By: Jenna Tziatis, Marketing Assistant, McMaster University Continuing Education

In today’s tough job market a degree alone may not be enough to get you the job or promotion that you’re looking for.  Employer expectations are higher and are expecting more than the knowledge that comes with a degree. They are also scrutinizing candidates based on their enhanced skill-sets and experience to ensure they are hiring someone who will fit and integrate into their business and culture with the least disruption.

Savvy students are realizing this trend and responding by upskilling themselves to ensure that they stand out in the employment crowd and that their resume rises to the top of the pile.  If you’re thinking about getting ahead, McMaster Continuing Education offers a variety of learning options from diplomas and certificates to micro learning options. Whether your focus is in the field of business, health or professional development, there are many to choose from:

To make it easier for Mac students, McMaster Continuing Education offers a faster route to get you ahead with Degree + Diploma.  This opportunity allows you to earn a diploma or certificate while you work toward your degree.  You can use your elective credits in your current program of study toward a diploma or certificate with Continuing Education, allowing you to gain your qualifications faster. This opportunity is gaining popularity among Mac students and can be easily set up by contacting your Academic Advisor.    

If you’re not ready to jump straight into getting a diploma or certificate you can always try one of McMaster Continuing Education professional development courses or attend our upcoming free Business Entrepreneur Series micro learning session that is running in spring.  It’s a great way to gain valuable and recognized skills in a condensed learning format.  To attend this series you can sign up at mcmastercce.ca/events/free-business-entrepreneurship-series

Regardless of what you decide, by recognizing the demands of today’s job market and being proactive to acquire the skills that businesses are looking for will make you more visible and appealing to employers.  Continuing Education will give you that competitive edge to get ahead and land that job you’re looking for.

To learn more about these valuable learning options visit www.mcmastercce.ca

 

[thesil_related_posts_sc]Related Posts[/thesil_related_posts_sc]

Photos from Silhouette Photo Archives

Hamilton is a city of stark inequalities. As the city’s economy booms, many Hamiltonians are swept to the sidelines as a result of a housing crisis and employment insecurity. Compared to other cities in Ontario, Hamilton also has a high proportion of working class people, disabled people and refugees, who are often the first to feel the brunt of these changes.

Health outcomes over the past decade have been bleak, and according to many disability justice and healthcare advocates, show no signs of changing unless bold steps are taken to support Hamilton’s marginalized populations.

 

The Code Red Project

In 2010, the Hamilton Spectator released Code Red, a project that mapped the connections between income and health across Hamilton to explore the social determinants of health. Using census and hospital data from 2006 and 2007, the report showed strong disparities in health outcomes between the Hamilton’s wealthiest and poorest neighbourhoods.

The Code Red project shows that social and economic inequalities lead to health inequalities. The lower city, which experiences disproportionately higher rates of poverty, also has significantly poorer health outcomes.

In February 2019, an updated Code Red project was released using data from 2016 and 2017. The updated Code Red project found that in general, health outcomes in Hamilton have declined and inequalities have grown.

Since the first Code Red project in 2010, the average lifespan in parts of the lower city has declined by 1.5 years. Furthermore, the gap in lifespan between Hamilton neighbourhoods has grown from 21 to 23 years.

 

Hamilton: the past 10 years

These results come as no surprise to Sarah Jama, an organizer with the disability justice network of Ontario. According to Jama, given the lack of political change coupled with changes in the city of Hamilton, it was inevitable that poverty would worsen and inequalities would deepen.

Jama notes that health care and social services tend to be compacted into the downtown core, which has tended to have a higher concentration of people who rely on these services.

However, rising costs of living within the downtown core has meant that the people who access these services are being priced out. According to a report by the Hamilton Social Planning and Research Council, eviction rates have skyrocketed in the past decade. As a result, the people who rely on these services have to make compromises about whether to live in a place with supports available close by, or a place that is affordable.

“The more compromises you have to meet with regard to your ability to live freely and safely in the city the harder it is to survive,” said Jama.

