Toronto, Ontario – Humber and Centennial Colleges are co-hosting the inaugural Student Voices in Higher Education: Quality Assurance Perspectives and Practices Symposium to discuss opportunities for student involvement in program development, renewal, and enhancing curriculum they are learning in the classroom.

The Symposium takes place on November 14 and 15 at Humber’s North Campus. Registration and Call for Proposals are open. The event is highlighted by keynote speakers Francisco Marmolejo, Lead Tertiary Education Specialist, The World Bank, and Stuart Brand, Emeritus Professor and Consultant, Birmingham City University.

“As professionals in academic quality assurance, we’re accustomed to responding to accreditors and regulators, institutional narratives and faculty perspectives,” said Kelly O’Neill, Dean of program planning renewal and development, Humber College. “We’re missing the student voice, which is among the most important. The Symposium is an opportunity to generate discussion about the means and motives for student involvement in quality assurance.”

Humber and Centennial are leaders in involving students in Quality Assurance. Program reviews ensure each program at all Ontario colleges are current, relevant and responsive to the changing needs of industry and society. For degrees, these reviews also fulfil the requirements for obtaining consent for program renewal. Humber recently completed a review of its Bachelor of Commerce – Fashion Management and International Business degree programs. The program evaluation committee included Jenna Valenti, a recent graduate of the Fashion Management program.

“I was honoured to evaluate the program alongside industry professionals. Being a proud graduate, I was able to offer suggestions and provide insight on how to build on an already solid program foundation. It was insightful to hear the committee’s, the students’ and the professors’ points of view in hope to better the program for years to come.”

The Program Evaluation Committee members for Centennial’s Bachelor of Public Relations Management degree program consent renewal process included third-year student Jem Hewitt. "The faculty session allowed us to express the student perspective to them. What was surprising is that they heard a lot of commonalities similar to their own ideas for making the program better – such as more diversified internship options – ideas that meshed together perfectly."

When college degree programs are being approved or renewed, consent is granted under a strict set of standard terms and conditions prescribed by the Post-Secondary Quality Assurance Board (PEQAB).

“As the colleges’ partner in quality assuring degree programs, PEQAB appreciates Humber and Centennial’s support in adapting their quality assurance review process to include students and graduates on their external review panels,” said James Brown, Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board. “Though it’s common for students to provide input into postsecondary programs, the Symposium will explore ways to broaden student involvement in quality assurance, which is a critical dimension for continuous improvement of college and university programs and courses.”

“Students are at the core of the higher education system and their experiences and insights can contribute greatly towards ensuring that institutions continue to offer quality learning experiences,” said Michelle Cole, Director, Academic Quality, Centennial College. “This event offers student leaders, representatives and executives of student unions and associations the chance to join college and university administrators in engaging students in program planning.”

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About Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning
Established in 1967, Humber College is a global leader in polytechnic education. Combining in-depth theoretical learning and hands-on experience with applied research and extensive industry connections, Humber provides career-focused education to 33,000 full-time and 23,000 part-time and continuing education students across three campuses. The college offers a comprehensive range of credentials including honours undergraduate degrees, Ontario graduate certificates, diplomas, apprenticeships and certificates. More than four out of five Humber graduates are employed within six months of completing their studies. Visit humber.ca.

About Centennial College
Centennial College is Ontario’s first public college, established in 1966, primarily serving the eastern portion of the Greater Toronto Area with five campuses. It has a record of exemplary teaching, innovative programming and extensive partnership building. Centennial offers more than 250 diploma, certificate and degree programs that promote experiential learning with laboratory instruction, co-op education and industry placements. The college enrols 26,000 full-time students and 19,000 part-time learners annually. Centennialcollege.ca.

For more information, please contact:
Nadia Araujo, Media Relations and External Communications Specialist
Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning 416.675.6622 ext. 5479 / nadia.araujo@humber.ca

Michelle Cole, Director, Academic Quality
Centennial College 416.289.5000 ext. 8881 / mcole@centennialcollege.ca