This collection of essays reflects that classic sense of exploration, questioning, and discovery. The ten essays contained here, sponsored by the Alliance for Community College Excellence In Practice, were prompted by a challenge prior to the Alliance’s first symposium, held in Traverse City, Michigan, in the summer of 2013. The symposium topic: The Future of Community Colleges. Before the July “Futures” discussion brought 50 people together, the participants – community college leaders, visionaries, teachers, and learners – were invited to explore topics related to present and future opportunities facing higher education. They were asked to consider implications. Raise questions. And posit thoughtful commentary.
Will community colleges be prepared to accept the changes ahead, from economic difficulties and fast-changing technology, to the public’s distrust and disenchantment with academic credentials?
During the past two decades community colleges and technical institutes in several jurisdictions, including parts of Canada, the
United States and Australia, have been given the authority to award bachelor degrees. One of the motivations for this addition
to the mandate of these institutions is to improve opportunities for bachelor degree attainment among groups that historically
have been underserved by universities. This article addresses the equity implications of extending the authority to award
baccalaureate degrees to an additional class of institutions in Canada’s largest province, Ontario. The article identifies the
conditions that need to be met for reforms of this type to impact positively on social mobility and inequality, and it describes the
kinds of data that are necessary to determine the extent to which those conditions are met. Based on interviews with students,
faculty, and college leaders, it was found that regulatory restrictions on intra-college transfer from sub-baccalaureate to
baccalaureate programs and lack of public awareness of a new type of bachelor degree may be limiting the social impact of this
In this study, we explored experiences of Ontario students who engaged in a university-to-college (UTC) transfer. Data was
collected through qualitative interviews with 20 participants who began their post-secondary journey in a university program
but left before completing it and subsequently pursued a college program. We focused on motivations for transfer, the decision-
making process, and participants’ reflections on their decision to transfer. Framing the transfer decision within a model of
educational decision-making that draws on Rational Action Theory (RAT) and Bourdieu’s habitus, we argue that motivations
for leaving university were distinct from, though related to, motivations for pursuing college. Reasons for leaving university
were clustered around three themes: academic struggles, mental/physical health/special education need struggles, and future
prospects. These were highly interconnected and characterized by difficulties, from mild to severe, coping with university.
Motivations for pursuing college were more practical, relating to subject interest, college learning environment, location, and
future prospects. Both decision processes showed evidence of rational cost-benefit analysis characteristic of RAT, but within
a framework of habitus-influenced ideas about success and identity. While most participants reflected positively on their
decision to transfer, there were some negative reflections related to a sense of personal failure and/or the negative reactions
of others, particularly parents. Personal and external negative reflections were tied to cultural and societal expectations about
high achievement and perceptions of university education as superior to college education, again showing the influence of
habitus. We conclude with policy recommendations.
Keywords: post-secondary education, post-secondary transfer, Ontario, education policy
Background/Context: Facilitating dialogues about racial issues in higher education classroom settings continues to be a vexing problem facing postsecondary educators. In order for students to discuss race with their peers, they need skilled facilitators who are knowledgeable about racial issues and able to support students in these difficult dialogues. Yet previous research on difficult dialogues has largely focused on students experiences in these dialogues and the outcomes they gain from participating in them with little knowledge about the olres of facilitaros of these dialogues.
Facilitating dialogues about racial issues in higher education classroom settings continues to be a vexing problem facing postsecondary educators. In order for students to discuss race with their peers, they need skilled facilitators who are knowledgeable about racial issues and able to support students in these difficult dialogues. Yet previous research on difficult dialogues has largely focused on students’ experiences in these dialogues and the outcomes they gain from participating in them with little knowledge about the roles of facilitators of these dialogues.
Recently University Affairs published an interview with Kevin Haggerty and Aaron Doyle, two Canadian professors who have written a book of advice for graduate students. The book’s gimmick, if you want to call it that, is that it’s presented as a guide to failing—an anti-guide, perhaps?
—as evidenced by the title, 57 Ways to Screw up in Grad School: Perverse Professional Lessons for Graduate Students. According to Haggerty and Doyle, “students often make a series of predictable missteps that they could easily avoid if they only knew the informal rules and expectations of graduate school.” If only! And this book, we’re told, is designed to help solve that problem.
Previous research has shown that fathers taking some time off work around childbirth, especially periods of leave of 2 or more weeks, are more likely to be involved in childcare related activities than fathers who do not do so. Furthermore, evidence suggests that children with fathers who are ‘more involved’ perform better during the early years than their peers with less involved fathers. This paper analyses data of four OECD countries — Australia; Denmark; United Kingdom; United States — to describe how leave policies may influence father’s behaviours when children are young and whether their involvement translates into positive child cognitive and behavioural outcomes. This analysis shows that fathers’ leave, father’s involvement and child development are related. Fathers who take leave, especially those taking two weeks or more, are more likely to carry out childcare related activities when children are young. This study finds some evidence that children with highly involved fathers tend to perform better in terms of cognitive test scores. Evidence on the association between fathers’ involvement and behavioural outcomes was however weak. When data on different types of childcare activities was available, results suggest that the kind of involvement matters. These results suggest that what matters is the quality and not the quantity of father-child interactions.
It’s hard to believe that we have less than a month left until September. The beginning of the month of August marks the acceptable time to get ready for back to school. For many this may simply involve picking up some pencils, notebooks, a new backpack, and possibly some fresh new kicks.