Denise Brooks, the executive director for Hamilton Urban Core, works directly with people at the margins of Hamilton’s healthcare system. Brooks noted that the 2010 Code Red project was a wake up call for many.  

“For me one of the biggest takeaways [from the first Code Red project] was even greater resolve that this really is a political issue and that it hasn't been looked at and is not being looked at as a crisis,” stated Brooks.

The 2010 Code Red project sparked projects including the Hamilton neighbourhood action strategy and pathways to education program. According to Brooks, while these initiatives were beneficial, more robust policy is needed to substantially address poverty.

“... [C]an we see any change in policy orientation? Did we see a reallocation of resources? Did we see a redistribution of priorities in any way? I would have to say no,” said Brooks.

 

Looking ahead

The updated Code Red project calls for a restructuring of the traditional health care system to include social and economic programs that contribute to people’s overall health.

However, recent political changes have led many health advocates to worry that the coming years will see change for the worse. Matthew Ing, a member of the DJNO research committee, notes that provincial cuts to a slew social assistance programs threaten to further exacerbate the existing inequalities in Hamilton.

In November 2018, the provincial government announced reforms to Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program that aimed to streamline social assistance and incentivize people to return to work. Among many changes, this includes aligning the definition of disability to align with the more narrow definition used the federal government.

According to Jama, narrowing the eligibility requirements for disability support makes it likely that people will slip through the cracks. They will put the responsibility on the municipality to provide services, meaning that care is likely to differ between providers.

“The onus is going to be on individual service providers on all these people to really decide who really fits this idea of being disabled enough to be on the service versus it being like sort of supervised by the province,” stated Jama.

Additionally, in February 2019 the provincial government announced plans to streamline and centralize the health care process. Under the proposed model, Ontario Health teams led by a central provincial agency will replace the existing 14 local health integration networks across the province.

Brooks noted that this has not been the first time that the province sought out to reform healthcare. Having worked in community health for years, Brooks remarks that the changes that are made to healthcare frequently exclude people on the margins.

“It's always the people who are the most marginalized, the most vulnerable, the socially isolated and historically excluded that remain on those margins all the time regardless of the change that go through,” said Brooks.

Currently, patient and family advisory committees work to inform the work of LHINs. The government has not announced whether PFACs will be retained under the new model, but Ing worries that a centralized model would leave patients and families out of the decision making process.

However, Ing recognizes that the current system is far from perfect, noting that disabled communities were not adequately represented on PFACs. According to Ing, this speaks to the much larger problem of political erasure of people with disabilities.

“Disability justice means that we must organize across movements, and we must be led by the people who are most impacted,” writes Ing.

The DJNO was created in order to mobilize disabled communities and demand a holistic approach to healthcare reform. According to Jama, this includes seeing race, income, and disability as fundamentally interconnected.

However as social assistance measures are cut at the provincial level, the future for disability justice is murky. The results of the updated Code Red project paint a sobering picture of the state of health inequality in Hamilton. Given the direction that healthcare reform is taking on the provincial level, health and poverty advocates worry about the future of healthcare equality in Hamilton.

 

[thesil_related_posts_sc]Related Posts[/thesil_related_posts_sc]

Photo C/O @djnontario

By: Donna Nadeem

The Disability Justice Network of Ontario is a Hamilton-based organization launched in September by McMaster alumni Sarah Jama and Eminet Dagnachew and McMaster student Shanthiya Baheerathan.

The co-founders initially got together because of their aligning interests. For instance, Jama was working with the McMaster Students Union Diversity Services as an access coordinator, trying to push the university to create a service for people with disabilities.

“I always think that there is more that could be done, that the institution doesn’t do a good job of supporting people with disabilities in terms of responding to professors who don’t want to accommodate. There is still a lot from what I’m seeing as a person who has graduated,” said Jama.

Last year, the co-founders received an Ontario Trillium grant over 36 months to create and run the organization. The basis of DJNO is to pose questions to the community of people with disabilities to see what it is they want to work on and how DJNO can use their resources to support the community it serves.

