Six months after the Ontario government announced a new funding model for the province’s universities, questions are being raised about whether the framework is flexible enough to respond to the challenges facing both Ontario’s more remote regions as well as its booming Greater Toronto Area.
Currently, universities and colleges receive funds tied to their enrolment. Under the new plan, institutions will have to keep enrolment within several percentage points of a target that is now being negotiated between each school and the provincial government. Funding will not be available for enrolment growth beyond that target.
In January, President Barack Obama convened a gathering for a summit on college access. To be invited, attendees were obliged to make formal commitments to improve access for low-income and underrepresented students. For proponents of community colleges, the focus of this summit likely has a familiar ring. Historically, the defining traits of these two-year institutions have been accessibility with low tuition, open admissions, diverse programming with convenient scheduling, and relatively small class sizes.
OECD’s Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) has worked on Open Educational Resources (OER) in the past, which led to the publication Giving Knowledge for Free – the Emergence of Open Educational Resources (2007). This working paper thus builds on exploratory and forward-looking research in CERI and invites countries to consider the policy implications of the expansion of OER, its benefits and associated challenges.
A small OER expert group was established to discuss the subject, link it to other relevant developments in the field, and develop a draft questionnaire for member countries in order to collect information regarding the policy context related to OER. The expert group met in June 2011 and for a second time in September 2011. The questionnaire was sent to the 34 OECD member countries in August 2011. It outlined a short informative note about the benefits and challenges of OER. The responses to the questionnaire are analysed in this document.
The Dual Credit and School Within a College (SWAC) programs are both dual enrolment/dual credit programs that address access by creating new pathways to postsecondary education for non-traditional students. The programs allow students who are still in grade 11 and grade 12 to take one or more courses at a local college and earn both a high school credit toward their high school diploma as well as a college credit from the college offering the course. Though these programs have been
offered internationally for over three decades, there is still little research and little conclusive evidence that demonstrate their effectiveness.
StudentsNS prioritizes the accessibility of post-secondary education (PSE) as one of its four foundational values because we believe that education is critical to the growth and development of individual Nova Scotians, their families, their communities, and the Province as a whole. This position paper will identify and describe the major barriers that exist in Nova Scotia and attempt to understand their impact on the post-secondary participation of historically marginalized populations. Existing public policy and programs aimed at preparing Nova Scotians for post-secondary education (primarily the K-12 public school system) are critically examined as well as other policies, programs, and community initiatives that make up Nova Scotia’s system of economic and social supports. Unfortunately, many Nova Scotians face significant economic, social, or other personal barriers in the pursuit of PSE and the many benefits that flow from it. Depending on individual circumstances, facing just one of these barriers could be enough to make PSE an unattainable goal. The sad reality is that many Nova Scotians face multiple barriers at the same time, which perpetuates cycles of multi-generational disadvantage. Based on our analysis, we make a total of 17 recommendations that would allow us to better understand the social barriers to post-secondary access, prepare adolescents for success at the post-secondary level, and make post-secondary institutions more welcoming, inclusive environments for students from historically underrepresented communities.
• On April 2, 2014, Council endorsed the City's participation in the Government of Ontario's Major Capacity Expansion Call for Proposals and provided staff w ith authority to pro-actively promote Brampton as a host municipality to interested post-secondary institutions, in alignment with Brampton's Post-Secondary Education Strategy.
• Through the City's promotional efforts, senior and experienced academic leadership,supported by Centennial College (the Proponents), approached the City of Brampton to be a host municipality for a new university.
• For Brampton to serve as host to a new university, Council is being asked to endorse the partnership with the Proponents so they may proceed with submitting a Notice of Intent application, which, if accepted, would lead to submitting a proposalto the Ontario Government's Major Capacity Expansion Call for Proposals.
When I recently returned to my department after a decade in administration, I looked forward to reconnecting with former colleagues, getting to know the grad students, going to lectures and colloquia, teaching undergrads, and yes, even serving on departmental committees. But when I moved into my faculty office and began my work schedule, I had only one question as I looked around my department: Where did everybody go?
A 10-year absence presented a fairly stark before-and-after picture of a very real transformation that is happening on our campuses. Many faculty rarely come into their offices anymore.
Entire departments can seem like dead zones, and whole days can pass with only a glimpse of a faculty member as someone comes to campus to meet a student, attend a meeting, or teach a class. The halls are eerily quiet. Students, having figured this out, are also absent. Only the staff are present.
The question of how to hold Ontario’s universities accountable to the needs of students is a relatively complex one. One must be careful to balance the need for academic freedom with the public’s (and especially students’) right to be assured that its considerable investments into postsecondary institutions are being used effectively and appropriately. OUSA’s Accountability paper offers recommendations to improve quality assurance and strategic goal-setting in Ontario’s universities. In essence, it describes students’ vision of to whom, for what, and how universities should be held accountable.
Student mobility refers not to just the physical ability of a student to move from one institution to another, but the more comprehensive understanding of a student as an independent agent who - as their own needs and desires change - requires the ability to move from one institution to another to achieve their educational goal, be it a college certificate, diploma, or undergraduate degree. The policy has been broken into three key pillars, which cover the mobility needs of Ontario’s postsecondary students: Transparency, Consistency, and Student Support.
