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May 17, 2018

Building a bridge to change: connecting post-secondary teachers and staff with student diversity

The population of post-secondary students is becoming increasingly diverse. Over time, colleges and universities have seen increasing numbers of students from diverse cultural, ethnic, and first-language groups (including Indigenous students). But other types of differences are also becoming more common, like cognitive and neuro diversity in students with autism, Asperger’s and ADHD. Institutions are also more aware of gender diversity, both among different gender identities and also through recognition some gender groups are underrepresented, such as women in engineering and computing. This project hinges on the fundamental notion that educators welcome diversity and embrace the increasing diversity of student population... Read more
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May 16, 2018

A community-built response to improving access to education

Deciding on post-secondary education is a big step that can be particularly difficult for students who’ve grown up in areas with lower socio-economic status. To counter that, Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario has developed “City School by Mohawk,” a community-based initiative that aims to break down barriers to education and employment for residents of some of the city’s struggling neighbourhoods. The goal of City School by Mohawk is to overcome the post-secondary attainment gap that may affect residents of communities struggling with poverty and other causes of marginalization. To do that, it has brought college programming and services directly to... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Evaluating Neighbourhood Policing

Relations between the public and their police are often strained these days — which has made finding a way to defuse tension and build trust a high priority for communities across Canada. Once an effort has been made, however, it’s important to ask if what’s being done is working. That’s why Humber College and the Toronto Police Service are collaborating on an evaluation of the Neighbourhood Policing Program introduced in May 2013. Its goals were to reduce crime and increase the public’s safety and its trust in police. Through the program, special teams of Toronto police officers were assigned to... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Integrating kosher and food-safety guidelines

While there is much overlap between kosher and food safety programs, they have been kept markedly separate. Until now — thanks to the Kashruth Council of Canada and Niagara College’s joint project to develop an efficient way to integrate kosher certification with food safety planning. The council, a not-for-profit organization, is Canada’s largest certifier of kosher food. Its inspectors are responsible for determining that products made at more than 1,000 facilities across Canada and around the world meet the standards of Jewish dietary laws. At the same time, most of the world’s leading food retailers and manufacturers participate in the... Read more
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June 22, 2016

Harnessing Fun for Children with Disabilities

It sounds like a dream come true for kids everywhere — your parents want you to play your video game. It’s good for you. Perhaps more surprising is the reason these video games are likely to get parental endorsement — they are designed to get children with cerebral palsy doing their physiotherapy exercises. “We are trying to make cod liver oil more palatable,” Denis Nikitenko joked in an interview. He puts equal emphasis, however, on the other goal he and his partners have in developing the games: improving quality of life for children with cerebral palsy by giving them something... Read more
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June 22, 2016

Worth a Thousand Words

Picture this: women, working to get footholds in a new country, are armed with cameras. What will the pictures they take tell them about the journey they’re on? What will they tell the new country about itself? Choon Lee Chai hopes the photos will fill in details and open up discussion on the programs and services available for immigrant women in a small city in central Alberta. He and his colleagues at Red Deer College and the University of Calgary are using a Community and College Social Innovation Fund grant to find out from immigrant women how those programs meet... Read more
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June 22, 2016

Bonding Children to School, Building Bonds to Their Futures

A solid foundation helps a structure last: it’s true of buildings and it’s true of education. The challenge for educators is to bond children more firmly to the foundation their school and teachers create for them. “Many kids, especially in First Nations, start to lose interest in school between Grade 5 and Grade 8,” says Gwen Machnee, university and research coordinator at Parkland College in Saskatchewan. “That’s when they start skipping, and the more they do, the harder it is for them. School keeps moving on and they get left behind.” That four-year window before high school is the target... Read more
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June 22, 2016

Confronting Loneliness in Crowded Places

They might seem a world apart, busy college students and homeless people, drifting around the downtown streets of a big city, but many share a hidden bond: they are lonely. Researchers in Edmonton are trying to help. A research team from Norquest College is working in partnership with the Edmonton Public Library, to study the impact of loneliness on marginalized people. The project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s Community and College Social Innovation Fund. The project began when Bob Marvin, a social work instructor at Norquest College, asked students in one of his courses to... Read more
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June 22, 2016

Modelling and Mentoring Positive Social Skills for Girls

A casual chat among female students revealed many were on anti-anxiety medications. A class on techniques for leading group therapy led to multiple revelations of self-loathing. For college instructor Stephanie Ruckstuhl, those were messages too strong to ignore. “Happens once, it’s a fluke, then a second time, and I thought, what are we doing to our girls?” said Ruckstuhl, a teacher in the practical nursing program at New Brunswick Community College in St. Andrew’s by the Sea. With those conversations fresh in her mind, the idea of intervening with young girls to develop positive social skills through role models and... Read more
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June 22, 2016

One goal, two perspectives

One group is students with developmental disabilities. One group is students training to work in community services. Both groups need experience working. Neither of them could have better teachers than the other. With help from a grant, provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s Community and College Social Innovation Fund, two groups of students will share work placements, designed to deal with the difficulties of integrating youth and adults with developmental handicaps into the community and the labour market. All the students attend Ottawa’s college La Cité. The students with developmental disabilities are part of the college’s Intégration... Read more
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