In the context of the increasing focus on harms, psychological safety, and mental health in post-secondary settings, this qualitative study explores the challenges and opportunities for harm reduction through focus groups with student leaders, service providers, and administrators in one large Canadian university. Key themes explored by participants include a pervasive work hard, party culture, clashes regarding how to define and operationalize harm reduction, broad approaches to harm reduction in tension with the risk of becoming a band-aid solution, and knowledge transfer and privilege in an academic context. These findings suggest possible avenues for harm reduction that could be implemented as part of the new post-secondary standard,
as well as in society as a whole.
Keywords: harm reduction, mental health, post-secondary, Canada
Plusieurs travaux soulignent des difficultés particulières auxquelles certains titulaires d’un doctorat sont confrontés sur le marché du travail en dehors du milieu universitaire. Une des principales raisons de ces difficultés serait la méconnaissance ou l’inadéquation des acquis de la formation doctorale en ce qui concerne les compétences recherchées par les organisations. Or, en dehors de données statistiques, peu de travaux nous renseignent sur les perceptions que les différents acteurs ont de ces compétences. Cet article apporte une contribution dans ce sens. Il est basé sur les résultats d’une recherche mixte à devis séquentiel. La première étape a consisté en une étude qualitative par entretiens semi-directifs réalisés auprès de 85 diplômés du doctorat en emploi et 21 responsables d’organisations. Les résultats de cette étude, dont les données ont été traitées par la méthode Alceste, ont servi à la conception d’une échelle de 45 items sur les compétences des titulaires d’un doctorat. Cette échelle a été mesurée lors de deux enquêtes par questionnaire auxquelles ont répondu 2139 diplômés du doctorat en emploi et 215 responsables d’organisations. Des analyses descriptives de comparaison de moyennes standardisées (d de Cohen) mettent en évidence des points de convergence qui montrent que la formation doctorale pourrait constituer un
atout pour le développement des compétences du futur, notamment celles difficiles à automatiser : la gestion de la complexité, la créativité, l’esprit critique.
Mots-clés : doctorat, transition, compétences, compétences du futur, intentionnalité, employabilité
A number of studies point to particular challenges that some PhD graduates face in the labour market outside of academia. One of the main reasons for these difficulties is said to be a lack of knowledge or inadequacy of what doctoral graduates have acquired in terms of the skills sought by employers. However, apart from statistical data, there is little work that tells us about the perceptions that the various groups and individuals involved have of these skills. This article makes a contribution in this direction. It is based on the results of a sequential mixed methods study. The first stage consisted of a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews of 85 employed PhD graduates and 21 organizational leaders. The results of this study, whose data were processed using the Alceste method, were used to design a 45-item scale on the skills of doctoral graduates. This scale was measured in two questionnaire surveys completed by 2,139 employed doctoral graduates and 215 organizational leaders. Descriptive analyses comparing standardized averages (Cohen's d) highlight points of convergence that show that doctoral training could be an asset for the development of future skills, especially those that are difficult to automate: complexity management, creativity, critical thinking.eywords: PhD, transition, skills, future skills, intentionality, employability
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
Despite growing enrollment of university students with disabilities, they have not achieved academic parity with their non-dis-abled peers. This study matched 71 first-year university students with disabilities and students without disabilities on three variables: high school average when admitted to university, gender, and program of study. Both groups of students were compared on three measures of academic performance: GPA failed courses, and dropped courses after first year of university. The relationship between accommodations and academic performance was also analyzed for students with disabilities. Even when matched on admission average, gender, and program of study, students with disabilities had a significantly lower GPA
and were more likely to fail courses in their first year than their peers without disabilities. While note-taking in the classroom was associated with being less likely to drop a course, it was also associated with poorer academic performance, as was using a calculator or alternate format during exams. The more accommodations students lost in the transition from high school,
the worse they performed academically at university. Students who lost human assistant support in the classroom and the use of a computer or a memory aid during exams had a significantly lower GPA and were more likely to fail courses in their first year of university compared with students who did not lose these accommodations. These findings have implications for accessibility offices and universities in supporting the access needs and academic success of students with disabilities.
Keywords: accommodation, academic performance, transition
This article explores the relationship between unionization and academic freedom protections for sessional faculty in Ontario universities. Specifically, we compare university policies and contract provisions with a view to determining whether unionized sessionals hired on a per-course basis have stronger academic freedom protections than their non-union counterparts.
