An ARUCC Statement: Access and Identity in Higher Education
In the last 48 hours the world of higher education in Canada and the United States have been reminded that social, cultural, and political issues still impact peoples’ ability to safely pursue education.
On Wednesday, there was a horrific hate-filled attack on a professor and their students in a Gender Studies course at the University of Waterloo. We continue to espouse that discrimination and violence have no place in our educational institutions, create programs to support our learners, and yet these acts continue to occur in our communities. This senseless act of violence has rocked a school and community.
Such actions result in questioning of ones own identity, beliefs and actions, and whether it is safe to express themselves openly. Our hearts go out to our colleagues at the University of Waterloo, their students and community members who are processing the impacts of these events, and know that we stand in solidarity with the community to uphold anti-discriminatory values and actions.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court in the United States rejected affirmative action at colleges and universities, citing that the race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina were unlawful. This ruling has an impact on access to education for students who have been traditionally excluded from the higher education system in the United States and further creates a divide across racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines. Although race-conscious admissions programs are not prevalent in Canada, there are several programs at our institutions that attempt to lift-up and recognize the impact that factors like inter-generational trauma, historical exclusion, racism and misogyny have done for learners. Advocacy to provide greater access to education for students should be at the top of our focus to continue to move education forward in our era.
As professionals in higher education in Canada, we are not immune to the impact on decisions like this in the United States. ARUCC will continue to work with our colleagues in the United States to support efforts to ensure greater access to education through the work of AACRAO and other partners.
As a Board we are working through a strategic planning process for the association and see inclusion, access, representation, and equity at the foundation of what we need to ensure exist in our community. The Board will be reflecting and consulting with membership on how we can support capacity in our institutional and collective efforts to meaningfully and equitably expand access to education.
Should you wish to do your own reflection and take action, here are some suggestions to bring awareness to these two events, and the systemic issues they are built from:
- speak about the impact gender-based violence has on our work environments and student safety;
- encourage education about the meaning of free-speech and actively denounce hate-speech;
- reflect on admissions, recruitment and engagement programs that elevate and support those traditionally excluded from higher education, and what you can do to build, grow and support them further; and
- leverage school or provincially accessible student census, or student identity data to inform your professional practice.
It’s even more devastating that these events come at the end of Indigenous Peoples History Month and Pride Month but offers a reminder that our work continues to ensure greater education, equity and safety in our world.
Annik Gelineau, Chair
Darran A. Fernandez, Vice-Chair
The ARUCC MyCreds™ | MesCertif™ team continues to support and onboard schools to the National Network
Visit the following links and join the MyCreds™ | MesCertif™ Linkedin Page for latest updates.
Press Releases: https://mycreds.ca/category/press-releases/
Quarterly Newsletters: https://mycreds.ca/category/newsletters/
Member Directory: https://mycreds.ca/members/member-directory/
Information on becoming a receiving institution or organization: https://mycreds.ca/members/how-to-become-a-receiving-organization/
Learner "How-To" Videos: https://mycreds.ca/learners/how-to-videos/
Historical research and work: https://www.aruccnationalnetwork.ca/
ARUCC National Network Featured in Maclean's
ARUCC’s National Network Project is featured in an article published in the 2021 University Rankings issue of Maclean’s magazine with the headline, “Winterized transcripts.” You can find the article written by Kim Hart Macneill online at https://www.macleans.ca/education/university-transcripts-move-into-the-digital-age/.
ARUCC Launches a New Learner Credential Wallet as part of the ARUCC National Network Project
ARUCC is pleased to announce the launch of a comprehensive, bilingual, online credential wallet for Canadian post-secondary learners called MyCreds™| MesCertif™. This new wallet is the outcome of the incredible effort of well over 100 higher education leaders across Canada who, along with ARUCC's service provider, Digitary, are creating new ways to support learners who seek to share their documents, badges, credentials and micro-credentials on a 24/7 basis - anytime, anywhere. ARUCC is grateful to the many higher education experts from our colleges and universities across Canada, and its partners, PCCAT, CUCCIO, CanPESC, and the Digitary team. These people continue to collaborate in new and innovative ways to support post-secondary learners. Stay tuned for further news as our post-secondary institutions join MyCreds™| MesCertif™ over the coming weeks and months.
ARUCC Partners with Digitary to Build the Canadian National Network
The Association of the Registrars of the Universities and Colleges of Canada (ARUCC) today announced that it has chosen the international firm, Digitary as the solution provider for the Made for Canada National Network. This initiative means the Canadian higher education community is creating the very first online platform and national credential wallet for post-secondary learners. Once fully operational, the Network will enable 3 million learners across the country to access and share their official digitized post-secondary transcripts and credentials online - anytime, anywhere.