Of all the mysteries in graduate school, the greatest may be the dissertation committee.
When it works well, it offers academics an opportunity to shape both burgeoning scholars and future research in the field. Unfortunately, for many academics, the allure of serving on a doctoral committee — also called a thesis committee — fades quickly.
Any committee assignment comes with its share of challenges, of course, but the dynamic of a dissertation committee accentuates some of the more subtle and nuanced ways in which faculty members exercise privilege, not only over students but over other committee members.
On university campuses across Ontario, students who are LGBTQ+ face varying levels of discrimination, exclusion, and increased health and safety risks. In the Fall of 2014, OUSA conducted focus groups, interviews, and an online survey designed to gain insight into some of the experiences of LGBTQ+ students and to explore possible policy interventions. Guided by these student voices - and informed by best practices highlighted in existing literature - this paper offers recommendations to improve equity, safety, and inclusion.
OUSA’s policy on system growth is a broad based look at the future structure and function of Ontario’s post-secondary system. Throughout the past decade, Ontario has seen unprecedented growth in undergraduate enrolment across universities and colleges, successfully achieving the highest provincial post-secondary attainment in Canada. OUSA is supportive of the
Ontario government’s work towards the goal of a more prosperous society and workforce.
However, these commitments have come at a price to students within the postsecondary system. While per-student operating grants have kept pace with increasing enrolment, provincial funding into postsecondary still falls dramatically behind all other provinces, both in terms of real dollars and percentage of GDP. Meanwhile, universities are experiencing unsustainable rising costs, particularly salaries and pensions, which threaten universities’ and students’ collective futures.
Between 1991 and 2011, the share of young people with a university degree increased significantly, as did the share of young workers employed in professional occupations. Nevertheless, many young university degree holders could still be considered ‘overqualified’—working in occupations requiring lower levels of education. In this article, changes in the overqualification among young graduates are examined over the period from 1991 to 2011.
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.
The potential gains from strengthening these policies are enormous. Paid parental leave and subsidised childcare help get and keep more women in the workforce, contribute to economic growth, offer cognitive and health benefits to children, and extend choice for parents in finding their preferred work-life strategy. Indeed, the United States has been falling behind the rest of the
OECD in many social and economic indicators by not adequately investing in children, fathers and mothers.
A comprehensive study of work-life balance issues warrants a detailed discussion of all relevant policies, such as tax/benefit supports, workplace practices, childcare, education, and long-term care systems. Such an assessment is beyond the scope of this report, which focusses more narrowly on issues around reconciling work and care commitments for families with young children and in particular on paidparental leave policies within the OECD and the United States.
ew report on transfer of struggling students from universities to community colleges finds students benefit from moving in nontraditional direction.
Ontario’s professors and academic librarians are on the front lines of Ontario’s universities. They are uniquely positioned to assess the performance of the sector, and to identify trends that affect the quality of university education.
To take advantage of this insight, the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) surveyed Ontario faculty to gauge their opinions on the quality of university education in our province. The survey was also designed to assess the priorities of university faculty, particularly in regards to the balance of teaching and research in their work.
The survey was conducted online between March 21, 2012 and April 16, 2012. Responses to the questionnaire were received from over 2,300 faculty members, with a total of 2,015 complete responses from professors and academic librarians from all Ontario universities and a full range of disciplines. The following report presents the survey findings and provides additional commentary about key results.
The purpose of the paper is to describe our peer mentorship experiences and explain how these experiences fostered transformational learning during our PhD graduate program in educational administration. As a literature backdrop, we discuss characteristics of traditional forms of mentorship and depict how our experiences of peer mentorship was unique. Through narrative inquiry, we present personal data and apply concepts of transformational learning theory to analyze our experiences. Our key finding was that it was the ambiguous boundaries combined with the formal structure of our gradu- ate program that created an environment where peer mentorship thrived. We conclude that peer mentorship has great capacity to foster human and social capital within graduate programs for both local and international students.
While much of the world is understandably focused on the current recession, there is a looming demographic and labour market
crisis which has the potential to shake the very foundations of our society and economy. Our population is aging; as the baby boomer generation advances into the age of normal retirement, there will be a significant decline in the proportion of our opulation in the prime working years (15 to 64). Using Ontario Ministry of Finance data, the projected shortfall in the availability of workers is shown to rise to at least 200,000, and to as high as 1.8 million by 2031,depending on our levels of population growth.
Even in the midst of a recession, we have to understand that a labour shortage looms. Unfortunately, this is only half of the bad news. At the same time as our population is aging, the requirements of the labour market are changing. With the emergence of our knowledge economy, the proportion of the labour force requiring some form of education or training beyond high school will increase dramatically.
Using a variety of Canadian and U. S. estimates,it is concluded that by 2031 we will need 77% of our workforce to have post-secondary credentials (apprenticeship, university, college, industry, professional). Overall, we now stand at about 60%, with our younger population (25 to 34 years of age) at just over 66%. So, we will need both a larger workforce and increased skills. For potential solutions, increasing the size of the population (immigration) with more skilled workers could help, but it will not solve the problem. Increasing the participation rates of those currently under-represented in the labour force is another option that needs to be explored, as do ways of accelerating graduations, increasing employer-provided training, improving literacy rates, and creating a more unified educational system. But what is most clearly needed is a change in our society’s attitude towards post-secondary education.
