduates will be eligible to apply for an ECE II license as full Early Childhood Educators. “The Early Childhood Education team at UCN have been practicing and embracing Indigenous ways of knowing, doing, and being in Early Childhood training program since 2007,” said Laura Ayres, UCN ECE Program Coordinator. “It is wonderful to be formally acknowledged.”
In a recent article for The Varsity, University of Toronto Instructor Dylan Jow argues for the abolishment of grades to support student success. Jow touches on the issues with the use of assessment systems that may be arbitrary or ambiguous, place unnecessary barriers or expectations on students, or that are used for “gatekeeping” academic advancement. The author discusses the experience of setting up a class that intentionally reduced the pressure of grades, and how this resulted in improved quality of student responses, greater participation in class, and a higher attendance of office hours.
Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the University of Regina have announced a new pathway that will help education certificate students attain a bachelor of education degree. Eligible Sask Polytech students will be able to enter URegina’s Bachelor of Education Elementary program with up to 30 credit hours, allowing them to complete the program in three years. “Encouraging these certificate students to continue their education and obtain our BEd degree can help address the demand for teachers being experienced all across Saskatchewan,” said URegina Faculty of Education Dean Dr Jerome Cranston.
The University of the Fraser Valley and a group of Stó:lō agencies have collaborated to launch an allyship and reconciliation program. Xwelítem Siyáya: Allyship and Reconciliation Building is a part-time, non-credit program that educates non-Indigenous Canadians about allyship and building reconciliation. Participants will learn about topics such as lands and resources, settler colonialism, and governance, and will participate in workshops on drum making, cedar bark weaving, and more. “In launching this program, we are collaborating with Stó:lō leaders in a way that helps lay the foundations for genuine reconciliation while alleviating Indigenous people of the weight of having to deliver such programs themselves,” explained UFV Peace and Reconciliation Centre Director Dr Keith Carlson.
Canadore College has received $750K in federal funding to implement the Responsive Innovation 4.0 (RI 4.0) initiative in order to enhance the regional innovation ecosystem. As part of this initiative, Canadore’s Innovation Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping (ICAMP) will undertake research projects to help develop and commercialize products, processes, services, and technologies. “This is about preserving what we have and making life better for not only this generation but the next one,” said Canadore President George Burton. “That’s through application of technology, developing new products and processes, so that our products processes are sought after not only the boundaries of Canada but worldwide.” The funding is part of a larger $3.2M investment from FedNor into initiatives in the North Bay region.
Cape Breton University and the Cape Breton University Faculty Association have reached a tentative agreement after a week-long strike. CBUFA went on strike on January 27th, and the negotiating parties engaged in a week of discussions led by a provincial conciliator. CBU’s board of governors has approved the agreement and the union held a vote yesterday afternoon. The details of the agreement are expected to be released upon ratification.