One of DJNO’s larger goals is to politically activate and mobilize people with disabilities who consistently get left out of conversations that affect their lives.

“Our goal is to politically activate and mobilize people with disabilities across the city and the province over time and to be able to hold the institutions and places and people accountable for the spaces that they create,” said Jama.

The research committee for DJNO has recently been working on data collection for a study on issues for racialized people with disabilities.

According to Jama, there is a lack of data collection on this subject.

The DJNO also has a youth advisory council that teaches people with disabilities how to politically organize.

In just a few months of being in operation, the DJNO has hosted several events, such as a community conversation event about the Hamilton light rail transit project, a film screening and panel discussion about Justice For Soli, a movement seeking justice for the death of Soleiman Faqiri, who was killed in prison after being beaten by guards.

The film screening and panel discussion was organized alongside McMaster Muslims For Peace and Justice and the McMaster Womanists.

On March 26, the DJNO will be hosting an event called “Race and Disability: Beyond a One Dimensional Framework” in Celebration Hall at McMaster.

This discussion, being organized in collaboration with the MSU Maccess and the MSU Women and Gender Equity Network, will tackle “the intersections of race/racialization, disability, and gender for all McMaster Community Members.”

Next week, the DJNO will also be organizing a rally with Justice for Soli in order to speak out against violence against people with disabilities.

The Justice for Soli team has been tirelessly advocating for justice, accountability, sounding the alarm of deeply systemic issues in the prison system, namely the violence that it inflicts on racialized peoples, and people with disabilities,” reads part of the event page.

For McMaster students interested in getting involved with the organization, DJNO has some open committees and is looking for individuals to help identify major community issues.

The campaign committee meets at the Hamilton Public Library monthly. Students can email info@djno.ca for more information.

 

[thesil_related_posts_sc]Related Posts[/thesil_related_posts_sc]

 

Expand upon your post-secondary studies to discover your pathway to an exciting career in health information. Learn and apply industry standards for the collection, use, and analysis of personal health data.  Study information management’s principles and practices for privacy, confidentiality and security, and how these are applicable to health information systems. Learn  how electronic information management is revolutionizing health care within service sectors: primary care, administration and research.

As the Canadian health care delivery system evolves, so does data collection, health information usage and analysis, privacy and security, and the integration of information systems.

That’s why McMaster University Continuing Education is thrilled to announce that its Health Information Management Plus Diploma program is now accredited by the Canadian College of Health Information Management (CCHIM). This accreditation means that the program has met the strict regulation requirements upheld by both the certifying body and the Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA), the national association representing leadership and excellence in health information management across the country.

This post-graduate, part-time, instructor-led program is an online learning experience designed by leading experts in the country in consultation with professional associations. Graduates of the program are eligible to become Certified Health Information Management (CHIM) professionals, who are in high demand in a variety of health care settings across the continuum of care and within provincial and federal governments. These professionals will use electronic information management to revolutionize health care.

The CHIM credential is recognized across Canada, and our members play key roles in the Canadian health system, including privacy and information analytics, to decision support and the coding and classification of records.

McMaster University Continuing Education provides its learners with academic programs that are well-designed, accessible,  and relevant to the professional field.  Programs within health information are designed for learners with an undergraduate degree or college diploma seeking to build upon their prior knowledge and skills.

To qualify for the Health Information Management Plus Diploma (45 units), students must complete all ​required courses for the program. In agreement with CHALearning, McMaster University Continuing Education students will register and complete 3 coding courses offered by CHALearning. Upon successful completion of the 3 courses, students receive 6 units of study to be applied to the HIM Plus Diploma. All program courses are offered online. This diploma program is accredited by the Canadian College of Health Information Management (2018-2020).

Applications for the winter term cohort open on January 2, 2019. To find out more about admission requirements, please visit mcmastercce.ca/health-information-management or contact us at mcmastercce.ca/contact-us.

