January 7, 2019 | Campus Life
Getting through January can be a cold, hard slog, but there is good news on the horizon. The days will begin to get a little longer again and spring (even a muddy Edmonton one) will be on its way in two months — and here are five new things you can look forward to at MacEwan University in 2019.
1. Changes to the Post-secondary Learning Act
If you’re a student at MacEwan, your day-to-day life may not be affected by recent changes to the Post-secondary Learning Act (PSLA). But amendments to the Act, which come into effect on February 1, will have a profound effect on the inner workings of the university. The changes establish MacEwan as an “Undergraduate University.” This means that — along with things like the ability to grant honorary degrees and establish a new alumni association — the university will create a General Faculties Council, which will replace the existing Academic Governance Council, and assume full responsibility for the university’s academic governance and student affairs.
This fall, with the GFC in place alongside the Board of Governors, MacEwan will have a truly bicameral governance structure. These changes will not only strengthen internal governance and accountability, but they will also raise MacEwan’s profile nationally and enhance the credibility of our programs, which will then, according to President Deborah Saucier, bolster the status of our students’ credentials and support their success in employment and in transitioning to graduate programs.
Learn more about how the changes to the PSLA will affect MacEwan in the most recent President’s Column.
2. A new home for kihêw waciston
In Fall 2019, kihêw waciston Indigenous Centre will relocate to a reimagined space in the Robbins Health Learning Centre. This move was planned with students in mind, allowing for a larger space to support their needs and to engage with the university community, as well as showing MacEwan’s commitment to truth and reconciliation.
“A larger, enhanced space for kihêw waciston will allow us to embrace the spirit of the ancestral lands on which the university sits,” says President Deborah Saucier. “To invite even more Indigenous students to pursue a post-secondary education. To engage our community — both inside and outside the university — in ways that promote reconciliation and moving forward in a positive way.”
3. New pathways to success
The new Bachelor of Design program was built off one question: “What does a 21st century designer look like?” Now more than ever before designers are tasked with solving design challenges related to usability and interactivity through all kinds of new platforms. To meet the needs of aspiring designers (and the industries they will work for), this new undergraduate program will allow students to choose a pathway in either visual communication design or user experience design.
For a few years now, students in the Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Contemporary Popular Music program have had the ability to choose a composition, production or general major. But in Fall 2019, students can add the recording and production major to their list of choices, as well as a minor in music education (within the general major).
The Bachelor of Communication Studies program is also offering minors in professional communication and journalism. Students majoring in one will then minor in the other.
4. Supports to help incoming students bridge the gap
You may not be at the point of choosing a major or minor. Maybe you’re getting ready to make the big move into university and just need some support to help you with the transition.
To help incoming Indigenous students bridge this gap, MacEwan created the pimâcihisowin Foundation Program. A Cree word that means “to create a life of independence,” pimâcihisowin will provide cultural support, mentorship and ceremonial events to help students achieve success in their post-secondary education.
The Foundation Program International (which served as the model for pimâcihisowin) aims to help international students transition into university through a combination of English as an Additional Language training, upgrading, foundation programming and individual mentorship.
The first intakes started this month.
5. Entrance scholarships
Students accepted into programs for Fall 2019 may be eligible to receive an entrance scholarship. This is a tiered financial award system based on high school grades. Students do not need to apply for an entrance scholarship, and the funds are automatically deposited in their student account before fees are due in September.
“It’s important for us, as a university, to tell students we value their Grade 12 scholarly success,” says Frankie Billingsley, director of student financial aid. “We really listened to parents and students who wanted high school marks to count for something.”