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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:46 pm 
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I've been reading the various reports on the proposed Milton Education Village. I think the concept is fantastic, but I have one major concern that I really feel can make or break this project and I would like to hear from hopefully Colin Best, but anyone else including candidates who have been involved in the project. The real linch-pin of the project seems to be the propsed curriculum for Wilfred Laurier. I have this quote from the June, 2009 Stratic Directions Report:

"As part of the multi-campus approach, WLU would like to create a Milton campus with an environmental or cleantech focus which might include programs in advanced and composite materials, new energy systems, and environmental sustainability."

The might is a mighty big one and I think really makes or breaks the focus of the park on high technology and R&D in the emerging green technology areas. I'm an engineer, but my dad is an architect who has been actively involved in developing and accrediting degree programs for architecture for the past several decades. Accrediting an engineering program is very similar, and I've also followed the development of the engineering program at Ryerson University from it's roots as a technology program to a fully accredited degree granting university program.

So, with this knowledge in hand, and looking at the existing programs at WLU the first thing I notice is the closest thing the WLU has to "technology" is a chemistry program, physics and comp-sci program. So, the have no existing engineering technology program in any area. This means they are starting from ground zero. You cannot have a clean-tech or R&D program in green technology in the areas they have identified without at least an engineering technology diploma program. Phyics and chemistry don't do that. What I'm hoping is that the Town Staff and Council also recognize this huge risk. Ryerson started with solidly based engineering technology program, and even then it took 10 years to develop to a full engineering BACHELOR degree granting university. My dad says that's about a normal time frame to develop and accredit a program from that stage. It was another 5 years to develop and Masters and PhD program, which is the level from which student research work is advanced enough to work with industry. It would take Laurier even longer since they are starting from NOTHING.

So, what I'd really like to know has the town asked these tough curriculem development questions, timing, and how WLU intends to achieve their goals for curriculum development in the technology areas they've expressed interest in moving into? This would be an enormous and expensive endeavor on the Univerisity's part. What happens if WLU cannot meet their commitment or changes the campus focus? Is Milton going to be stuck with whatever WLU decides to put in curriculum-wise even if it ends up having nothing to do with green-tech? I'm really concerned that for where the town would like to go, they've partnered with the wrong institution needed to achieve that vision.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:18 pm 
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Hi Freemantrailfamily

Thanks for your interesting post. The Town's partnership with Laurier University is to create a university campus in Milton. The Town itself has no control over the curriculum, that is up to the University and the provincial Ministry of Colleges and Universities which approves all the funding and programing of universities.

Based on what the Town and Region are hearing from provincial staff on a number of fronts. This process may take longer than the 3-5 years envisioned when the partnership was announced two years ago. Both the Town and Region fully support the concept of the Education village and are working toward the planning and servicing of the area through the Official plans at both levels, the water and waste water infrastructure and the acceleration of the Tremaine Road and Louis St. Laurent Blvd. construction to serve the site. (see attached )

http://www.milton.ca/townhall/projects/ ... illage.htm

The progress of green technology has been rapid and government agencies have been scrambling to keep up, with colleges and universities not far behind. I expect every university with engineering and technology programs will be expanding them to include green and sustainable energy and environmental studies to keep up with the demand.

Halton Region also helped fund a new campus in Burlington for McMaster University for engineering and medical studies which will also benefit the whole region by attracting students and businesses to the area that want to work with the university. Also Sheridan College is looking at expansion plans in the area as well in a number of fields.

The first phase of the Laurier campus plan is a 5000 student campus which could be expanded to a 15,000 student campus over time similar to other universities in the area with a number of fields of study.

There is an open house and public meeting at the Town Hall on Monday April 19th starting at 6.30 pm in the Town hall lobby with an Official plan and planning meeting starting at 7.30 pm. in the Council chambers. (check today's Champion and www.milton.ca for notices on upcoming meetings)

I invite anyone interested in these and other planning issues to attend the meeting and be involved in this and other Town projects.

