Sharing the Experience: A Cyber Attack – The Risks, Threats, and Responses (B/SI)

With students increasingly learning in digital formats, postsecondary institutions have had to set up robust information technology networks and infrastructure systems whereby students, faculty, staff, and the public sector are constantly accessing and sharing information online.   Unfortunately, this open environment has created greater security risks and cyber threats, with major impacts and recovery times.  Increased cyberattacks on postsecondary institutions reinforce the need for increased cybersecurity planning, education, and training.

Participants will hear from three colleges who experienced cyberattacks that locked down their systems and interrupted daily operations, what approaches they took to respond to the threat and what measures they put in place to address future threats.

Brand TVET (E)

This new Affinity Group will launch at the WFCP 2023 World Congress with an inaugural session open to technical and vocational education and training (TVET) leaders and practitioners. The group will focus on promoting the value of TVET and elevating the work of TVET organisations and professionals around the world. Although international TVET systems and context differ, TVET faces similar challenges globally. The group’s objective is to disseminate best practice and to work collaboratively to raise the profile of TVET.

Strengthening the Sector Together: Why Collaboration is Key to Tackle Cybersecurity Threats (E/SI)

Threats from cyber actors are growing at an extraordinary rate, and institutions can’t tackle the problem on their own. This session will focus on the importance of sharing threat intelligence based on real attacks that targeted the sector over the past year, and highlight challenges and opportunities at the institutional, provincial, and federal level. We have an opportunity to strengthen security by working together – at all levels – through expanding how we share threat information and learnings. Participants will be invited to share ideas or challenges they’ve faced in the cybersecurity landscape and provide feedback to help inform future services delivered through the emerging federated security operations centre.

A World’s First Standard for post-secondary: Leveraging the campus collective to advance student mental health and well-being (E/SI)

The past two years have highlighted new opportunities for post-secondary institutions to support students’ mental health and well-being while centering student voices. As leaders continue re-envisioning learning environments and mental health supports, they can continue to rely on The National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students (The Standard) for guidance. The first of its kind in the world, the Standard is an evidence-informed set of flexible, voluntary guidelines to help post-secondary institutions support the mental health and well-being of their students. Since its release in 2020, the Standard is being used at many institutions across Canada to evaluate and implement policies, programs, and services; support new partnerships; and inspire collective action. Drawing on the collective intelligence of students, this session will feature two CICan member institutions who will share their experience listening to and honouring student voices in their journey with the Standard as they work toward building supportive, accountable, and inclusive campus communities and cultures. As they look to keep students and their needs front and center, students’ opinions are valued and respected as vital expertise, thereby honouring student-centeredness, the first of six guiding principles within the Standard. The moderator will guide panelists through a series of questions about their efforts to engage students on topics related to equity, diversity and inclusion, and student well-being and mental health. Participants will gain insights based on the successes and lessons learned, and their related innovations that respond to the evolving needs of their diverse student body.

Sexualized violence training: Open educational resources for safer campuses (E/SI)

Informed by advisory and working groups composed of faculty, staff, and students over the past three years, with representatives from large campuses as well as rural institutions, BCcampus has developed open educational resources (OER) to improve prevention and response to sexualized violence.This session will provide participants with an overview of the various classroom and online open resources available for faculty, staff and students. Participants will then take a deeper dive to learn and discuss more about the Safer Campuses for Everyone training (a 75-minute online, self-paced, non-facilitated training). The online course was developed to offer an alternative to synchronous learning and to provide a foundation for more advanced topics on sexual violence. We will share the process by which it was developed, from consultations with Indigenous groups and Trauma Informed Practice subject matter experts to feedback from faculty, students and those with lived experience, all essential components to creating an authentic and honest learning experience. Participants will learn about the design considerations for creating OER that could be adapted and implemented in virtually any institution in the Province and beyond. Participants will have the opportunity to explore the online course, discuss the modules topics as well as the design and development decisions made during an interactive and hands-on activity. Consideration will also be given to other topics related to safer campuses where institutional collaboration could be a solution in creating open and shared resources.

