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September 21, 2020

Making a lasting impact with global goals

Global Goals Week is about action, awareness, and accountability. Today, we are at a turning point: this year marks five years since the 193 member states of the United Nations promised to leave no one behind with 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and leaves us ten more years to achieve this vision by 2030. It’s time to think about how each one of us can make lasting change.

Colleges and institutes have been leaders in sustainability for many years and are constantly coming up with new initiatives to reduce their own footprint, have a lasting impact in their communities, and make progress towards achieving the goals. Our biweekly SDG Spotlight highlights some of the action:

  • Canadore College’s new sustainable food development site houses four grow pods conducting applied research on growing food in various environments, evolving technologies, yield maximization and hybrid growth methods. The site will support food security in the north, specifically rural and remote communities, and will have the capacity to produce approximately 30,000 pounds of food annually!  
  • Carlton Trail College recently released a report on regionalized, labour market information as part of a needs assessment project to better understand projected skills shortages and workforce issues within east-central Saskatchewan. Anticipating demand for skilled labour and preparing for disruption is important to ensuring that everyone can find decent work and contribute to economic growth!
  • Cégep Garneau’s plan to remove all single-use plastic water bottles from campus includes installing new drinking fountains and water stations promoting potable water as the #1 choice for hydration, eliminating 25 000 plastic bottles annually! The move is part of a larger institution-wide vision and environmentally conscious plan to both reduce its own carbon footprint while educating students on their own environmental impact.
  • Vanier College unanimously passed a resolution pledging commitment to climate action by signing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Accord. The accord represents a network of post-secondary institutions and educational organizations around the world who have each identified climate change as a global emergency and committed to action promoting sustainability in education.
  • Capilano University recently launched a unique digital ambassador program to offer peer support to students coping with virtual learning. The digital ambassadors help by creating tutorials, videos, and FAQs for digital learning and providing technical support for students using digital platforms. They help flatten the “hierarchy of learning” and ensure that everyone has equitable access to quality education!
  • At Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the new Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Food Systems and Security combines a balanced approach from both KPU’s Institute for Sustainable Food Systems and its Faculty of Arts to tackle uncertainties in the global food system stemming from issues such as climate change, environmental and ecosystem degradation, pandemics and more.

Working together on initiatives like these, we can make progress towards achieving the goals by 2030 and empower others to reach their full potential and help Build Back Better!

For more on SDG-related news, opportunities, and events, sign up for our monthly ImpActful Updates newsletter. You can also join us tomorrow for a French-language webinar to share and learn best practices that can be implemented on your campus to help build a future where all people have access to quality education and lifelong learning opportunities!

Perspectives LIVE: Let’s talk about what matters.

This fall will be like no other, and Canadians are making major readjustments – including us. To continue bringing our stakeholders what they need, we’re launching Perspectives LIVE!

The brand-new live series led by CICan will connect post-secondary leaders and experts on thought provoking hot topics. With insights into the biggest challenges facing Canadians and opportunities to hear and interact with experts leading change, there’s something for everyone in the Canadian post-secondary landscape.

Rebuilding a sustainable economy in crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the global economy into never-before-seen ups and downs. The Speech from the Throne is only days away and will direct Canadian economic recovery efforts for the foreseeable future.

What pivotal role will colleges and institutes play in this landscape?  

In our very first episode, expert guests will explore how colleges and institutes are deeply integrated in the dynamics of their local economies and are responding to the fast-evolving skills demands of the labour market.

We’re taking you to the intersection of today’s challenges and their impacts on our collective future. Mark your calendars for September 30 and join us!

Attention students: Canada’s comeback needs you

The Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) is launching and exciting national competition that will create up to 10,000 work-integrated learning (WIL) experiences for post-secondary students and recent graduates!

Build a team and help solve the biggest challenges facing Canadian employers in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors!

The Canada Comeback Challenge is a skill-building national competition in an entirely online format in which student teams will compete for a chance to pitch their ideas to an esteemed panel of judges, receive mentorship from experienced professionals, and gain exposure to unique challenges in different sectors.

Canada’s continued prosperity depends on young Canadians having access to the education and experience they need to succeed.

Be a part of the national dialogue on anti-Black racism

Join colleges, institutes, and universities across Canada for the first National Dialogue and Action for Inclusive Higher Education and Communities! Led by the University of Toronto, the series focuses on sharing experiences and ideas, exploring and learning best practices, and contributing to the formulation and implementation of concrete actions that resolutely reject anti-Black racism and drive meaningful, enduring Black inclusion.

