Read editorials and articles that we’ve submitted to national and regional media outlets across Canada. These feature a few of the ways Canadian polytechnics are contributing on topics of national interest.

Environmental studies evolve to manage new threats, climate change pressures

If you want to understand how the environmental studies landscape in Canada has changed, think back to Walkerton, says Sean Beingessner.

In 2000, an e.coli outbreak in the water supply of the small Ontario town sickened hundreds of residents and killed seven. The disaster resulted in more stringent training and water-testing requirements for water-system operators. It was shortly afterwards that Algonquin College’s Water and Wastewater Technician program began, in response to an unexpected new industry need borne out of changing social and legislative norms.

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How hands-on education can help get you the job you want

When Larissa Meleiro walked into her first day of her hospitality internship at a Hampton by Hilton hotel in Toronto, she knew she was ready to be there.

“The hands-on training I received at George Brown gave me the skills to handle different situations that I encountered,” explains Meleiro, who enrolled in the Hotel Operations Management course at Toronto’s George Brown College in 2019. “I went to a college for that exact reason, because I was looking for technical skills and hands-on learning.”

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Employability rules: Students in Canada are prioritizing programs that offer skills training

Krysten Payne, whose father was a teacher, remembers being strongly encouraged to choose university over college after high school.

Payne, 29, describes himself as someone who likes to work with his hands – his first clue that university maybe wasn’t the best route to his dream job. Still, to please his family, Payne struck a compromise with his parents. He took applied technology courses after high school at Antigua and Barbuda Institute of Technology. From there, he studied at Toronto’s Seneca College, in a transfer program that qualifies graduates for university degree programs.

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How experiential learning builds students’ confidence and skills

At Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia, the bachelor of psychiatric nursing students learn a holistic approach to mental health care. Fittingly, their own education takes a holistic approach too.

Students learn theory, practical skills, and applied research in clinical settings, but they also work within the community to observe the gaps in our current mental health system.

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Why does Ontario need short, flexible credentials?

This is an excerpt from Pichette, J., Rizk, J., & Brumwell, S. (2021). Making Sense of the Micro: Building an evidence base for Ontario’s Micro-Credentials. Journal of Innovation in Polytechnic Education, 3(1), 10-14. This article has been republished with permission from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.

Short, skill-focused courses and associated credentials are not new. Many employers and organizations have long offered in-house training and other informal learning opportunities for professional development and retention (Oliver, 2019). Powered, in part, by advancements in digital technology and evolving labour market demands, micro-credentials have emerged as a new form of focused learning with the potential to respond to both the modern hiring needs of employers and the training needs of adults looking to advance or pivot in the labour market.

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