The significance of literacy for postsecondary success has been demonstrated in numerous
research reports showing that attrition and underachievement are strongly linked to low levels of language proficiency (Jennings and Hunn, 2002; Perin, 2004). It has also been shown that Canadian adults with lower literacy levels have significantly lower employment rates and incomes, higher rates of unemployment, and are less likely to be engaged in their community than Canadian adults with higher literacy levels (Statistics Canada, 2005). On a national scale, literacy is a key factor in economic growth, productivity and innovation (Coulombe, Tremblay and Marchand, 2004).
Graduating over 71,000 students per year (MTCU, 2011), colleges play a central role in preparing Ontario adults with varying literacy levels for the labour force. A recent review of literacy-related practices at Ontario’s colleges demonstrated that there is currently a wide range and diversity of activities and models being used to address the language needs of students (Fisher and Hoth 2010). Without the appropriate supports, literacy and language challenges are barriers that prevent students from achieving success in their chosen program of study and subsequent career. All post-secondary institutions struggle with finding workable models to support these students, yet there has been little rigorous research evaluating the effectiveness of various remediation approaches (Levin and Calcagno 2008).
In fall of 2008, George Brown College piloted an innovative remedial approach in the Practical Nursing program that targets reading, writing, speaking and listening skills while integratingcontent from select core courses, termed the Communications Adjunct Model (CAM). The goal of this research project was to assess the impact of CAM on adult learners with diverse remedial
English language needs in order to provide important lessons for post-secondary institutions. To assess the program’s effectiveness, the academic performance of students placed in CAM was examined in relation to two comparison groups. The first comparison group consisted of students in the same cohort as the CAM group (2008/2009) who were not placed in CAM. The second comparison group included students from two academic years prior to the introduction of CAM (2005/2006 and 2006/2007) who fell below the entrance score cut-offs for selection into the adjunct program.
The analysis undertaken suggests that CAM did not have a strong effect on overall grade performance (GPA). While two out of the four evaluations of the effectiveness of the program showed that CAM had a positive effect on students’ GPA, the results were weak and did not prove to be reliable across comparison groups. It is important to remember, however, that the analysis assessed the impact of CAM solely on GPA performance. CAM has a number of additional objectives, such as general language skill development, that would require additional data collection and analysis to better determine the effectiveness of the program. Nonetheless, there are many important learnings that can be gleaned from the project based on George Brown
College’s experience of developing and administering CAM.
Graduate school, the job market, the tenure track, and every other stage in an academic career are so fraught with challenge that you cannot afford to dawdle too long on foolish ventures or waste time holding out for perfection when "pretty darn good" will do.
The first supreme hurdle — the one that scares off many potential academics and cripples the progress of others — is, of course, the dissertation. What counts as a dissertation and how long you should take to complete it vary across disciplines, institutions, and committees. But that you must complete it — and that others must approve it before you can move on — is essential.
Early in my career, I sat on a doctoral committee in a field outside my discipline for the first time. I recall being startled at the dissertation defense when professors in the young man’s department began delivering scorching assessments of his theory, method, cases, and conclusions. As the incendiaries kept flying I grew concerned about his health. He whitened, started sweating visibly, and several times laid his forehead on the table. When it came my turn to speak, I froze and ended up sputtering, "Well, you have answered all my questions!" and fell silent.
If you had to pick a cliché that best describes completing a dissertation, "it ain’t over till it’s over" would work well. So far in this series we have discussed finishing a submittable draft and successfully defending the dissertation. But as every doctoral candidate knows, no matter how well the defense goes you are very likely not quite free and clear yet.
One of the sadder conversations I have had in my 15 years of writing about academic careers is, unfortunately, a common one. It usually happens when I’m at a workshop or a conference and people approach me who are enduring a rocky patch in graduate school, on the job hunt, or on the tenure track. At some point I will ask them, "How are you using your dissertation to move your career forward?"
What will you be expected to publish from your dissertation?
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Toronto Police Service was exploring how to increase access to higher education to its officers. The service saw higher education as salient to its organizational imperatives of professionalization, increased public legitimacy and credibility, and enhanced academic recognition of police professional learning. To realize this mission, the Toronto Police Service entered into a higher education partnership with the University of Guelph and Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning under its then-new joint venture, the University of Guelph-Humber. The University of Guelph-Humber designed an accredited higher education pathway for Toronto Police personnel that also gave academic credit for past professional learning and increased educational access by offering blended course delivery. Based on semi-structured interviews with key educational administrators at the University of Guelph-Humber, Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, and the Toronto Police Service, this article narrates the origins of this higher education pathway— a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Justice Studies. In addition, it describes how this pathway evolved to include non-uniform Toronto police personnel, other police services, and expanded further to include learners from the larger justice and public
safety fields. The exploration is situated in a larger discussion about the relationship between higher education, professionalization and legitimacy, and the potential of partnerships between higher educational institutions and professions in Canada.
