All Posts Tagged With: "Humber College"
Why a generation of well-educated Canadians has no future
Melanie Cullins is no pipe dreamer. She chose a vocation that, by unanimous opinion, represented a path to steady employment—teaching English as a second language to the thousands of immigrants pouring into B.C., a good many of whom, the experts predicted, would be making their way to Victoria, where she grew up and wished to make a home. That was back in the early 2000s, when opportunities for the young and industrious appeared unlimited. A rewarding career seemed within reach for all.
Cullins’s degree in applied linguistics was the gold standard of ESL qualifications. But she graduated in the thick of the 2008 financial meltdown, and the entry-level position she imagined would launch her career never materialized. Governments cut back on language transition programs. Resumés piled up in recruitment offices. Her calls to program directors went unanswered. “For me, that was a huge blow,” she says. “I had almost perfect performance reviews from my practicums, but I couldn’t even get an interview. You start to wonder: what’s wrong with me?”
Comedy work is sporadic, but the pay can get “obscene”
Your Job Makes Me Jealous is a weekly podcast with a young Canadian whose career is so cool that people at parties crowd around to hear about it. We talk about the ups, the downs and the pay.
Addelman started with a B.A. in literature at the University of Toronto and then took Comedy: Writing and Performance at Humber College.
After many evenings of stand-up in Toronto and a day job copy-editing, Addelman made the leap to L.A. in 2008. Since she got there, she’s written for half a dozen shows including China Il. She returned to Toronto one summer to write for CBC’s InSecurity and then started at New Girl in June.
The money in comedy writing can be “obscene,” she says—$3,600 a week right now—but the work is sporadic at best, with contacts lasting mere months while agents and managers take their cuts.
A delay in criminal record checks left Humber College nursing students unsure if they could take a clinical placement
Janny Lee was shocked this week when she received a letter from Humber College, where she is pursuing a nursing degree, informing her that she would have to withdraw from the clinical portion of her program by Monday. The reason? The College has yet to receive her criminal record check, despite the fact she applied for it in mid-July. Dozens of students received similar letters, but the College is now backtracking, recognizing that there has been an uncontrollable delay affecting several Ontario colleges.
In previous years, the eight weeks Lee allowed for her background to be checked would have been more than enough time. This year, because of a regulatory change that prohibits third-parties from performing criminal checks, thus placing the responsibility solely on the RCMP, it can take as long as four months for records to be retrieved.
Criminal record checks are compulsory for nursing students to be placed in a hospital or for an early childhood education student to be placed in a daycare.
Initially, Lee was furious because she may have had no choice but to dropout out for a year. “We weren’t notified about the change,” she said.
At first, Andrew Leopold, a spokesman for Humber, said the situation was out of the College’s hands. “It’s an RCMP responsibility,” he told Maclean’s on Wednesday. But, by Thursday afternoon, the College was preparing to send another letter to students, informing them that even if they haven’t received their police check, they may still be allowed to continue on in the program. Students will be required to sign a declaration affirming that they will have a clean record, and meet with the agency responsible for placing them in a clinical setting. “We will work to support the students,” Leopold said. But “the final decision is at the discretion of the agency.” If an agency won’t accept the compromise, the College says it will work with students on a “case by case” basis.
At least two petitions had been circulating among students to convince the College to reverse its decision. Lee had contacted Rosario Marchese, the NDP Member of the Provincial Parliament who represents her riding to express her concerns. Marchese was going to hold a press conference on Friday, but Lee says that is no longer necessary given that the situation is being resolved.
Disallowing third-parties from performing record checks is an attempt to close a loophole that could see sex-offenders receive a clean check if they changed their name. The RCMP will be cross-checking all requests for record checks against databases for birthdays and other biographical information. If there is doubt as to the identity of an individual, they will be called in for fingerprinting. Four times as many people have been called in to verify their identity this year compared to previous years.
About 80 Humber nursing and early childhood education students are still awaiting their police checks. The delay is also impacting students at several other Ontario colleges, including George Brown College and Centennial College.
What are the province and feds doing to help unemployed students?
Tomorrow, three political ministers will converge upon Toronto’s Humber College for a photo-op. They will sign an agreement, pat each other on the back, and then give non-answers to questions from the media.