We then explore whether particular kinds of bargaining unit structures are more conducive to achieving stronger academic freedom provisions. Finally, we consider whether academic freedom can be exercised effectively by sessionals, whether unionized or not. We conclude that unionization does help to produce stronger academic freedom protections for sessional faculty and that faculty association bargaining unit structures are most likely to help deliver this outcome. We further conclude that academic freedom is difficult to exercise for sessional faculty, regardless of union status, but that unionization offers greater protections for sessionals facing repercussions as a result of asserting their academic freedom.
Keywords: academic freedom, sessional instructors, contract faculty, faculty associations, unions, bargaining unit structures
Can we map university-wide graduate attributes to specific program requirements? Can we develop and manage an integrated assessment process? In this article, we present a seven-month long project where we attempted to map generic university graduate attributes (UGAs) to required engineering program graduate attributes in a large Canadian research institution. The purpose of the project was to explore the intersection of the UGAs with engineering graduate attributes, evaluate the accreditation process, develop a mapping process, and examine management strategies for assessing both sets of graduate attributes, all the while keeping the continual improvement process attractive to students, instructors, and administrators. Using a modified dialectical inquiry, two groups worked on the mapping process: one from engineering, the other from social sciences (Education and Arts), to ensure objectivity of comparison. Both forward and backward mapping took place. Results demonstrated that, although generic, UGAs may not necessarily capture specific professional program graduate attributes. The study also highlighted the need for more revisions and updates of UGAs by including various stakeholders who can substantially contribute to the implementation and assessment of UGAs. Keywords: graduate attributes, engineering education, professional attributes, mapping, learning outcomes
Many CPAs are curious about whether teaching at a university will be a rewarding and fulfilling part of a professional career. In this article, the co-authors relate their experiences at the front of the classroom. They detail the benefits of teaching for individuals as well as the institutions that employ professional faculty.
Decades-long research on implementation has shown the importance that local context plays in implementing reforms across districts, schools, and classrooms (Anderson et al., 1987; Elmore & McLaughlin, 1983; Honig, 2006; McLaughlin, 1990; Odden, 1991; Purkey & Smith, 1983). New approaches have emerged that take advantage of these lessons; continuous-improvement research, for example, responds to evidence that deep and sustained implementation is likely to occur only when the implementing unit (e.g., a school) is encouraged to modify or adapt a program to its context as it is being designed and tested (Bryk, Gomez, & Grunow, 2011; Cohen-Vogel, Tichnor-Wagner, Allen, Harrison, Kainz, Socol, & Wang, 2015; Langley et al., 2009; Penuel, Fishman, Cheng, & Sabelli, 2011).
Douglas Mulford worried when his lab course moved to remote instruction this past spring. Mulford, a senior lecturer of chemistry at Emory University, had worked out a system for giving in-person exams in large classes. But with his 440 students taking their final online, he feared, it would be much easier for them to cheat.
So Mulford set out to protect his test. He looked into lockdown browsers, which limit what students can do on their computers during a test, but concluded they were pointless: Most of his students had a smartphone, too, he figured, and could simply consult it instead. He thought about using a proctoring service, but wasn’t convinced it could handle this volume
of tests on such short notice. So he settled on what he calls “Zoom proctoring,” having students take their final in a Zoom room, with videos turned on, while a TA watched them and recorded the session.
When I first moved from being a contingent faculty member to a staff position in the faculty-development office, a few of my friends who were comfortably positioned in tenure-track jobs not-so-jokingly accused me of “becoming part of the problem” or
“crossing over to the Dark Side” of academe. I was, in their eyes, emblematic of the dreaded administrative bloat that was taking over the university, siphoning money away from the classroom and into the pockets of largely useless (in their eyes) administrative
If social movements are best conceived as temporary public spaces, as moments of collective creation that provide societies with ideas, identities, and even ideals, as Eyerman and Jamison (1991, p. 4) have argued, then educational researchers have much to learn from movements. Educational processes and contexts are crucial to the ways in which social movements ideas, identities, and ideals are generated and promoted, taught and learned, contested and transformed. Indeed, movements themselves are educators, engaging participants in informal education (through participation in movement activity),
non-formal education (through the educational initiatives of the movement), and even, sometimes, quasi-formal education (through special schools within movements). Moreover, movements are producers of knowledge that, when successful, educate not only their adherents but also broader publics (Crowther & Shaw, 1997; Dykstra & Law, 1994; Eyerman & Jamison, 1991; Hall, 2006; Martin, 1988; Stromquist, 1998).