 

[thesil_related_posts_sc]Related Posts[/thesil_related_posts_sc]

Photos by Kyle West, Graphics by Yvonne Lu

CORRECTION: In a previous version of this article, there was a graphic that indicated that Josh Marando answered that he "strongly agreed" with the police presence on campus. However, in our survey, Marando answered that he "strongly disagreed" with the police presence on campus. We apologize for this misconstruction and have changed the graphic since. 

The Silhouette recently surveyed the four McMaster Students’ Union 2019 presidential candidates on their opinions on where the MSU and the university are doing well and where they can improve.

The survey consisted of seven statements. Candidates were asked to indicate their level of agreement with each statement on a scale from “strongly agree” to “disagree.”

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id="197" gal_title="2019 Presidentials Survey Results 1"]

The first question asked candidates about their opinions on the statement that “The MSU is committed to equality and inclusiveness.”

The candidates all agreed on the MSU’s commitment to equality and inclusiveness. Jeffrey Campana and Madison Wesley indicated they “strongly agreed” with the statements, whereas Justin Lee and Josh Marando said they “agreed.”  

The second question asked candidates whether or not “Increased police presence will promote increased safety of students on and around campus.”

There were a range of opinions on the relationship between McMaster students and the police.

Lee was the only candidate to agree that police presence will promote safety. Campana was neutral, while Wesley disagreed. Marando was the only candidate to strongly disagree.

In September, a string of break-ins in Westdale prompted a greater police presence in the area. During the same month, a video depicting a woman being run over a McMaster police horse was widely shared on social media.

The candidates were mostly in agreement with the statement that the MSU should oppose the provincial government’s free speech mandate requiring Ontario universities to implement a free-speech policy.

Wesley was the only candidate not to agree with the statement, choosing a “neutral” response instead. Campana indicated he agreed, while both Lee and Marando chose “strongly agree.”

In October, the Student Representative Assembly unanimously passed a motion opposing the government mandate.

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id="201" gal_title="2019 Presidentials Survey Results 2"]

The next question asked candidates whether or not the MSU should lobby against the government’s changes to tuition, student fees and the Ontario Student Assistance Program.

The survey showed that all the candidates were in stark opposition to the provincial government’s changes to tuition, student fees and OSAP announced on Jan. 17.

Lee, Marando and Wesley all strongly agreed with the statement, while Campana selected the “agree” response.

Regarding McMaster’s accessibility, Wesley and Campana indicated there was room for improvement, as they strongly disagreed and disagreed with the statement that the school is “fairly accessible” for students with various disabilities.

Lee and Marando were neutral on the issue.

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id="202" gal_title="2019 Presidentials Survey Results 3"]

The results also show that none of the candidates are satisfied with McMaster’s current efforts to prevent and address sexual violence. When asked if McMaster does a “sufficient job” in this area, Campana and Wesley strongly disagreed, while Lee and Marando disagreed with the statement.

McMaster’s sexual violence policy is up for review this year.

Overall, it appears that while there is a high degree of agreement amongst candidates on topics such as the Ontario government’s recently announced tuition and OSAP changes, candidates differ in their views on issues like the relationship between students and the Hamilton police and McMaster’s response to sexual violence.

The voting period for this year’s MSU presidential election is taking place from Jan. 22 to 5 p.m on Jan. 24. To vote, students can fill out the ballot sent to their McMaster email or login and vote at www.msumcmaster.ca/vote.

 

[thesil_related_posts_sc]Related Posts[/thesil_related_posts_sc]

Photo by Kyle West

By: Areej Ali

The Trudeau government has granted over $3.4 million to McMaster researchers to fund a study that aims to identify and combat systemic causes of domestic violence.

Andrea Gonzalez, an assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences at McMaster, is currently overseeing the “Triple P” program, which stands for the positive parenting program.

Triple P is a public health parenting intervention initiative that aims to improve the “knowledge, skills and confidence of parents” while working to reduce the pervasiveness of emotional and behavioural problems in children.

The Triple P program is part of a larger project that originally began in Australia over 30 years ago.