The ministers are:
Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance
John Milloy, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
This presents a great opportunity to ask what how the two levels of government plan to assist students who can’t find jobs when September arrives. I would also throw out a question or two about why neither level of government is increasing the maximum student loan support considering the cost of education has increased by hundreds of dollars since either level of government cared to look at the support caps.
I’m feeling the squeeze of the recession myself. I pay my own travel expenses when I go to cover stories like this. Hence, I’m unable to cover this news conference and ask the questions myself. But it doesn’t stop student journalists from doing so themselves.
Nothing beats asking a question with both the federal and provincial governments in front of you. It removes their favourite non-answer: ‘It’s the other level of government’s fault!’
The pay of college executives still trails that of universities, but they’re catching up
Colleges are often unfairly seen as the second tier of the higher education universe—and, as we noted last year, that extends to the compensation of college administrators, who have long been paid substantially less than their university peers
So did anything change in 2008? Yes. Ontario’s Sunshine List salary disclosure was released today, and the tally of Ontario college employees earning more than $100,000 (the threshold for inclusion on the list) is, as always, much shorter than the count for universities. However, the number of college senior administrators earning more than $200,000 has grown by nearly two-thirds, and several highly paid college heads are taking home university-president-sized paychecks.
The highest paid college president in Ontario is Frederick Miner of Seneca College. With a salary of $406,000 and taxable benefits worth $5,000, his compensation is enough to put him squarely in the upper tier of university administrators. Miner’s salary is more than that paid to the president of the largest university in the country, David Naylor of the University of Toronto. (The latter’s salary was $380,000).
Conestoga College president John Tibbits was paid $387,000. That’s more than the president of neighbouring Wilfrid Laurier University. (The president of the other university just down the road, the University of Waterloo was however paid about $101,000 more).
The presidents of five other Ontario colleges — Humber, Sheridan, George Brown, Mohawk and Algonquin — earned over $300,000. Their pay is below that awarded the presidents of large Ontario universities, but in line with the compensation given to presidents of smaller Ontario universities. For example, Dennis Mock, president of Nipissing University, Ontario’s second-smallest public university, was paid $271,000. Bonnie Patterson, president of Brock, last year received total compensation of $338,000.
The pay gap between colleges and universities appears to be larger in Western Canada. According to BC public sector salary disclosure, as compiled by the Vancouver Sun, there were 182 employees of the BC university and college system earning more than $200,000. (Data is for either 2006-07 or 2007-08). Of those 182 highly paid individuals, only two were from the college or institute system: the acting and outgoing presidents of BCIT. (What’s more, hardly any of the 182 members of the over $200K club came from the former university college system; almost all worked at one of the province’s four traditional universities, in particular UBC).
Teacher said radio feat never before done by students at the college level
Some 18 months of hard work came down to just one chance for success Monday as four college students tested an ambitious project that pretty much everyone in their school thought was impossible – making contact with the International Space Station.
Operation First Contact involved beaming a signal from their class-project radio to the outpost orbiting about 440 kilometres above Earth. The Humber College students had only a 10-minute window to make contact with the station, which travels through space at nearly 28,000 kilometres an hour.
“NA1SS this is VA3JUV Humber College checking in for scheduled contact, do you copy?” 34-year-old Gino Cunti inquired as a crowded room of faculty, students and reporters held their collective breath.
The room was filled with nothing but static, followed by silence.
As the students’ hearts skipped a beat another attempt at contact was made and the barely audible voice of astronaut Sandra Magnus emerged through the crackling static.
“Hello, I have you a little bit weak. Can you try again?” Magnus responded as the room burst into applause.
The team of Cunti and Paul Je, both 34, of Toronto, Patrick Neelin, 25, of Welland, Ont., and 21-year-old Kevin Luong of Mississauga, Ont., pulled off what their teacher said had never been accomplished by students at the college level.
Je burst into tears when contact was made.
While school contacts with the space station are routinely made through the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program, many of those communications are made using a traditional ham radio.
“We had to build this system to NASA specifications … this isn’t one of your parents’ CB radios. It’s a much more complex device than that,” said teacher Mark Rector.
“The cabling, antennas, tracking systems and software was done by these guys and it’s an incredible feat of undertaking and technology.”
The project got off the ground about a year ago as the students looked for a way to apply knowledge gained from their radio communication courses.
“Somebody basically said, ‘Let’s talk to space,’ and we all kind of laughed, yeah, when cows fly,” said Neelin. “But we ended up saying maybe that’s not such a bad idea.”