Promoting Inclusive Learning Through Reimagining Higher Education: Institutionalizing Anti-racist Curriculum and Pedagogy at a Leading Community College (E/SI)

This presentation outlines how a Reimagine Higher Education Team approached the creation of a more equitable ecosystem of teaching and learning at one of the largest community colleges in Canada (NorQuest College, Alberta). Following the recent creation and adoption of key college policy and strategy documents such as NorQuest 2030: We Are Who We Include and the Deans’ Joint Commitment to Anti-Racism for Equity, the Faculty of Academic Strategy and Integration (ASI) at NorQuest conceptualized the Reimagine Higher Education initiative which aimed to bridge the gap between equitable policy intentions and the ground level experiences of our current and future students at the college. The Reimagine Higher Education initiative is divided into several components, one of which is to promote inclusive postsecondary education through anti-racist and anti-oppressive curriculum and pedagogical approaches. In this presentation, we specifically demonstrate how an interdisciplinary Team employed combined/integrated a scientific, relational and project management approach in planning and creating a college-wide project to institutionalize an antiracist system of learning, knowing and being for students and staff across all programs at the college. We highlight some of the interim lessons learned and suggest how other post-secondary institutions might adopt our approaches or aspects thereof to promote systemic equity in curriculum design, review, teaching and learning contexts. We ground our work in critical theoretical and methodological perspectives that support a data-driven approach to creating systemic solutions and equitable ecosystems in postsecondary.

Gender equality: what it takes to deliver lasting change outcomes (E/SI)

Gender equality has come a long way in recent years, however there is much work still to do to close the gap for women globally and enable the same opportunities regardless of gender. In many ways, education institutions have always been a positive force in this journey through teaching, research, and engagement with communities and industry partners. Beyond this direct influence on gender equality, educational institutions around the world reach hundreds of thousands of students and staff and can play a leading role is shifting the dial for gender equality globally.

This panel will discuss approaches to embedding gender equality initiatives in a higher education context. Drawing on the global representation, the panel members will present a range of activities and initiatives from their local context and then open for discussion with the audience.

Bringing a diverse set of perspectives, the panel will discuss best practice in gender equality in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and seek to deeply unpack and understand VET institution’s roles and obligation in leading in gender equality globally.

Presidents and Directors General Network Session (E/SI)

Closed Session for CICan and WFCP Member Presidents & Directors General ONLY

Join The Conversation with Your Peers from Across the Country!

This session is an opportunity for Presidents and Directors General from across the world to come together, meet new colleagues, network and discuss strategic issues that are critical to strengthen the college and institute system. Join this interactive networking session, organized in collaboration with CICan Coordinating Committee of the Presidents’ Leadership Network (PLN), to hear guest speakers’ and your peers’ perspectives on hot topics and issues of interest and share yours.

Ontario Black Entrepreneurs’ Empowerment to Access Available Success Supporting Resources (E/SI)

This research project focuses on how Black entrepreneurs (BE) might be empowered to access available success-supporting resources and develop a ‘Best Practices Guide for BE, Training Curriculum, and Mentoring Program’ to help build their business capacity. Access to funding and economic stability are some of the biggest challenges faced by BE in Ontario, which have been heightened during the COVID pandemic. The research initially started in 2020 as a partnership between Sheridan’s Pilon School of Business (PSB) and the Afro-Caribbean Business Network (ACBN). The research holds excellent significance; however, it was not allocated funding and continued to move forward depending on the generosity of PSB. A proposal to support the recruitment of student research assistants would contribute to bringing this research to completion. Entrepreneurship is playing an increasingly important role in helping individuals achieve social and economic success in Canada. While the country has enjoyed a high rate of entrepreneurship, the Black community continues to lag behind in the attainment of success. The research recommends the need for Black entrepreneurs to have mentorship. It notes that mentors provide valuable experiential knowledge as they tend to be familiar with the struggles black entrepreneurs face in the business sector. This research deserves prominence because its major focus is on empowerment to access available success-supporting resources by Black entrepreneurs and the development of Training Curricula and Mentorship Programs to help remedy the challenges.

Collective intelligence fostering the long-term settlement of international students (F/SI)

As part of the cooperation initiative on post-secondary transition (Pôle sur les transitions en enseignement supérieur) involving the four Saguenay/Lac-St-Jean-area CEGEPs and the Université du Quebec à Chicoutimi, a living laboratory was established to reflect and act on the social and professional integration of international students. The transition from being an international student in a post-secondary institution to living and working in the community is marked by a series of obstacles, which we have collectively decided to reduce. In this regard, a broad array of regional stakeholders, employers and international students have come together in a spirit of cooperation with a view to defining priority issues and action areas aimed at facilitating the long-term settlement of former students in the Saguenay/Lac-St-Jean region. The session will begin with a short presentation on the living laboratory, the issues at hand, the recommended approach and the results to date. Three experts will then lead a collaborative and interactive workshop on the issue of international students and their long-term settlement. Thanks to the collective intelligence techniques applied during the workshop, the ideas generated will inspire participants to undertake innovative and transformative projects aimed at fostering peaceful co-existence in their respective communities.

