Dean's Update - February 2018

Hi Applied Arts,

I hope everyone had a fun-filled Rendezvous weekend. Unfortunately, one of my littles was under the weather all weekend, so that put a bit of a damper on the festivities, but we still got outside for skiing, maple treats, sledding, and snow fort building.

Here are few updates from the across the Division and the College:

CAQC’s Recommendation

At long last, Campus Alberta Quality Council has recommended to Yukon’s minister of education that our Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Governance degree be approved! This is huge news and brings to an end a long process, but there are still two more steps to go: (1) a regulation specific to the degree needs to be passed by Cabinet, and (2) the minister of education has to formally approve the degree. We’re hoping both final steps will be wrapped up by the end of March. Then we can take a brief break for champagne, before getting on with promotion, recruitment, registration and, best of all, launch in the fall.

Bilateral Agreement on Early Learning and Child Care

Earlier this month, Yukon Government and the Government of Canada signed a bilateral funding agreement on early learning and child care. The agreement is big—millions of dollars over three years, with potential for an extension. Yukon College will play a role. We’ll be receiving $270,000 between 2018 and 2020 to deliver ELCC courses in communities. The overarching goal is to improve the quality of early learning and child care across the Territory. The first step for us will be increasing the number of current and aspiring early childhood educators and child care workers with Level 1 certification. This project builds on successful ELCC course deliveries in Mayo and Pelly last fall and Old Crow this term.

Academic Council Faculty Rep Election

It sounds like interest in faculty positions on Academic Council is high, with more nominations received than seats available. This is great news for the Council, particularly as it evolves towards a university senate structure. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of the election.

Polar Knowledge Canada Funding

All of the PKC funding earmarked for student development has been expensed. This pot of money has been a challenge to administer (thanks, Carolyn!), but ultimately it has helped us get a significant number of students out to experiential learning opportunities they wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. I don’t yet know if the same funding will be available in 2018-19, but if so, we will at least have more time to think through its distribution.

Applied Arts in the Press

Applied Arts has been very much in the spotlight since my last update. Four stories to highlight, in case you missed them: Janice Wiens and Susan Preston were interviewed last month regarding the on-going SSHRC-funded northern Social Work research project; Maureen Long was interviewed about the new Northern Review literary issue; Mark Connell was interviewed about our YNTEP students’ trip to present at the Western Canadian Association for Student Teaching (WestCAST); and CBC recently ran a story about the current state of the GED in the Territory, which is directly related to programming in Academic and Skill Development.

Liberal Arts Chair Selection

As some of you might have already heard, Victoria Castillo is stepping down from the chair, Liberal Arts position at the end of April and returning to her instructor position. Victoria has been chair as long as I’ve been dean, and it has been a pleasure working with her throughout that time. She has led the School through a period of significant change, particularly the development of the indigenous governance degree. The College owes her a huge thanks for her tireless service. An internal competition for a successor will begin shortly.

Take care,

Andrew