University’s first Master of Science in Biology program commencing this Fall
(BRAMPTON/SAULT STE. MARIE/TIMMINS: January 26, 2023): The Algoma University Board of Governors convened earlier today for their first regular meeting of the new year. Highlights of key strategic initiatives, including the continued development of new academic programming and campus spaces, were shared with those present. The update was timely as the University commences its annual budget development process while continuing to finalize details of a new three-year strategic plan scheduled for adoption this June.
President and Vice-Chancellor Asima Vezina shared her excitement for the year ahead, a year marked by the introduction of Algoma’s first stand-alone graduate degree, a Master of Science in Biology, approved by the Academic Senate earlier this month. A second graduate degree, a Master’s in Computer Science, is being considered for approval in February. “The introduction of graduate degrees is a major step forward for Algoma University,” shared Vezina. “I would like to thank our academic leadership team and faculty involved for their efforts to reach this important milestone. Graduate programs such as these will be of considerable interest to students while providing numerous benefits for our campus communities as we generate new research activities for faculty and students. The graduate programs enable new funding opportunities to support research and innovative partnership opportunities with our community partners furthering Algoma’s purpose-driven impact.”
Interest from prospective students also continues to grow at the undergraduate level. The Board was provided with an overview of the most recent data released by the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC) reporting Algoma’s 7.6 per cent increase in Ontario secondary school applicants for Fall 2023, more than double the average increase of 2.9 per cent experienced across the province’s university sector.
To best support student population growth, the University continues to expand facilities and services across its campus communities. The latest addition to Algoma’s expanding campus in downtown Brampton is a completely renovated space at 28 Main Street (formerly a CIBC branch) that now serves as the new home to a centralized student services hub, including advising, registration, student accounts and student health and wellbeing. The facility also includes a large modern classroom space fully equipped with state- of- the- art technology.
In Sault Ste. Marie, the Mukwa Waakaa’igan initiative will continue to be a focal point of the University’s capital development efforts over the coming year. The project has evolved to include phase one of the Mental Health and Addictions Research and Training Institute. It will open up space for partnership in this area with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine University. The design team continues to garner accolades within architectural circles for its exceptional design and concept. Once complete, Mukwa Waakaa’igan will serve as a centre of cross-cultural excellence for the country, a place that will further support Algoma’s aspirations to serve as leaders in cross-cultural teaching, learning and research as part of its ongoing commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
Algoma also continues to enhance opportunities for students interested in completing their undergraduate studies in Timmins. A new social services pathway agreement was recently signed with representatives from Northern College to enhance diploma-to-degree opportunities in social work. It was also shared that the School of Social Work is working through academic planning and approval processes required to launch a Master’s degree in Social Work including future delivery in Timmins. The University continues to dialogue with others from Timmins and the surrounding region, including newly-elected Mayor Michelle Boileau, as well as leaders from Mattagami First Nation, on other potential opportunities to expand university programming and accessibility in North-Eastern Ontario.
“On behalf of the Board of Governors, I extend congratulations to all members of the Algoma University community who have played a part in moving our current strategic priorities forward,” stated Board Chair Mike Moraca. “Through careful planning and an unwavering commitment to the success of our students, Algoma University is well prepared for the exciting next phase of institutional development, one that will be supported by our new strategic plan currently being finalized.”
The next meeting of the Algoma University Board of Governors is scheduled for March 30, 2023.