How colleges and universities are helping students get a foot in the door

As today’s grads face a stubborn job market, college and universities are scrambling to prepare students to create jobs of their own. . . . At York University, visual arts students now take a mandatory first-year course called Critical Issues in the Studio, which covers the business side of art, from how to apply for a grant to how to approach a gallery, said director of career development Dianne Twombly in the Toronto Star Jan. 15. “We’re always on the ledge of the debate about ‘What’s a university education for – are we training people for the workforce, or for a broad education?’” she said. They tackle both by offering “a million supports to help students prepare for a career, from counselling to workshops on everything from resumes to dining etiquette, where they eat pretend food and learn skills such as how to hand out business cards while holding a glass, because a lot of career opportunities happen over food.” Read full story.

York professor at centre of religious rights furor: Rights Code is the issue
“For the past week, York University has been widely criticized for the way it handled a male student’s request for a religious accommodation so that he would not be required to interact with female students in his class,” wrote York University sociology Professor J. Paul Grayson in The Globe and Mail Jan. 16. “I denied the request because it infringed upon women’s right to be treated with respect and as equals. In the end, the student accepted my decision and completed the assignment with other students, including female ones. . . . I doubt that other universities would have handled the situation differently. Parents might be misguided if they avoid York in the belief that their daughters would be better off in other schools.” Read full story.