Jobs paranoia is widespread in Canada. Elementary pupils are coming home after receiving the “job talk” from their teachers, typically emphasizing the importance of getting good grades so they can get into a high-quality university – rarely a college, a polytechnic institute or an apprenticeship program. Parents worry about enrolling their children in the “right” schools and academic programs. There is growing concern about the transition from school to work. News media, television programs and movies offer tales of underemployed university and college graduates, intense competition for decent jobs and chronic youth unemployment.
For many years the blessings of the auto and industrial economy in Michigan – where one could earn a good living without a postsecondary education degree, or other credential —created an environment where higher education was desirable, but not essential. All that has changed, with huge implications for the education, skills, and preparation most relevant for individuals to succeed in the labor market.
Background/Context: With a growing body of evidence to support the assertion that teacher quality is vital to producing better student outcomes, policymakers continue to seek solutions to attract and retain the best educators. Performance based pay is a reform that has become popular in K–12 education over the last decade. This strategy potentially produces positive impacts on student achievement in two ways: better alignment of financial incentives with desired outcomes and improved the composition of the teacher workforce. While evaluations have primarily focused on the former result, there is little research on whether the
longer term implementation of these polices can attract more effective teachers.
Colleges and institutes contribute to the research and innovation cycle in Canada through applied research. More specifically, they directly contribute to applied research through enhanced research infrastructure, involvement of faculty and students, and the creation of partnerships with the business, industry and social innovation sectors. Colleges and institutes receive the majority of their funding from the Government of Canada.
For the 2013-14 fiscal period, $85,124,512 were granted, up 19% from the previous year. At $78,275,654, funding from the private sector rose 9% from 2012-13 levels, making it the second greatest source of external funding for applied research.
The union representing Ontario college faculty is taking the Progressive Conservative government to court after it terminated a task force that was trying to fix the growing problem of part-time and contract work.
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union says the College Task Force was a key part of the arbitrator’s decision last year, ending a bitter dispute between faculty members and Ontario’s 24 colleges that culminated in a record-long, five-week strike.
An Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) Local 352 member speaks to a man crossing the union�s picket line at Fleming's Sutherland Campus during a faculty strike on Monday, October 16, 2017. Union members, including college professors, instructors, counsellors and librarians, hit the picket line Monday after negotiations between it and the College Employer Council fell flat. JESSICA NYZNIK/Peterborough Examiner/Postmedia Network
While the balancing power of collective bargaining is a positive force, Ontario's provincial government was right to order striking community college teachers back to work.
Reflecting on what’s at play with the Ontario college faculty strike, as Yogi Berra once noted, it’s “déjà vu all over again.”
I was a college president in 1984 when college faculty voted overwhelmingly for a strike because they felt they were treated as lemmings, victims of top-down management styles that eschewed proper faculty involvement in decisionmaking, especially when it came to instructional delivery and workloads.
This clearly defined the majority of colleges at the time. Faculty was right to strike. Each strike has an idiosyncratic ethos — core factors that vary from obvious to vague. In 1984, the issues were clear.
In 1987, not so. The faculty hit the bricks with only a 51.25 per cent strike vote. It remains unclear to this day, why the union leaders at the time took their brothers and sisters to the picket line with an unprecedented low strike mandate and no apparent issues at stake. Was it runaway megalomania? Was there an unrelated personal agenda? Who knows? But the result was a disaster for faculty who were led down a prickly garden path and dealt a financial blow by an arbitrator.
When I visit with teachers employed in public schools, I often hear, “You are already where I want to be. College. That’s where we all want to be.”
Many public school teachers consider pursuing master’s degrees with the goal of someday teaching college. Unfortunately, many of them are under misconceptions. More than once, someone has applied for a position at Howard College who was not aware of certain realities. For those who have considered teaching at a community college, here are a few things of which to be aware.
We've got some big Canadian labour news, folks, but it's a little bit sweet and sour. The sweet is that college faculty
in Ontario are currently leading the charge in Canada to secure a less precarious workplace for sessional
instructors. The sour is that it means they're out on the picket line at the height of the fall semester, and they look
likely to be there for some time.
Universities are intensely human places and are not immune from the worst impulses of human nature; and while violent incidents on university campuses may belie the ideal of the quad as a place of calm reflection and civil discussion, such incidents take place.
The Ministry’s consultation paper speaks to the risk of violence in the education sector, the sector in which the 15,000 professors and academic librarians we represent work.
Part-time faculty teach approximately 58% of U.S. community college classes and thus manage learning experiences for more than half (53%) of students enrolled in community colleges (JBL Associates, 2008). Often referred to as contingent faculty, their work is conditional; the college typically has no obligation to them beyond the current academic term. At many colleges, the use of contingent faculty began with hiring career professionals who brought real-world experience into the classroom. Historically, colleges also have hired contingent faculty when enrollment spiked, the college needed to acquire a particular type of expertise, or full-time faculty members were not available to teach a particular course.
