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Call for Expressions of Interest for ImpAct project participation

CICan ImpAct, with the backing of the McConnell Foundation, and under the auspices of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, is now ready to launch three collaborative pan-Canadian projects to strengthen and scale up our member institutions’ contributions to social and economic inclusion and ecological sustainability.

After extensive consultation, and with guidance from the ImpAct Advisory Committee, CICan is inviting representatives from member institutions to express their interest in participating in one of three working groups:

Canada’s college and institute system was designed to meet the professional and technical training needs of all types of learners, at all stages of their working lives. Recognizing that educational attainment facilitates social and economic inclusion, it is critical to scale up access for vulnerable learners. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDGs 4, 5 and 10, call on all countries and stakeholders to reduce barriers to quality education and training and ensure equal and full participation by under-represented groups including Indigenous peoples, visible minorities, women, people with disabilities and LGBTQ2S+ individuals. New or promising approaches and practices must be put in place to increase the recruitment, retention and support of vulnerable students in order to Leave No One Behind. Through this working group, participating individuals will share institutional challenges, opportunities, promising practices and, together, develop, test, refine and implement scalable interventions that will increase the successful recruitment and retention of under-represented groups.

Colleges and institutes across Canada recognize the value of an entrepreneurial mindset and the potential of increased social, economic and environmental well-being that comes with responsible entrepreneurship. Innovation partnerships with industry and communities also offer significant opportunities to meet the growing challenges of climate instability and technological change. The SDGs call upon all countries to do better in the face of such challenges and to accomplish this, all businesses must embrace societal good as an end goal. Social entrepreneurship is often a pillar of post-secondary education, giving students access to the knowledge, tools, contacts and opportunities for experiential learning that leads to positive social impact. Through this working group, participating individuals will share institutional challenges, opportunities, promising practices and, together, develop, test, refine and implement scalable initiatives that will embed social entrepreneurship models and practices in the curriculum, applied research and extracurricular offerings of institutions.

Climate change is arguably the most pressing challenge facing Canadians today. Globally, youth are leading the call to do more, better, and faster to address the climate emergency. CICan’s member institutions made clear that they share this urgency via a SDG survey: of the top five priorities, three were explicitly related to environmental sustainability, namely SDGs 11, 12 and 13. In creating a learning environment that fosters sustainability awareness, institutions equip their learners to contribute an environmental awareness to 21st century workplaces. Further, Canadian post-secondary institutions have a tremendous impact on their local environments and communities via energy and water use, food services, transportation, waste management and the procurement of goods and services. Colleges and institutes can contribute to sustainability and bring about the changes needed to reduce their environmental footprint and show the leadership students expect. Through this working group, participating individuals will share institutional challenges, opportunities, promising practices and, together, develop, test, refine and implement scalable interventions that will reduce the environmental and/or carbon footprint of their campuses.

CICan, with the support of the ImpAct Presidents’ Advisory Committee and Student and Alumni Advisory Committee (ISAAC), will ensure that selected institutions represent the geographical diversity of Canada as well as diversity in their size, location, population served and language of instruction. Working groups will be made up of between>4-6 institutions. Typically, we expect only one institution per province or region in each working group.

Role of CICan

  • Convene working group meetings and provide secretariat functions including planning, documenting, seeking outside expertise and resources as needed.
  • Communicate and share information with working groups, between working groups and with other relevant stakeholders inside and outside the CICan network.
  • Organize occasional face-to-face meetings, offer training and knowledge mobilization support as needed.
  • Provide micro-grants to institutions to enable them to carry out aspects of the creation, piloting, local evaluation and documentation of the selected approach.
  • Translate required materials and offer interpretation as needed.
  • Evaluate the overall outcomes of each project and provide regular feedback and support for consistent monitoring and evaluation.
  • Develop or co-create materials such as presentations, webinars, flyers, posters or other print or online resources deemed necessary by working groups, including translation.
  • Offer financial subsidies for travel to occasional meetings or events, up to twice per year for the duration of the project.
Role of participating institutions

  • Commit to engaging with CICan and working group for the duration of the project: Roughly one years, up to 3 days per month.
  • Provide a main point of contact who will participate in all working group meetings, online and in person, and act as the lead for the project at the institution.
  • Ensure that there is staff and organizational capacity to carry out the development, review, pilot testing, local evaluation and implementation of the selected initiative, including adapting and modifying the approach to meet specific local needs.
  • Allow time for and supporting occasional travel needs that enhance the efforts of the working group.
  • Contribute to sharing the results of the projects at relevant conferences and events.

Individuals are invited to express their interest in participating in one of the three working groups by completing the following form by Monday, November 4, 2019 at noon EDT.

  • Contact Information

  • College or Institute Representative

  • Additional Information

  • This can include a specific area of need or priority for your institution, with respect to the theme of the chosen working group.
  • This can include a description of a promising practice that has shown preliminary positive outcomes in meeting the objectives of the chosen theme.
  • Institutional commitment: Support for pilot testing, revising and implementing the approach or practice developed by the collaborative effort, including reporting back on the results.