Gonzalez will be evaluating preventative intervention of child maltreatment, leading one of the first Triple P program studies to be conducted in Canada.

“We have a number of main objectives but really we are looking at the impact of the Triple P in promoting family relationships and improving parenting practices and prevention of child maltreatment,” said Gonzalez. “The Triple P has been widely evaluated in multiple countries actually around the world, but it has never been evaluated in Canada.”

According to the Triple P program’s website, the program does not advocate how to be a parent, but rather provides tools and strategies to promote healthy families, focusing on children who are in the age bracket of three to eight years old.

The program is being implemented in Ontario and Manitoba.

It is anticipated  to entail a multi-method evaluation network and will most likely also consist of a ‘quasi experimental design’ in Ontario, according to Gonzalez.

This involves choosing various communities and areas that fit the age bracket and particular population sizes.

Community agencies will be asked to participate in the program and the evaluation will be facilitated in these specific communities.

There is one study to date that focused on efficacy of early intervention of child maltreatment. The McMaster researchers will be drawing information from and referring to this particular study.

Gonzalez hopes to study the impact of Triple P in fostering healthy and sustainable family relationships and and preventing child maltreatment at its roots.

McMaster students will have the opportunity to participate in the program.

For instance, Triple P will rely on “environmental scans,” specific type of data collection, regarding existing parental programs in Ontario.

Once the project is launched, there will be opportunities to contribute to the researchers’ collection of questionnaire data.

In addition, there will be opportunities to contribute to behavioural data and to be trained in techniques that will be used in the project.

Many teams on campus that work on family violence prevention, partner violence and other aspects of violence will also be able to aid in the evaluation.

For instance, the Triple P will be partnering with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative, an organization that has a site on the McMaster campus.

“They have all the data linkage,” Gonzalez  said. “We will certainly be partnering with those investigators as well as the ones in Toronto.”

For more information about the project, students can contact Gonzalez directly at gonzal@mcmaster.ca. Students can also visit the Triple P website to learn more about the program.

 

[thesil_related_posts_sc]Related Posts[/thesil_related_posts_sc]


People from all over the GTA can now head over to nearby Hamilton to benefit from McMaster University’s Data Analytics Continuing Education programs-- programs which could lead to a job in almost any industry.

The certificate in Big Data Analytics gives adult learners the tools and techniques to help guide organizations in the exploding field of data analytics.

As more ways of collecting data are being developed, professionals are needed who can turn that data into useful business insights.

As the demand for data analysts steadily increases and the talent supply remains low, this is a perfect time to train to enter the field.

McMaster has two data analytics streams: Big Data Analytics and Foundations of Data Analytics.

Haitham Amar, who teaches the Predictive Modelling and Data Mining course, says there is a wealth of job opportunities available for graduates.

“The program allows students to choose a career as a data scientist, data analyst, data engineer, and machine learning engineer. In general, you can think of the career as either leaning more towards model building or towards model implementation (programming).” Amar explains.

Amar also points out that a number of industries involve big data analytics.

“Every field that makes use of data in any way, shape or form requires big data analytics. This seems like everything in the industry right now. Insurance companies, car manufacturers, education institutions, the health sector, the banking sector, the entertainment industry, etc. are all interested in people who are skilled in data analytics.”

Because of the wealth of career opportunities, students looking for a rewarding career are enrolling in the program.

The program can also, in a way, help prepare students for jobs that aren’t even available yet as almost any industry can better use data to its advantage.

“The question would be what professional fields would not be able to leverage big data analytics.  Many companies still have a lot work to do in effectively leveraging data,” says Eleanor Smith, an instructor who teaches data management.

Smith also says the course has been invaluable to students seeking professional development.

“I have received feedback from students that this course has helped them in their professional lives. One topic we treat is enterprise metadata management, which many enterprise organizations have surprisingly yet to establish,” she says.

“A current student has provided me with feedback that her company is now investigating metadata management tools based on what has been presented in this course. Another student who works as a product manager at a big name credit bureau explained to me this course gave him the background and language to converse with his more technical colleagues.”