Culturally Grounded Post-Secondary Learner Wellness at Indigenous Institutes in Ontario (E/SI)

In 2022, the Indigenous Institutes Consortium (IIC) initiated a community-based research project on culturally grounded post-secondary learner wellness. Working with seven of Ontario’s nine Indigenous community-mandated and territorially-based post-secondary institutions (the Indigenous Institutes, or IIs), the project team engaged with current learners, alumni, staff, and subject matter experts to explore and/or document the wellness indicators, processes, policies, activities, interventions, and resources that flow from the unique ontologies, epistemologies, and axiologies of Ontario’s Indigenous communities and nations. Building on prior work at the IIs and IIC, the resulting wellness model framework constitutes the first phase of a longer-horizon initiative to develop a self-care toolkit, or “personal wellness bundle” that uses innovative delivery modalities to meaningfully engage Indigenous college, university, and skilled trades learners. In this session, representatives of Ontario’s Indigenous Institutes and members of the research team will present the project’s unique methodology and findings, including successful modalities for sharing insights across and within communities and community-based organizations; the cultural and relational foundations of wellbeing in Indigenous educational contexts; the deep impacts of COVID-19 on conceptions of wellness, and ideas about how it is best protected and promoted; the centrality of land and language into functional well-being models; lessons learned through prior wellness initiatives; the key distinctions between “Indigenous” and “Indigenized” frameworks, and why mainstream models are both insufficient and inappropriate; and emerging best practices in culturally grounded wraparound supports for holistic and whole-person wellbeing.

Health and safety first! Institutional perspectives and policies (F/SI)

Creating safe campuses designed to foster the wellbeing of students, faculty and staff is an issue of growing concern for colleges. During an interactive discussion, panelists will share their experiences of emergency situations within their respective institutions over the past year. What approaches are required to put in place prevention, intervention, support and guidance services and resources for victims of violence, not only for students and staff, but also for the communities they serve? What procedures and policies should be implemented to ensure a healthy and safe learning environment?

When a Student Dies: Respecting, Responding, Reflecting (E/SI)

The death of a student ripples across all aspects of the College experience. Administrators are often called upon to speak with grieving parents while also managing the complexities of advising faculty and others of the death while ensuring compliance with college policies. Faculty suddenly face a changed classroom where they must navigate a collective grief response with few to no resources or training. And for many students, this may be the first peer age death they’ve encountered and the resulting experience of grief bewildering. While not common, experiencing a student’s death at some point during one’s career is not rare and will be an event that is forever remembered.

This session will include a brief presentation on current research, as well as an overview of the presenter’s planned project, followed by an interactive discussion. Participants will be invited to share their own experiences as either an administrator or faculty when a student died, and how they navigated the experience. We’ll also look to the group for ideas on how academic institutions might better support and guide employees through this experience and for best practices in student death policies. The session will be upbeat and informative and explore a topic that rarely gets attention and yet is likely one of the most impactful experiences of one’s career.

Transforming Trauma Through Learning (E/SI)

Intelligence comes in collective forms. Collective trauma is a kind dark shadow that can prevent the “living collective nervous system” of humans to evolve. Processes for healing collective trauma have been shared widely over the last decades (Van der Kolk 1996; Hübl and Avritt 2020; Mate 2022). Left unacknowledged, trauma can be harmful to students and instructors. Transmitted through environmental and biological mechanisms such as epigenetics, trauma need not remain stagnant, but can be transformed through learning and neural plasticity. This session will focus on how two post-traumatic growth learning frameworks might be used in higher education to help instructors and students to: create life stories of commitment and giving (McAdams et al. 1997) and create new meanings and challenge existing worldviews (Antonovsky 1990). Participants will use the liberating structure 25/10 Crowdsourcing to create bold ideas for trauma-informed action within the post -secondary system such as changes in policy, marketing, institutional, program, and course outcomes, and student services that use transformative learning frameworks. The session will result in an uncensored set of bold ideas for transforming trauma as well as the ‘top ten’ for consideration.

CICan: Governance and President’s Office Professionals (GPOP) (closed session) (E)

GPOP, is a national CICan affiliated network for individuals who support Canadian colleges’ and institutes’ boards and presidents. Please join your colleagues from across Canada to benefit from great networking opportunities; sharing best practices; and professional development.

Our annual gathering takes place alongside the CICan annual congress. Pre-congress events include a networking social and keynote speaker on Saturday, April 22 and a morning session of professional development on Sunday, April 23. Please check out our website gpop.ca for more information.

At this time, we are predominantly an English-speaking group; however, we hope as the diversity of our membership grows that we will be able to operate in both official languages. GPOP is a great forum for exchanging ideas and sharing best practices. Only those who support Board of Governors and Presidents and are members of GPOP may register. New members are always welcome!