However, for those joining the 447,000 Ontarian undergrads, this checklist goes way beyond object necessities. Being a fifth year student, I pretty much got the drill locked down when preparing for the upcoming year. Look over my class schedule and plan accordingly, check in on my finances and budget for the upcoming year, and finally list out methods in which I plan to upkeep my personal wellness. At this point, I wouldn’t say I’m an expert in fulfilling each step, but it is nice to be moving towards a general direction. This definitely was not the case in my first year.
According to researchers, better-educated parents generally provide their children with a more favourable learning nvironment, increasing the likelihood that they’ll pursue higher education. These parents also have higher educational aspirations for their children, reinforcing this dynamic. On the other hand,“first-generation” youth – those whose par- ents haven’t attended a
postsecondary education institution – are “less likely to plan for higher education, to be convinced of its benefits or to have above-average high school grades,” according to a report from the defunct Canadian Millennium Scholarship Foundation.
Today, students view mobility among, and access to, the different educational experiences as offered by colleges and universities as essential to their success in the workplace; they need to equip themselves with skills in a way that sets them apart from the rest and best speaks to their own interests and aptitude, and move more seamlessly between certificate, diploma, apprenticeship and
Around 9 p.m. on Friday, I opened my kitchen door to chants and flickering lights. After telling my kids to stay inside,
I scrambled over a stone wall and down a brick stairwell to find torch-bearing men and women clad in white polo
shirts and khakis, chanting "You will not replace us" and "Anti-Black." They marched in cadence, two by two, as far
as I could see.
It is necessary and desirable to enhance student learning in higher education by integrating multiple perspectives during institutional policy reviews, yet few examples of such a process exist. This article describes an institutional assessment policy review process that used a questionnaire to elicit 269 students’ perspectives on a draft policy document. Among the key findings were a lack of focus on using assessment to inform instruction, and a lack of clarity around the purposes for assessment. Within the final policy, there seemed to be an absence of focus on assessment as supporting learning and informing instruction, although there was a significant focus on the role of assessment in measuring achievement, despite students’ emphasis on the former two characteristics. The study’s implications point to the important theoretical contributions
students offer to institutional policy reviews, and the practical challenges institutions face in providing mechanisms that facilitate engagement and reflect shifts in culture.
It would be a shame if the lesson learned is simply to remove the controversial bits from your course.
The issues of freedom of speech and transgender rights, highlighted by recent events involving a teaching assistant at Wilfrid Laurier University, remind me of my first year as a university instructor in the late 1990s, when I taught a communications course on advertising at York University. (Yes, I understand that the status of a TA is different than that of an instructor, but I think for the purposes of this anecdote, the principles are similar.)
While teaching the course, I saw an ad for Sauza tequila in the campus newspaper. It featured a photo of an attractive, swimsuit-wearing woman, with the phrase, “She’s a He,” written across her chest. The ad’s tag line read: “Life is Harsh, Your Tequila Shouldn’t Be.” (The ad didn’t identify the model, who in fact was Caroline Cossey, a transgender model.)
One of the commitments emerging from the Canadian Education Association’s What’s Standing in the Way of Change in Education? workshop in Calgary in October 2013 was to convene a series of Regional Workshops designed to expand
the conversation about change in Canada’s education systems. To this end, in the Spring of 2014, similar workshops were held in New Brunswick, Manitoba, Ontario and British Columbia with a final session held in Quebec in August, 2014.
Canada is the steward of a diverse forest landscape unlike any other region of the world. Our forest management practices are watched carefully by Canadians and the rest of the world. This level of public interest demands robust engagement and stringent oversight from private and public sectors. The challenge moving forward sustainably is to continuously improve existing management systems, while avoiding the creation of additional bureaucracy. To enable the forestry sector to develop deeper and more authentic public confidence, a concerted effort is needed among stakeholders to establish a common understanding, respect, and trust.
This paper explores whether bias arising from group work helps explain the gender promotion gap. Using data from conomists’ CVs, I test whether coauthored publications matter differently for tenure by gender. While solo-authored papers send a clear signal about one’s ability, coauthored papers do not provide specific information about each contributor’s skills. I find that women incur a penalty when they coauthor that men do not experience. This is most pronounced for women coauthoring with men and less pronounced the more women there are on a paper. A model shows that the bias documented here departs from
traditional discrimination models.
Women represent the majority of young university graduates, but are still underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer science (STEM) fields. This article provides more information on women with STEM university degrees, and examines whether mathematical ability in high school is related to gender differences in STEM university programs.
Post-secondary institutions in Canada are stuck in a world of out-dated educational models that fall short of the country’s and their students’ needs, says Kevin Lynch, a man whose career has taken him to the highest echelons of government, business and academia.
“In a profoundly changing world, the one strategy that doesn’t make sense is to keep doing what you’ve always done,” Lynch told me when we chatted not long before he delivered a lecture at a UBC Public Policy Forum on Friday. “That’s not to say it was a bad strategy for the past. But it’s not a good strategy for the future.” The result, he said, is that Canadian graduates are falling behind at a time in history when our economic success depends on them surging to the head of the pack.
There has been an increase in the number of universities relying on graduate students to teach undergraduate coursework in recent years. In some universities, such as Purdue and University of South Florida, up to 26 percent of undergraduate courses are taught by graduate instructors (U.S. News and World Report, 2017). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
(2018), there were over 135,000 graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) in 2017.