The United States is at a crossroads in its policies towards the family and gender equality. Currently America provides basic support for children, fathers, and mothers in the form of unpaid parental leave, child-related tax breaks, and limited public childcare. Alternatively, the United States’ OECD peers empower families through paid parental leave and comprehensive investments in infants and children.
Even if the adjunct movement for better working conditions succeeds, most adjuncts will lose. That’s one bold claim
of a recent paper on the costs associated with a number of the movement’s goals, such as better pay and benefits.
While activists and scholars have been quick to criticize what they call the paper’s inherently flawed logic, the
study’s authors say it is a first step in a more critical dialogue on the adjunct “dilemma.”
This project, to support schools in involving parents in school improvement planning, was initially sponsored by the Education Improvement Commission (EIC) of Ontario. The mandate of the EIC expired in 2001. The Canadian Education Association (CEA) was contracted to conduct a three-year study of the project. Exploring the potential contribution of parent participation to school improvement planning (SIP), results of the study help answer four broad questions:
PSE–Business Partnerships in Canada
Partnerships between post‑secondary education and business are crucial to Canada’s competitiveness and prosperity. They enhance student learning, facilitate research and commercialization, and increase local and regional economic development. These partnerships are becoming common in Canada, and use increasingly innovative, complex, and diverse organizational structures. However, PSE institutions, businesses, and community stakeholders could take steps to generate more of the
economic and social benefits that Canadians expect.
Danny Leznoff was the first male in Simon Fraser University’s chemistry department to take parental leave after the birth of his child, something he has done twice. Early in the new millennium, Dr. Leznoff says his experience at SFU was at “the pointy edge of the wedge university-wide.” His first daughter, Sayako, was born in July 2004. Having recently received tenure, the associate professor took paternity leave for four months – one term – that September. But he wasn’t originally planning to take time off at all.
The word “crisis” is often used to describe the peer-review system, not only in terms of quality of reviews but also quantity. To hear some academics tell it, fielding peer-review requests is a nearly full-time job. But preliminary research on the input-output balance in peer review suggests there is no real crisis, at least as far as quantity is concerned. That is, the professors who are writing the most get asked to review the most, meaning the system is in balance -- sort of.
This article provides a qualitative review of the trait perspective in leadership research, followed by a meta-analysis. The authors used the five-factor model as an organizing framework and meta-analyzed 222 correlations from 73 samples. Overall, the correlations with leadership were Neuroticism = -.24, Extraversion = .31, Openness to Experience = .24, Agreeableness = .08, and Conscientiousness = .28. Results indicated that the relations of Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to Experience, and Consci- entiousness with leadership generalized in that more than 90% of the individual correlations were greater than 0. Extraversion was the most consistent correlate of leadership across study settings and leadership criteria (leader emergence and leadership effectiveness).
Overall, the five-factor model had a multiple correlation of .48 with leadership, indicating strong support for the leader trait perspective when traits are organized according to the five-factor model.
Invited to reflect on community college leadership tran-sitions, I agreed, perhaps too readily. I have found myself struggling to respond to a very complex topic. Hardly a month goes by that there is not something in the higher ed press about the challenges posed by leadership changes in community colleges. Among the most recent was an article that lamented a dearth in the presidential pipeline, noting the intention of 75% of all current com-munity college presidents to retire within the next ten years. The author notes also the intent of 75% of senior level administrators to step down in that same timeframe.
Seven years after our first study, Leaders in Transition: Stepping Up, Not Off, organizations are still botching transitions—but with greater bottom-line repercussions (DDI’s Global Leadership Forecast 2013|2014 found that companies’ facilitation of transitions positively correlated with financial performance—in a significant way). Leaders, facing added uncertainty asso-ciated with moves of greater complexity (e.g., geographical relocation) and an absence of prescribed career paths, have greater (unmet) personal and practical needs. As a result, engagement, productivity, and retention suffer, impacting not only leaders and those they lead, but also entire enterprises.
So what can be done to shift the transition paradigm from a precarious pas-sage to a smooth sail? Here’s what the data have to say.
America’s community colleges have adaptation and change in our DNA. As the youngest upstarts of the higher education family, we cling to our self-concept as agile responders to the learning needs of our students and communities. Particularly at the student level, our colleges have extraordinary track records as agents of change. The learning we make possible expands our students’ social and economic prospects. It transforms them psychologically, behaviorally, and even physically, modifying the basic anatomy of their brains. The deep changes and growth that students undergo during their time with us are the double helix of our community college genetic code and our inspiration for this work.
The wave of upcoming retirements is a myth and PhD numbers have little to do with the academic job
In my last post I took a look at some of the history and context of Canadian universities’ hiring of contract faculty. While I was digging around for information, I couldn’t help noticing the relevance of some of the material to another ongoing debate in higher education: that of the “overproduction” of PhDs. Since “too many PhDs” is a recurring theme in media commentary about
graduate education (e.g. Nature, The Economist), I thought I’d explore the issue in more depth and connect it to some of the research I found. Are we really “producing” too many PhDs, and if so, is this a recent problem?