Keywords: higher education; professionalization; police; adult learning; educational partnerships; credentialization; educational
access; undergraduate degree
À la fin des années 1990 et au début des années 2000, le Service de police de Toronto explorait les moyens d’améliorer l’accès à l’éducation postsecondaire pour ses officiers. Le Service voyait l’éducation postsecondaire comme un outil pour atteindre ses buts organisationnels, dont la professionnalisation, l’accroissement de la légitimité et de la crédibilité auprès du public et l’amélioration de la reconnaissance de la formation policière dans le milieu de l’éducation. Afin de réaliser cette mission, le Service de police de Toronto s’est engagé dans un partenariat avec l’Université de Guelph et le Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning dans le cadre de la toute nouvelle Université de Guelph-Humber. L’Université de Guelph-Humber a élaboré un programme d’études postsecondaires agréé sur mesure pour le personnel de police de Toronto, reconnaissant la formation professionnelle antérieure et offrant un mode de prestation de cours hybride pour plus d’accessibilité. Fondé sur des entrevues semi-structurées avec des administrateurs et administratrices de l’Université de Guelph-Humber, du Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning et du Service de police de Toronto, le présent article raconte les origines de ce programme de baccalauréat en arts appliqués en études juridiques. Par ailleurs, il décrit comment le programme a évolué afin d’inclure le personnel civil du Service de police de Toronto, les autres services policiers, et également les étudiant(e)s des secteurs de la justice et de la sécurité publique. Cette exploration se situe dans une discussion plus vaste au sujet des rapports entre éducation postsecondaire, professionnalisation et légitimité et des partenariats potentiels
entre les établissements postsecondaires et les professions au Canada.
Mots-clés : éducation postsecondaire, professionnalisation, police, formation des adultes, partenariats éducatifs, agrément,
accès à l’éducation, baccalauréat
This semester I’m teaching a comparative-literature class that deals with the connections among empathy, literature, and human rights. As in most of my classes, which all circulate around these difficult topics, I constantly prepare my students for their own navigation into the worlds of trauma and critical understanding. The problem this semester, and most semesters, is not the voyage inside historical traumas. The problem goes much deeper — it is my students’ fragility.
With what confidence can we guarantee that graduates are ready for the challenges of 21st-century life, work, and citizenship? For years I have worked with district leaders to help principals, teacher coaches, and so many other educators build credibility, coherence, and community around their education transformation efforts. District leaders must manage a myriad of priorities, and I often tell them that the best first step they can take to ensure our students’ success in life, work, and citizenship is to develop and adopt a graduate profile.
Many peer mentorship programs in academia train senior students to guide groups of incoming students through the rigors
of postsecondary education. The mentorship program’s structure can influence how mentors develop from this experience.
Here, we compare how two different peer mentorship programs have shaped mentors’ experiences and development. The
curricular peer mentorship program was offered to mentors and mentees as credited academic courses. The non-curricular
program was offered as a voluntary student union service to students and peer mentors. Both groups of peer mentors shared
similar benefits, with curricular peer mentors (CMs) greatly valuing student interaction, and non-curricular peer mentors
(NCMs) greatly valuing leadership development. Lack of autonomy and lack of mentee commitment were cited as the biggest
concerns for CMs and NCMs, respectively. Both groups valued goal setting in shaping their mentorship development, but CMs
raised concerns about its overemphasis. Implications for optimal structuring of academic mentorship programs are discussed.
Keywords: peer mentorship, goal setting, postsecondary education, training program, program structure, student development
Given the pace of technological change and the strong forces to innovate from the global market place, the need to invest in human capital continues to increase as does the requirement for high return on investment (ROI) in training. One of the obstacles of measuring the ROI of training is that many of the benefits of training may not be immediately visible for measurement and it may be impossible to allocate the improvements exhibited by the firm to a particular training event. The lack of longitudinal studies to measure the ROI of training, particularly with respect to supporting the use of technology and intensity of innovation, is an area that will be addressed in this study.
The pace of innovation and technological change in the global market place make it imperative that companies constantly look at improving the skills of their workforce (Bresnahan, Brynjolsson and Hitt, 1999). The investment in human capital through the use of relevant and targeted training is critical in order to keep a business competitive (Rabemananjara and Parsley, 2006). One of the key components to an organization’s competitive advantage is the development of knowledge workers and increasing the value of their human capital.
A society’s aging, or its age distribution, is normally viewed from the perspective of the number of years since birth. In this E-Brief, however, we propose an alternative: measuring age according to the number of years remaining in life.