Overall, students say they learn an incredible amount of useful--and applicable--information in a relatively short period of time.

To learn more, please visit mcmastercce.ca/data-analytics

 

[thesil_related_posts_sc]Related Posts[/thesil_related_posts_sc]

Photo by Kyle West

By: Drew Simpson

On June 26, the McMaster University board of governors, specifically the executive and governance committee, approved recommendation from the senate executive committee to establish the Centre for Networked Media and Performance.

According to the Oct. 18 board of governors meeting agenda, the vision for the CNMAP is “the production, exploration and analysis of new forms of expression, communication and collaboration enabled by networks and networking techs.”

As highlighted in the agenda, the approval for the centre comes as the rapid proliferation of technology continues to outstrip discussions about their human uses and impacts. At the heart of the technological revolution is the advent of “the network,” namely connections such as shared software, online communications and new electronic and data environments. 

“Humanities research has a special role to play in this context,” reads part of the agenda.

“Research and research-creation in the media and performing arts offer a setting in which new configurations of our networked landscape can be imagined, actualized, evaluated, and transformed in experimental ways.”

As of its launch this past summer, the CNMAP has been utilizing the networked imagination laboratory and the black box theatre in L.R. Wilson to organize workshops, conferences, interdisciplinary collaborations and other forms of artist-centric research.

According to the board of governors agenda, the centre has interest in hosting an interdisciplinary national sound conference at McMaster in 2019.

Some examples of the ‘nodes,’ or research spaces, that are said to comprise the centre include the cybernetic orchestra, pulse lab, networked imagination laboratory, software studies reading group and the sounds studies reading group.

The the CNMAP also connects these nodes through an online platform aimed at facilitating communication and collaboration.

Some anticipated CNMAP expenses include national and international conferences, server software costs for the online platform and the cost of graphic design and promotion, which can involve hiring undergraduate multimedia students.

Revenues allocated to these expenses include the seed funding of $40,000 by the humanities faculty vice president of research.

In its first semester, the CNMAP was involved with organizing and promoting a number of events, including four free live coding workshops and the “Imaginary Landscapes” exhibition, which occurred in Dec. 2018 and featured soundscape performances, a cybernetic orchestra concert and an informative artist-centric poster demonstration.

Students interested in receiving updates and getting involved with the CNMAP can contact David Ogborn, the centre’s director, at ogbornd@mcmaster.ca and/or follow the centre on Facebook and Twitter

 

[thesil_related_posts_sc]Related Posts[/thesil_related_posts_sc]     

The paper received an email asking for a response to a few questions by July 25 for an article that will be up on J-Source, which is a collaboration of post-secondary journalism schools led by Ryerson, Laval and Carleton. It will be about whether student media represents the diversity of Canada.

The questions mainly had to do with the self-identification of the editorial board, our staff, on a number of different categories. These were based on gender, race with specific note to Indigenous people, disabilities and gender or sexual minorities. While they could have divided a few of these categories to be more specific, analysis of diversity in the workplace continues to be a positive endeavour that should be undertaken and explored more in-depth.

McMaster’s Employment Equity Working Committee released a new report on July 23 in a similar vein. It provides a detailed roadmap based on input from different parts of campus, e.g., each of the different faculties and research departments. The focus is primarily on “... a more complete understanding of representation of all four groups designated by the Federal Contractors Program: women; First Nations, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) peoples; persons with disabilities; and members of visible minorities, as well as the representation of trans and LGBTQ+ employees.”

The last recent example for this article will be a comment piece by the Public Editor over at The Varsity, which is the University of Toronto’s student newspaper. While a lot of it has to do with online commenting platforms, it transitions into the commitment the paper has, “... to diversity in its newsroom and reporting.” Their primary focus seems to be on gender and race.

These three examples from university campus media and McMaster have varying degrees of data collection and analysis, but all of them miss a few categories. While there are more categories of diversity, these three are, arguably, the most apparent ones missing.