We have to accept attainment of post-secondary education or training as the expectation for all but a small minority of Ontarians. Without effective action, we face a future with large numbers of unskilled workers looking for jobs that require skills they do not possess, and a large number of jobs that will go unfilled. The time for action is now. It will take planning, hard work, cooperation, and difficult decisions to secure our future. An alternative outcome is simply unacceptable.
Rick Miner Report
PEQAB Handbook for Ontario Colleges, 2014 – Capacity to Deliver Standard │ Benchmarks 7 – 11
Faculty credentials required for degree program
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.
As with any provider of products and services to be sold, the value proposition for community colleges depends on who’s buying. Community colleges are confronted with a diverse collection of potential buyers with different needs and their own valuation of what the services are worth. The local community, businesses, state and federal governments, donors, and individual students are potential buyers and community colleges are uniquely poised to fulfill their needs.
Our qualitative study explored transition in seven Canadian universities—early providers of distance education that transitioned to online learning between 2002 and 2017. We interviewed 16 individuals who were involved in the design, planning, r implementation of online learning. Participants reported their universities experienced significant impacts on organizational structure and roles. Many saw an increased focus on learning and teaching. Access, revenue generation, and technology were identified as drivers of online learning; traditional learning and teaching practices were shifting; challenges experienced included resistance to change and lack of dedicated resources; and effective, visionary leadership was seen to be critically important. We propose that the roots of today’s challenges and opportunities in online learning may be found in the experiences of distance educators who were early adopters.
Keywords: organizational change, distance education, online learning, Canadian universities
In Canada, international students working on their PhD are given funding for four years. After that, they are on their own.
Canadian society and the Canadian academy are proud of their openness and diversity. Every year, thousands of international students are encouraged to embark upon undergraduate and graduate studies at Canadian institutes of higher education. Indeed, the drive amongst Canadian universities to attract top-quality international students in greater numbers is
intensifying. And yet, there is a significant systemic problem for those international students in the arts and humanities who
undertake doctoral studies in Canada.
Two of five Canadians would have difficulty reading this sentence, following the instructions on a prescription bottle, finding out information about how to vote, or filling out a permission form for their child’s upcoming school trip. Although for nine of the past 14 years, Canada has ranked first on the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI), a measure of a country’s relative wellbeing, complacency would be a serious mistake. Low levels of literacy – especially among adults and vulnerable groups – remain a significant challenge to Canada’s continued well- being. As our performance on the HDI and other international rankings
confirms, we have a solid foundation on which to build; but we must not underestimate the significance of literacy problems in this country. The groups most vulnerable to low literacy are the poor; persons of Aboriginal ancestry; persons whose native language is neither English nor French; persons in rural and isolated communities; and persons with certain disabling conditions. Given the rise in skill levels demanded throughout the labour market, the ubiquity of new technologies in daily and work life, and the desire of people to engage with pub- lic issues, those with poor literacy will become even further
In our 2006 report, Canadian Post-secondary Education: A Positive Record – An Uncertain Future, CCL soberly articulated the various reasons for which uncertainty clouds the future contributions that the post-secondary education sector may make to Canada’s economic and social goals. Despite the myriad strengths that PSE educators and institutions have demonstrated
over many years, the absence of clear pan-Canadian goals, measures of achievement of goals and cohesion among the various facets of PSE led us to express deep reservations.
The mission of the Canadian Council on Learning is, in part, to describe our learning realities. If we have a remit to identify issues, equally we have a responsibility to report potential strategies for success. In last year’s account, we found that what we do not know can hurt us; that we must develop pan-Canadian information about PSE that can provide
decision-makers the best tools available to determine policies. We also found that almost all other developed countries have built not only the national information systems required to optimize policy, but have also—in both unitary and federal states—provided themselves with some of the necessary national tools and mechanisms to adjust, to act and to
succeed. Canada has not.
The purpose of this essay is to outline what the writer would regard as desirable attributes of postsecondary education in Canada ten years from now. In thinking about the future of post-secondary education, three important elements are: (i) an appreciation of the present state of post-secondary education; (ii) a consideration of significant trends in or affecting post-secondary education; and (iii) an indication of the particular aspects of post-secondary education that are the principal focus of the examination. The essay begins with a few comments on the third of these elements, because that defines
the parameters of the inquiry. The second section summarizes relevant features of the present state of post-secondary education in Canada. This is followed by a description of important trends in and affecting post-secondary education. The final section describes some desirable attributes of postsecondary education to aim for and suggests what the role of governments might be in the process.
Ontarians are most likely to identify the province’s financial situation as the most important issue currently facing the Ontario
“905” Residents are most likely to identify jobs/unemployment” as the most important issue currently facing the Ontario government.
Post-Secondary Education in Ontario: Managing Challenges in an Age of Austerity 905 Region - January 2013