Increasingly, however, contingent faculty have become a fundamental feature of the economic model that sustains community college education. Because they typically have lower pay levels than fulltime faculty and receive minimal, if any, benefits, part-time faculty are institutions’ least expensive way to deliver instruction. As public funding, as a percentage of college costs, has steadily declined—and as colleges have been forced to find ways to contain costs so they can sustain college access—the proportion of part-time faculty has grown at colleges across the country. Today part-time faculty far outnumber full-time faculty at most colleges.
Contract academic faculty make an enormous contribution to postsecondary institutions: in teaching, in research, and in administrative service. And yet they inhabit an uncertain, and sometimes perilous, space within the Canadian university system. For the most part, they lack job security. Their salaries are usually low. Many receive few, or no, health benefits. Most have no access to a pension plan. Full-time contract faculty teach more students, and over longer hours, than do their tenured and tenure-track colleagues: this can create challenges in staying current with changes in their disciplines and staying competitive in the narrowing job market. Many contract academic faculty report lack of access to meaningful decision-making within their Departments. Many perceive themselves to be unprotected by the basic protocols of academic freedom. The Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE) seeks the support of our association members, our fellow scholarly associations, and Canadian English Departments in establishing more equitable, humane and respectful working conditions for Canada’s contract faculty professionals.
The number of postdoctoral researchers that burn out at an early stage of their career seems to be increasing, and mental health has been a hot topic at universities and institutes across the world. The scientist in me always wonders why it is this group that is particularly at risk? Funding struggles, job insecurity and pressure to perform are obvious contributors but do they explain the whole picture? In this post, I dare to suggest that dangerous habits of thinking
commonly found amongst the scientific community may also play a role. Do any of the following seem familiar?
In my first essay, I reflected on the barriers I faced as a black mother in graduate school. Given the biases I had to confront, I attempted to hide my status as a mother when I went on the academic job market. I created a professional presence on social media that disclosed little about my personal life. I explicitly asked my letter writers not to mention that I was a mother. On campus visits, I asked vague questions about schools near the university.
I already carried job-market anxiety and impostor syndrome feelings as a student of color. On top of that, I worried that if word got out I was a parent, I might have worse chances of landing a job.
I did, however, keep an ear to the ground for how, or if, potential departments talked about work-life balance. When I arrived at my current institution, the University of California, Merced, I was pleasantly surprised. It seemed that work and life (including life with children) were not separate entities but rather two sides of the same coin. It was a place that valued the whole person, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it.
Pendant que presque tous les pays du monde s’occupent, de façon tout à fait justifiée, de la récession actuelle, une crise démographiquetouchant le marché du travail menace d’ébranler les fondements mêmes de notre société et denotre économie.
To compete in an interconnected and global marketplace, Canadian companies require an increasingly strong and skilled workforce.
However, a lack of comprehensive labour market data, particularly on employment trends and skill requirements, makes it difficult to identify and analyze the current state of the Canadian job market.
n November 2005, the province of Ontario and the federal government signed two historic agreements – the Canada-Ontario Labour Market Development Agreement and the Canada-Ontario Labour Market Partnership Agreement. One year later, on Nov. 24, 2006, key labour market stakeholders, including users, delivery agents and government came together to collectively take stock of progress and to explore how partners can help governments move forward with successfully implementing the agreements.
The priority for the Ontario government – for its economic ministries, its education ministries, and for the entire government – must be economic growth and helping more people find good jobs.
Canada is at a crucial point: we are well-positioned to manage the opportunities and challenges of the global economy, but despite existing efforts, we are falling behind in investing in people and encouraging research and innovation.
The need to improve postsecondary education and skills training in Canada is driven by global and local challenges. In the global marketplace, our key competitors are moving ahead with economic restructuring, investment in the education and skills of their
people, technological change, research and innovation and aggressive competition. The rapid growth of emerging economies, especially in China and India, along with high oil prices and the strong Canadian dollar, are posing substantial challenges for Canada's industries. To remain prosperous in the face of this competition, Canada needs a workforce that is qualified, flexible, adaptable, and innovative, with employees and employers who embrace lifelong learning.
The idea that a Ph.D. can prepare you for diverse careers — not just for the professoriate — is now firmly with us.
ost doctoral students in the arts and sciences start out with the desire to become professors. But that’s not where most of them end up. By now, most graduate advisers understand that their doctoral students will follow multiple career paths. And increasing numbers of professors and administrators are trying to help students do that.
The number of Ph.D.s who pursue nonfaculty careers varies by field, of course. But the reality in many disciplines is: f you’re teaching a graduate seminar with eight students in it, only two of them, on average, will become full-time faculty members. What happens to the rest? And as important, how do they feel about where they end up?
Those questions raise a different one for graduate faculty: How do we assess our efforts to train Ph.D.s for myriad careers? It’s one thing to try to help, and another to know that we are helping.
Who should we be looking at? What should we measure? And how?