The first is socioeconomic status. However, that would have less influence if you are considering only university student journalists or McMaster employees in your sample. The second would be ideologies, e.g., political beliefs and religious beliefs. I can understand not asking these respondents may not be comfortable answering accurately or answering at all, and may change at a more variable rate over time. The third is age.

While certainly not as attractive a stat, diversity in age should be deemed an importance if your goal is to represent the population in what you report about, who is reporting and the demographics of your employees.

University is always idealized as a place where you develop and grow. It is easy for anyone to note the differences between a first year and a fourth year and someone fresh out of university to someone about to go into retirement. When you are getting survey data or considering your workplace’s diversity, why would you ignore something as important as age?

It is simply too important. When it comes to reporting at The Silhouette, diversity and different perspectives have a significant influence on our articles in every section. The diversity of who is reporting it or who is being reported on is vital to allow a full representation of the McMaster student body, and to continue to progress and pass on information to the younger members of staff before graduating.

We cannot afford to ignore age. If other organizations or the university have missed the point by filling quotas instead of noting the benefits and embracing all types of diversity, including one as obvious as age, then that is disappointing.

[thesil_related_posts_sc]Related Posts[/thesil_related_posts_sc]

In April, two reports based on racial equity in education involving data from the Toronto District School Board were published. These detailed a number of issues facing Black students including an increased likelihood of being streamed into non-academic programs, a higher likelihood of suspension due to attitude rather than behaviour and higher drop-out rates.

These reports mainly concerned high school policies. These issues of racial equity are hypothesized to continue at a post-secondary level given that the pathways to this level have these concerns.

The influence of high school policies can be observed, but the effects of universities’ policies cannot.

As revealed by a CBC News investigation in March, 63 out of 76 Canadian universities could not provide a breakdown of their student populations by race. The data is not there to draw any conclusions from.

“How can you decide if access programs are working if you have no way of measuring the population that should be most affected by these access policies?” said Karen Robson, head of the Gateway Cities team and the Ontario Research Chair in Educational Achievement and At-Risk Youth.

The Gateway Cities Project, a four year program funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, is centered on examining the determinants of post-secondary pathways for high school students in five cities: Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago, New York and London, England. One of the main concerns brought up by Robson is this inability to access pathways from the perspective of Canadian post-secondary institutions.

McMaster is one of the 63 could not provide a breakdown. They do not ask students to provide information about their racial identity.

“How can you decide if access programs are working if you have no way of measuring the population that should be most affected by these access policies?” 

 

Karen Robson

Ontario Research Chair

Educational Advancement and At-Risk Youth

There are a few reasons why there is opposition to this in Canadian universities. The first is that there is misinformation about the legality of collecting the data. Concordia stated it is illegal to ask in Quebec in the CBC investigation, but this is not the case.

Robson mentioned that there is a lot of misinformation that universities have about the legality of asking for data even if they did not state this upfront.

“A lot of administration believes that collecting race data is a violation of human rights when in fact, it is not. I don’t know where this came from, I really don’t, and it’s a total red herring.”

The “Policy and guidelines on racism and racial discrimination” paper created by the Ontario Human Rights Commission, approved in 2005, mentions that the collection of data about race is permissible and recommended.

The second issue is the threat of being seen as racist. The investigation stated Mount Royal University had this worry, and University of Waterloo explained it does not collect the data because the school does not discriminate based on race or any other grounds.

“It’s not so surprising that we’re not collecting race data if we can’t even have conversations about race without feeling like we might be being racist just by talking about it,” said Robson.

There appears to be some progress being made at McMaster towards collecting data.

“McMaster’s not particularly special in that they don’t collect race data. … I’m working with admin on retention strategies. I have brought this up, and they are receptive to collecting this kind of data,” said Robson.

[thesil_related_posts_sc]Related Posts[/thesil_related_posts_sc]

 

Subscribe to our Mailing List

© 2022 The Silhouette. All Rights Reserved. McMaster University's Student Newspaper.
magnifiercrossmenu