Taking increases in longevity into account, a 35-year-old Canadian had a remaining life expectancy of 38.6 years in 1950, but 46.8 years in 2010, a difference of 8.2 years. Viewed so, the Canadian population is not getting older in the traditional sense, but “younger,” because many workers are approaching retirement age more able, and willing, to work longer than were previous
generations of Canadians.
Because many older Canadians are already deciding to retire later than the arbitrary age of 65, public policy should aim to provide Canadians with the instruments to better manage retirement decisions.
Population aging: those two words, it seems, inspire fears of different kinds. The number of retirees per active worker is steadily climbing. The problems this could engender are rather obvious: absent a significant increase in productivity, GDP growth is bound to slow down, which would exacerbate the growing stress on public finances, in particular through health expenditures.
As I write this, the 42nd Parliament has not yet begun sitting and yet the impacts of the new government continue to reverberate.The steady string of announcements since the election appears almost designed specifically to please the university community. Academics – and researchers more generally – seem particularly heartened by the change in tone from the, let’s just say, churlishness of the previous regime.
The new cabinet, sworn in on Nov. 4, includes not just a Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, but also a Minister of Science, full stop. The day after the swearing in, the new Minister of Science, Kirsty Duncan, tweeted: “Looking forward to restoring science to its rightful place in government!”
It’s something many graduate students have heard: “You must be very intelligent.” It’s also the title of a new novel about academic life that asks if going to grad school really is a smart choice -- or even a sane one.
Author Karin Bodewits, co-founder of NaturalScience.Careers, an advice website, started writing You Must Be Very Intelligent: The Ph.D. Delusion (Springer), between the submission and defense of her doctoral thesis (biochemistry and microbiology) in 2011, while backpacking around South America. The first scribbles of it remain in the back of her travel guidebook. While people who read the first chapters encouraged her to continue, she said, she was scared of the potential consequences. Why? Take the prologue, to start.
Too many students are dropping out of doctoral programs or taking too long to finish, prompting some universities to question what they can do to help them along.
When was the last time you went more than a few hours into your workday without interacting with someone at your company? If you’re like the majority of the workforce, limited interactions are a rarity and collaboration is ongoing.
The way your team communicates greatly impacts the performance of your employees and your organization.
However, less commonly understood is the psychology behind how we collaborate.
The psychology behind workplace collaboration can be tied back to the day-to-day interactions that take place at virtually any organization. How your employees interpret the work they do and the way they collaborate with others ultimately determines their success, investment, and engagement in the company. And when your employees are
engaged, your company wins.
Tim Clydesdale’s The Purposeful Graduate: Why Colleges Must Talk to Students About Vocation outlines the results of a multiple campus initiative that encouraged students to critically examine how they might lead meaningful lives. The Lilly Endowment initially supported the initiative. When the Lilly funds came to an end, many campuses continued supporting these so-called pro-exploration programs, encouraged by the enthusiasm of students, faculty, staff, and alumni. This initiative and related programs explored the idea of vocation, defined not as a person’s main employment or occupation, but rather as a sense of purpose that gives meaning to their lives.
The term pro-exploration undoubtedly has religious connotations, a fact that is acknowledged early in the text. The initial Lilly funding targeted institutions with a religious affiliation in keeping with the mission and history of the Lilly Endowment. However, Clydesdale is careful to note that all students possess a vocational identity regardless of their religious identity. In an era
of workforce development, where vocational training correlates with specific skill sets and employment opportunities, the idea of exploring vocation as an individual passion seems to be a luxury. Yet the book positions pro-exploration programs as a nod to the original purpose of higher education: educating globally knowledgeable, capable, and responsive citizens. This goal is too often not realized and pro-exploration programs provide an active path towards this end.
A 2015 survey of Faculty Focus readers found that the number one barrier preventing faculty from implementing the flipped classroom model and other active learning experiences into their courses is TIME. Faculty reported they don’t have time to plan extra learner-centered activities, due to increasing responsibilities, and they don’t have time to implement the activities in class
because there’s too much content to cover.
Ontario is committed to helping every child and student achieve success and well-being. The primary goal of the province’s education system is to enable students to develop the knowledge, skills, and characteristics that will lead them to become personally successful, economically productive, and actively engaged citizens.
Researchers acknowledge that the need to engage in problem solving and critical and creative thinking has “always been at the core of learning and innovation” (Trilling & Fadel, 2009, p. 50). What’s new in the 21st century is the call for education systems to emphasize and develop these competencies in explicit and intentional ways through deliberate changes in curriculum design and pedagogical practice. The goal of these changes is to prepare students to solve messy, complex problems – including problems we don’t yet know about – associated with living in a competitive, globally connected, and technologically intensive world.
Canada’s average or, in some cases, below-average performance in the OECD’s latest survey of adult skills (known as the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC)) sparked some observers to call the quality of Canada’s education systems into question. The reason: the results appeared to contradict the prevailing notion that our education systems are among the best in the world.