News Roundup Coverage: February 1 – 28, 2018
Whether it’s gaining practical experience in their chosen field, building future business connections, or test-driving a career they’re not sure about, the Co-op program allows students to “earn while they learn”. Currently on offer to students in Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Genetics, Microbiology, Statistics and Computer Science, the eventual goal is to have co-op programs in place for all disciplines within the faculty.
“Co-op” refers to a professional development option where students can alternate regular academic terms with periods of paid, full-time employment in jobs related to their area of study.
Over the last year, Red River College has opened four new Language Training Centres (LTCs) throughout Manitoba, providing access to critical language skills programming for an additional 250 students. The College’s LTC in Winnipeg, which already trains more than 1,000 newcomers every year, has recently expanded programming to Arborg, Steinbach, Thompson and Selkirk. The five-month programs are provided at no charge to students, with costs covered by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Manitoba’s university presidents believe that their provincial government is moving toward a funding model that will reward universities based on their ability to feed local job markets. Brandon University Interim President Steven Robinson reportedly relayed this observation to his university’s board of governors at their latest meeting, adding that “the province is transitioning to a focus on labour-market outcomes, such as the ability for (post-secondary) institutions to feed and drive the labour market for increased employment success and economic growth,” with a provincial emphasis on value for money and fiscal responsibility. The BU governors’ minutes note that Robinson also expressed the importance of ensuring that labour-market outcomes are considered in future funding requests to the province for programming.
New free mobile app for students (Feb 5)
The University of Winnipeg has launched a free mobile app aimed at students, which makes it easy for them to connect to campus and manage their student accounts.
Called Ellucian GO, the app allows students to manage a range of account functions on their mobile device, including planning and registering for courses, viewing course schedules as well as final grades, important messages from the university, and account balances and payments.
Red River College and the Information Technology Association of Canada have established a partnership that will help students in RRC’s Applied Computer Education department gain a head start on their careers. The agreement will see eligible companies receive a wage subsidy for students’ work placements, enabling students to gain valuable hands-on experience. “The ITAC partnership will open doors for Red River College learners, and help employers secure the talent they need to compete in the digital economy,” said RRC ACE chair Haider Al-Saidi.
Mino Bimaadiziwin: Reconciliation in Action is a project that brings together researchers from Brandon University and the University of Manitoba and was recently awarded a prestigious Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Grant in the amount of $2.5 million. This research project closely follows the call to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to “ensure that Aboriginal peoples have equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector, and that Aboriginal communities gain long-term sustainable benefits from economic development projects” and also aligns with Brandon University’s commitment to First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. It will bring postsecondary education into communities that lack programming due to their remote location.
Chris Brower is the coordinator of the Digital Media Design program and instructor of Video and Motion Graphics course at Red River College. Currently, he and his DMD students are hard at work creating the College’s first-ever escape room. The adventure game will be time machine-themed, and will have virtual reality components. The plan is to finish the escape room by May, then open it up to industry, and perhaps, permit the public to take a trip through time this summer.
The inaugural Sport and Reconciliation Gathering at the University of Manitoba wrapped up Friday, Feb. 23 with a succinct message: sport fosters trust and belonging—but significant action is required to build mutually beneficial relationships to forge a path forward for Reconciliation to work.
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