Colin Best
Local & regional councillor
Co-chair Milton Economic Development Advisory Committee
Candidate for Local & regional councillor
Wards 2,3,4,5. North of Derry road.

_________________
Become a Fan! Visit my website! Email: colin.best@milton.ca Twitter Follow! 905-878-3623


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:17 pm 
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Laurier has a past of establishing successful satalite campuses- I graduated from their Brantford Campus. There they began with a core program- Contemporary Studies, which was mandatory. Now they boast numerous programs including a Journalism program, as well as programs with Mohawk College, and Nippissing University. That campus is celebrating its 10th anniversary, and is about to open a state-of-the art Academic and Research facility. Logically, I'd imagine they'd try the same kind of thing here- one core program to start, then slowly start adding courses.

Laurier is credited with rescuing downtown Brantford, and continues to buy up buildings.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:28 pm 
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Thanks Colin!

Yes, I completely agree a University for Milton is a superb idea. I benefitted from growing up 15 minutes on one bus from my post-secondary institution and thus didn't incurr the expense and distraction of living away from home while completing my degree. I would love to see my kids have a similar opportunity (especially with the cost of tuition, let alone accomodation skyrocketting).

Curriculum development for professional programs is an agonizing thing. My dad's been working with Athabasca University to launch an on-line Graduate Diploma in Architecture, just recently announced (click on first headline in news regarding Athabasca U).

http://www.raic.org/resources_archives/ ... news_e.htm

The program is a significant revamp of the RAIC (Royal Architectural Institue of Canada) Syllabus program for becoming an architect, targetted at professionals working in the field who cannot attend a regular University accreditted program to aid them in obtaining fully accredited academic credentials required to move on an apply to the various provincial organizations for intership.

"Just" this task (taking an existing professional development diploma granting program, revamping the curriculum and obtaining accreditation) has taken the better part of at least 6 or 7 years and has been a huge undertaking.

Glad to hear about McMaster setting up in Burlington. For an engineering program, that would certainly be one of the preferred Univeristies I'd personally like to see the town partner with and leverage for the R&D portion of the park concept, but also glad to see Sheridan in the mix as well since they have well established techologist and technician programs. Maybe Laurier could also partner with them to utilize their current programs as a launching point for a WLU degree engineering program - but as you said curriculum is up to the province and WLU. But, even if Sheridan or McMaster cannot be co-located in the Education Village at least their proximity and technical expertise is close enough to significantly help attract green tech businesses. That allievates a good chunk of my concern on the business park development end.

CompassLaura, I don't dispute Laurier's success in setting up successful satellite campuses with non-professional programs, but with all due respect what's involved in setting up an accreditted engineering program (professional programs like Archiceture, Engineerng, Medicine are strictly regulated at a national level from a curriculum standpoint) is a totally different ballgame and hence the length of time it takes to get to the point where any institution could grant a full non-conditional degree. Laurier has enough expertise to set up the common first year curriculum in math, physics and chemistry. The remaining 3-4 years of applied science and engineering cirriculum to obain a bachelor's degree in a specialty field they do not have. I could see them doing a stratigic partnership with someone like Sheridan who have the educational base from which to start from. But, it still takes a very long time to achieve a fully accreditted professional program.

http://www.engineerscanada.ca/e/files/A ... s_2009.pdf


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:10 pm 
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I heard that Milton Campus funding is intentionaly delayed by the Liberal Provincial Government as Milton MPP does nto belongs to Liberal party.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:40 pm 
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freemantrailfamily wrote:
I've been reading the various reports on the proposed Milton Education Village. I think the concept is fantastic, but I have one major concern that I really feel can make or break this project and I would like to hear from hopefully Colin Best, but anyone else including candidates who have been involved in the project. The real linch-pin of the project seems to be the propsed curriculum for Wilfred Laurier. I have this quote from the June, 2009 Stratic Directions Report:

"As part of the multi-campus approach, WLU would like to create a Milton campus with an environmental or cleantech focus which might include programs in advanced and composite materials, new energy systems, and environmental sustainability."

