22 September 2009

CONII Expansion

The Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation has achieved a major milestone - the expansion of the network to include 10 more Ontario colleges. Boreal, La Cite, Fleming, Cambrian, Lambton, Georgian, Mohawk, Durham, St. Lawrence and Sault Colleges bring the CONII number to 20 out of 24 Ontario colleges. This is a significant leap in our collective ability to engage with industry and community partners as we work together to foster and improve social, economic and cultural productivity in Ontario and Canada.

16 September 2009

Education, quality, assurance

Here is a good article on the status of education and the need for broader quality assurance. The author is deficient in his focus on university education. Had author Ross Finnie bothered to look into colleges (other than to mention colleges in the opening statement) he would find out that there is a very robust and coordinated institutional research program at work that is driving system-wide improvement in the quality of teaching and learning. It's interesting to note that one of the viewer comments that "training in teaching is a voluntary activity for professors, which most avoid." This is not so for college professors who are dual professionals: industry experts, and expert teachers.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, commensurate with another Globe article ("Canadian innovation starts in the classroom"), colleges represent a key avenue for the integration of innovation literacy in our future (and present) work force. Our faculty are instrumental in our collective efforts to meet the educational needs brought on by the skills gap and skills shortage Canada is experiencing. Our institutional research focuses on promoting institutional effectiveness by providing data and information for planning, quality assurance and policy development. We link this to faculty development to ensure our students get a quality learning experience, grounded in industry reality, and oriented toward improving social, economic and cultural benefit.

ACCC Metropolitan Colleges Symposium

Dawson College is hosting The ACCC Metropolitan Colleges Symposium from 4-6 October:
The 2009 ACCC Metropolitan Colleges Symposium will bring together representatives of colleges and institutes located in large urban centres to exchange information and exemplary practices on issues facing Canada's metropolitan institutions. Participants will collaboratively explore strategies to enhance effective partnerships that contribute to community economic and social development, as well as critical services and employment opportunities for learners in metropolitan areas.
This is a good opportunity to review and reflect on productivity and its relation to economic development, including the role of applied research in fostering regional social and economic development.

For more information, see the conference home page.