In his 1903 essay, “The Ph.D. Octopus,” William James lamented the rapid expansion of American graduate education, which had become a “tyrannical Machine with unforeseen powers of exclusion and corruption.” It produced neither intelligent scholarship nor good teachers but instead fostered a culture of fear among young scholars, who were taught to see failure of the doctoral exam as “a sentence of doom that they are not fit, and are broken-spirited men thereafter.” James found fault with administrators’ quest for prestige and hypercredentialed faculty, but he also assigned the professoriate a share of the blame. “We of the university faculties,” he wrote, “are responsible for creating this new class of American failures, and heavy is the responsibility.”
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.
With PhD in hand, I joined the academy without any real teaching training. As I sought to establish my teaching routine and define my teaching philosophy, I found an author who provided useful guidance: James M. Lang in his first book Life on the Tenure Track:
Lessons from the First Year (Lang 2005). Lang captured my attention immediately with his suggestion that one day per semester you should cancel classes spontaneously to recharge yourself. Beyond this provocative statement, Lang’s practical tone was appealing, and he challenged me to think creatively about how to get the most out of my students. Lang has gone on to author several more books on teaching and learning (Lang 2008, Lang 2016) and a series of highly useful shorter blog posts, many of which are cited in this article. My aim is to build on Lang’s approach by collecting in one place a number of teaching tips. These are practically oriented suggestions in the spirit of Faculty Focus’s interest in publishing pieces on “how it works.” Many of these suggestions are applicable to online learning.
Race, abortion, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are among the most uncomfortable topics for college students to discuss, according to a report on a survey of nearly 20,000 full-time undergraduate students at 55 four-year colleges and universities. The report, “2020 College Free Speech Rankings: What’s the Climate for Free Speech on America’s College Campuses?,” released on Tuesday, says that about six out of 10 students said they had censored themselves on these and other thorny issues out of fear of how others would react.
More than 50 doctoral programs in the humanities and social sciences won’t be admitting new students in the fall of 2021 — a response to the pandemic and ensuing economic turmoil. It’s a sort of financial triage to help the programs devote funding to their current students, many of whom will be delayed in completing their degrees because of the disruptions. Suspending admissions for a year, some administrators say, will also allow them to reimagine their doctoral curricula to account for the flagging Ph.D. job market.
Experienced and new teachers shared what they learned in the spring about how to make mentoring work during the pandemic.
Before the pandemic descended and emptied its hallways, the Davis Building at the University of Toronto’s suburban Mississauga campus (UTM) was a busy hub of academic and social life, and the students walked with a briskness that matched the pace in any urban rail station. The campus’s Health and Counselling Centre (HCC) is just down a set of stairs, in the basement of the building. Last November, a young woman went there after struggling with feelings of being overwhelmed and anxious about living up to academic demands and grappling with unresolved trauma. Anushka* was experiencing suicidal ideation that culminated in a specific plan involving a bottle of pills that she carried in her backpack.
Currently, chances for English learners (ELs), emergent bilinguals who are in the process of developing grade-level academic English proficiency, to receive a college education are limited in the United States. Almost half of ELs do not attend any postsecondary education (PSE) after high school (Kanno & Cromley, 2013, 2015). Even among those who attend college, ELs are overrepresented in community colleges while being underrepresented in four-year institutions. On the face of it, this may all seem like an unfortunate but natural consequence of ELs limited English proficiency. However, scholars have argued that there are structural barriers that inhibit ELs PSE access, such as limited academic preparation in middle and high school due to their institutional status as ELs (Callahan, 2005; Callahan & Shifrer, 2016; Callahan, Wilkinson, & Muller, 2010; Kanno & Kangas, 2014; Umansky, 2016). Moreover, recent statistical analyses suggest that factors that have been widely accepted as influential in the general student population s college access the majority of whom are English-as-a-first-language (English L1) speakers may not
always be as significant for ELs (Kanno & Cromley, 2015; Nuñez & Sparks, 2012). In other words, we know that ELs
do not have the same levels of four-year-college access as English L1 speakers, but we do not know exactly why.
Longitudinal investigations of ELs transition to college are particularly scarce.
When the enrolment numbers came in, Joanna’s heart sank.
The new program she had spent years developing and campaigning for had finally launched this year. Since that initial announcement, she had spent what little free time she had helping the school’s marketing team get the word out and dreaming of the kind of numbers that would let her bring in a few other instructors to help teach the program.