The might is a mighty big one and I think really makes or breaks the focus of the park on high technology and R&D in the emerging green technology areas. I'm an engineer, but my dad is an architect who has been actively involved in developing and accrediting degree programs for architecture for the past several decades. Accrediting an engineering program is very similar, and I've also followed the development of the engineering program at Ryerson University from it's roots as a technology program to a fully accredited degree granting university program.

So, with this knowledge in hand, and looking at the existing programs at WLU the first thing I notice is the closest thing the WLU has to "technology" is a chemistry program, physics and comp-sci program. So, the have no existing engineering technology program in any area. This means they are starting from ground zero. You cannot have a clean-tech or R&D program in green technology in the areas they have identified without at least an engineering technology diploma program. Phyics and chemistry don't do that. What I'm hoping is that the Town Staff and Council also recognize this huge risk. Ryerson started with solidly based engineering technology program, and even then it took 10 years to develop to a full engineering BACHELOR degree granting university. My dad says that's about a normal time frame to develop and accredit a program from that stage. It was another 5 years to develop and Masters and PhD program, which is the level from which student research work is advanced enough to work with industry. It would take Laurier even longer since they are starting from NOTHING.

So, what I'd really like to know has the town asked these tough curriculem development questions, timing, and how WLU intends to achieve their goals for curriculum development in the technology areas they've expressed interest in moving into? This would be an enormous and expensive endeavor on the Univerisity's part. What happens if WLU cannot meet their commitment or changes the campus focus? Is Milton going to be stuck with whatever WLU decides to put in curriculum-wise even if it ends up having nothing to do with green-tech? I'm really concerned that for where the town would like to go, they've partnered with the wrong institution needed to achieve that vision.


Kim

Those are excellent points. It has also concerned me that WLU is more of a business/arts/literary type of school unlike their KW neighbour. I think Colin avoided answering the real questions that you asked. I realise the curriculum is the province of WLU but you asked did Staff in the selection process ask the hard questions and I may have missed it but didn't see a response to that question.

I may be wrong but I wonder if the emphasis on envirotech is more politically motivated than based on WLU current direction.

JMO

Martin


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:37 am 
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Hi Kim,

I can address two of your questions: Is Milton stuck with WLU's curriculum decisions? & How long will accreditation take? The short answers are yes and four years.

The slightly longer answer to the first question is that Laurier and Milton have been working together for some time to see this campus realized. Milton has a strong voice in the planning stage. So long as the relationship continues in an open, collaborative, mutually beneficial way, I imagine that input from the town will continue to be heard. We must always keep in the backs of our minds though that universities are (technically) autonomous, as they should be.

I could write pages and pages about the accreditation process and what Laurier will need to do and/or should do to make the process smooth. What it boils down to though is that an engineering program can only be accredited after its first cohort of students have graduated. That means four years before accreditation can occur. However, it is not difficult to become accredited if that is a goal from the outset, though it is time consuming within that four year stretch. I would expect accreditation to be granted within months after the first cohort of students graduate. UOIT opened its doors in 2003 for example, and obtained accreditation for its first engineering program in 2007. It is much easier to start a program from scratch with accreditation in mind than it is to retrofit an existing program. If Laurier does open an engineering faculty in Milton, they will need to hire all new faculty anyway. Faculty members and curriculum from existing Laurier or Sheridan programs are almost completely irrelevant. Although the university will have to start the Faculty from nothing, their first dean will likely be an experienced academic administrator from an already accredited institution and will be intimately familiar with the CEAB process. That will be a key person in terms of programming and accreditation along with a few others.

Ryerson's engineering programs were accredited while they were still called a polytechnical institute so I'm not sure about the 10 year development phase you mention. Perhaps that was for graduate studies? I remember when they started their computer engineering program - it was either 2001 or 2002 and the program was accredited in 2006. So again, four years is about the norm.

Anyway, I hope that alleviates some of the concerns you have with regard to accreditation. It is a p.i.t.a. to go through but as long as the academic administrators have all of their ducks in a row, it is a relatively smooth process.


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