G̱alg̱apoła _Supporting one another (E/SI)

This session will reflect on best practices exploring the intersection between Indigenization and internationalization through study abroad. Presenters will share their experience of a unique study abroad project that brought together two Indigenous communities across international borders for a community to community exchange. In May 2022, Kwakwaka’wakw students from the Indigenous Language Fluency certificate at North Island College and community members, together with Native Hawaiian faculty, students, and staff from Kapi’olani Community College in Honolulu engaged in a learning exchange in a promise to revitalize the deeply rooted connections established generations ago. The theme areas for the field school focused on Indigenization, decolonization, internationalization and environmental sustainability by drawing on the amazing progress the Hawaiian community has made to revitalize Hawaiian language and culture. Drawing on their respective Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and doing, the groups shared their culture and language and explored the concept of what it means to be truly Indigenous serving institutions as it applies to supporting the resurgence of the vital connection between Indigenous languages, the land, sea, and wellness as a central theme of the exchange. Knowledge Holders, traditional dancers and singers were invited to take part in the dialogue and cultural exchange. Presenters will share reflections and experiences on re-considering the role of ‘study abroad’ from an Indigenous context in an effort to supporting reconciliation and Indigenous learning in academia and will engage participants in an exploration of the intersect between aspirations to become Indigenous serving and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion as the Blueprint for Strong Institutions and Sustainable Communities (E/SI)

Niagara College is built on strong internal partnerships. These include a unique meaningful working relationship between the College’s executive team and Student Administrative Council, reflected in the establishment of a joint diversity and inclusion taskforce in January 2020. The taskforce included an equal number of students and employees working together to learn from internal departments and external partner organizations, and to conduct extensive consultations with members of the college community. The collective wisdom that emerged through these consultations formed the basis of the College’s ambitious Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Blueprint, launched in Winter 2023. The implementation plan for this Blueprint involves identifying EDI Catalysts as we continue to partner to maintain and further a strong, sustainable commitment to being a welcoming and inclusive community. These Catalysts will lead cross-functional teams that will use the actions outlined in the Blueprint as the foundation for their cross-functional work. In this session, the College’s Senior Vice-President of College Operations, President of the Student Administrative Council, Director of the Centre for Professional and Organizational Development, and Workplace Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Manager provide an overview of how we have and will continue to partner across the college every step of the way through the conceptualization, drafting, and implementation of our EDI Blueprint. The objective of this session is to share and invite lessons learned about the value of collective wisdom in building strong institutions and sustainable communities in partnership with students.

Welcoming CEGEP/college student refugees with a view to building more equitable and inclusive communities (F/SI)

In recent years, the college community has stepped up its role in protecting refugees under the auspices of the Student Refugee Program (SRP) administered by World University Service of Canada. The SRP—a one-of-a-kind program supported by the UN High Commission for Refugees—is designed to facilitate the sponsoring of young refugees forced to flee persecution or conflicts in their countries of origin that are undermining their post-secondary education. The SRP helps to develop collective intelligence at the college level by drawing on the strengths of community stakeholders (professors, students, social workers, guidance counsellors, etc.) within an exceptional collaborative network. By welcoming young refugees, the college community is helping not only to advance the cause of migratory justice, but also to build more welcoming, diverse and inclusive communities. The panel will present two case studies involving CEGEPs sponsoring student refugees. The presenters will discuss their sponsorship model with a view to inspiring other colleges and institutes to become involved in the program, to work towards greater social justice, to offer a high-quality education to a vulnerable population and to educate future citizens who are competent, engaged and open to the world. During this session, a student refugee enrolled in the SRP will share her views on colleges’ key role in welcoming and integrating refugees.

Meaningful Access in the Educational Built Environment (E/SI)

24% of Canadians identify as having a mobility, vision or hearing disability or challenge and nearly half say they spend time with or help someone who is dealing with these difficulties, according to the Angus Reid Institute (ARI). Yet building codes don’t meet the needs of all Canadians, and are not inclusive of people of all ages and abilities. ARI, in partnership with Rise for Architecture, released a report which found that Canadians are near-unanimous (96%) that accessibility should be prioritized in new buildings in their community. Given the widespread support for accessible communities, it’s critical that institutions consider accessibility as part of their strategic priorities, and any new builds consider accessibility from the outset. The panel of experts will discuss the importance of breaking down barriers in the built environment, their journeys to becoming trained in the area of the built environment, creating a culture of accessibility, and the importance of access to career opportunities for people with disabilities.

Cyber and Data Security and Social Engineering (E)

The Cyber and Data Security and Social Engineering Affinity Group will utilize in-country networks to feed labour market intelligence (LMI), employer views and industry practice into the group to help all members keep up to date with leading practice and approaches in the industries.  The approach will involve, for instance, UK industry patrons who are leading industry experts in these fields to hold a webinar with related affinity groups members providing the UK perspective of trends and developments in these industries and the skills and competencies required to make those seeking to secure employment within them a success.