Thursday, October 1 & Friday, October 2 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Over two days, participants will have the opportunity to choose from nine interactive online dialogues addressing student, faculty, and staff access and success; inclusive teaching, learning and curricula; inclusive decision-making structures; responsibilities and obligations of non-black peers; mentorship, and more. Don’t miss this opportunity to help shape an inclusive future for post-secondary education!

Registration is free and open to higher education professionals, students, parents, and members of the community.

Join the Best Practices in TVET virtual forum

Meet and converse with technical and vocational education and training experts from public and private sectors in Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru at the third forum hosted by our Education for Employment in the Pacific Alliance (EPE-AP) program. The intersectoral forum: Best Practices in TVET from Canada and the Pacific Alliance the EPE-AP team’s third thematic forum and the first to take place completely online!

Take part in plenary sessions, panels, and working groups from Oct 15 to Nov 5, every Thursday at 10am. Register now!

In this international virtual setting, participants will be able to learn from and ask questions of experts addressing themes such as multi-level collaboration in TVET; its value and links to agriculture, industry, and service sectors; and quality assurance in TVET.

ESDC’s Essential Skills Framework: Skills for Success

Earlier this spring, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) undertook to review its Essential Skills Framework to ensure Canadians have the necessary skills to help them adapt, participate, and thrive in a rapidly changing labour market. We were pleased to collaborate with ESDC to ensure that colleges and institutes have an opportunity to share their valuable insights on how ESDC’s Skills for Success compare to the skills needs of your learners and local employers.

Summaries of consultations in both English and French are now available.

A big thank you to everyone who was able to participate in the consultations! The expertise, context, and depth brought to discussions were greatly appreciated. We continue to explore ways for the essential skills community within colleges and institutes to add their expertise to this project.

Support economic recovery: paid internships through Mitacs

Put your strategic business skills to work through a paid internship and help Canadian businesses on the road to economic recovery! A new initiative from Mitacs provides students across all disciplines, from finance to marketing to social sciences, with the opportunity to apply concepts and theories in real-world situations.

The Business Strategy Internship provides $10,000 per student for college, undergraduate, or graduate students to tackle a four-month project to develop innovative solutions designed to help an organization thrive in the current economic environment.

The award is funded equally by Mitacs and the participating business or non-profit.

Support youth employability in Kenya

Two new opportunities are available two help strengthen technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Kenya and give youth, particularly women, market-relevant skills to find fulfilling work through Young Africa Works!  The two new thematic partnerships will focus on labour market information capacity building and career guidance and mentorship services.

Apply before October 19.

We will also be hosting a webinar to answer questions about both requests for proposals. Join us September 23. Young Africa Works-Kenya: Youth Employability through TVET is a 5-year partnership between CICan and the Mastercard Foundation. Contact Nathalie Garon for more information.

Webinar: Preparing Tomorrow’s Workforce

Global competencies and intercultural understanding have become more important than ever for citizens and workers around the world. Join the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) for an upcoming webinar on internationalization of curricula for career and technical education (CTE) and TVET programs in the USA and Canada to create a more competitive workforce, civil society, and successful economy.

Register for “Preparing Tomorrow’s Workforce: Internationalizing CTE in North America,” September 24 at 3pm.

Speakers include representatives from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) in the U.S.; Asia Society, a global non-profit; and Saskatchewan Polytechnic in Canada.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that Vancouver Island University’s recent appointment of Dr. Judith Sayers as chancellor marks the first time in the institution’s history that both VIU’s president and chancellor are Indigenous? VIU and its senior leadership team are committed Indigeneity, Indigenous knowledge, and Indigenous ways of knowing, and want to take the next step forward with a new academic and strategic plan. The plan is to be rolled out in October and will include aspects of both the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action!


George Brown College welcomed its first Director of Indigenous Initiatives. Jennifer Campeau has many years of experience in post-secondary teaching and administration and will bring to the role a unique understanding of the challenges faced by Indigenous students.

Cégep Marie-Victorin welcomed Carlos Alberto Castano to its leadership team as director of student services and international development. Castano has held numerous positions in education and social services, most recently at Cégep du Vieux Montréal.


Join a selection committee for our Awards of Excellence. Apply before October 2.

Nominate a student for the CICan Paul & Gerri Charette bursary before October 2.

Send Us Your News

One of our main goals at Colleges and Institutes Canada is to champion and share the innovations and awesomeness of our members. You can help! We want to hear about your new applied research, industry and community partnerships, international education, important financial investments and more. Add to your media mailing lists! We’ll share member institution News Releases and other upcoming announcements online and with our national media contacts based in Ottawa.