Completed projects

2021

Support for Parents with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Project Leads: Kimberlee Neault, School of Health and Community Services
Community Partners: City of Oshawa; Oshawa Senior Community Centres
Project type: Experiential learning
Duration: September 2020 – April 2021
Summary: Students of Durham College’s Personal Support Worker (PSW) program participated in a City Idea Lab course, working with the City of Oshawa and Oshawa Senior Community Centres (OSCC55+) to address a TeachingCity Oshawa challenge question: how can we engage older adults who may not have the financial resources and/or ability to use digital technology to ensure that they do not experience the negative effects of social isolation?

The City Idea Lab is an innovative way to help students gain experiential learning in their courses, while working with the City of Oshawa to impact change in the community. Guided by faculty member and project lead Kimberlee Neault, PSW students proposed nine unique solutions to this challenge, three of which were selected by the City for immediate implementation:

  • An intergenerational Pen Pal Program matching a DC student with older adults in the city. Read DC Journalism student Stephanie Lacarte’s article in The Chronical for the fully story.
  • A Reading Buddy Program pairing students with seniors for a virtual book club. Read the full story in The Star.
  • A Senior Hour to engage community members in activities hosted on the OSCC55+ website.

To learn more, about City Idea Lab visit the TeachingCity Oshawa website.

Enhancing virtual mentorship to reduce social isolation of youth
Project Leads: Crystal Garvey, School of Health and Community Services; Jacqueline Williamson, School of Health and Community Services
Community Partners: Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Durham
Funding Source: Applied Research Rapid Response to COVID-19 Fund – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
Duration: May 2020 – August 2021
Summary: The project aims to ensure that the vitally important mentor support provided to mentees through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program is maintained despite physical distancing challenges imposed by the pandemic and that arising mental health needs are addressed for both the mentor and mentee in the rural North Durham Region. The project aims to increase the use of virtual platforms by providing a list of useful resources, including relationship building activities and mental health supports, easily accessible to mentors and mentees.
Support for Parents with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Project Leads: Amanda Cappon School of Health and Community Services; Kay Corbier, School of Health and Community Services
Community Partners: Starfish Parent Support Program, Regional Municipality of Durham
Funding Source: Internal
Summary: The project explored gaps in support services and resources available for parents who have an intellectual disability/developmental disability (ID/DD) in Durham Region. There is a statistically high incidence in removal of children from biological parents who have an ID/DD, and warranting an investigation of the availability and efficacy of parent support interventions to better understand their relation to child removal. As a starting point, a comprehensive literature review was completed to inform next steps for the project team for which funding is being sought.

2020

Co-design of a Youth-led Housing Hub: Developing a Unique and Scalable Housing Model for Youth Living on Their Own in Durham
Project Lead: Lorraine Closs, School of Health and Community Services
Community Partners: Regional Municipality of Durham, Durham District School Board, Durham Mental Health Services, John Howard Society, Boys and Girls Club of Durham, Joanne’s House
Funding Source: College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
Duration: March 2018 – October 2020
Summary: Trusteed youth, aged 16 and 17 living on their own and collecting social assistance to survive, represent a unique and particularly vulnerable population. They live independently without the opportunity to approach independence in a gradual and supported manner and are at high risk of school drop-out, mental health and addictions, homelessness and persistent poverty. A survey of these youth in Durham Region, interviews with service providers and comparative field research in Finland was incorporated into three co-design sessions involving Trusteed Youth and service providers to co-create a supportive housing hub model. The model is now being considered as a viable option by the Region.
Outcomes:

Trusteed Youth Final Report [PDF]

Indigenous Student Public Service Announcements for Durham District School Board
Project Lead: Teresa Goff, School of Media, Art, and Design
Partner Durham College First People’s Indigenous Centre (FPIC)
Community Partner DDurham District School Board (DDSB)
Funding Source: Internal
Duration: March 2018 – October 2020
Summary: Durham College journalism students and FPIC collaborated with the DDSB to produce five videos featuring indigenous issues faced in the high school system as identified by Indigenous students and their families. The DC students gained real-life experience interviewing, recording, and creating the videos, while the videos will provide much-needed insight into the experiences of Indigenous students and provide a platform for their voices to be heard by teachers, administrators and the DC students and faculty involved. This project has led to further collaborative activities with these partners.
Understanding Sustainability: Creation of a Learning Module for Students
Project Lead: Julie Walker, School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Partner Durham College Centre for Teaching and Learning (formerly the Centre for Academic and Faculty Enrichment)
Funding Source: Siemens Canada – Sustainability Education Program
Duration: March 2018 – October 2020
Summary: Learning materials including a video and modules were designed to engage and inform students while supporting a broader sustainability movement at the college. These tools introduce the concept of sustainability as both a mindset and an action that can be taken at multiple levels to ensure healthy people, processes, and environments exist for future generations. These resources will help faculty, staff, and students to become aware of sustainability measures on campus and in the broader community, and learn how to practice a sustainability mindset in everyday decision making. The project aligns with the college’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals.
Outcomes:
Modules: https://durhamcollege.cafe/sustainability (scroll to the far right of page)
Curriculum in a Global World
Project Lead: Teresa Goff, School of Media, Art, and Design
Partner Durham College Centre for Teaching and Learning (formerly the Centre for Academic and Faculty Enrichment)
Funding Source: Internal
Duration: March 2018 – October 2020
Summary: The project design was developed after identifying a need to foster global conversation by leveraging the international relationships established by DC faculty members using the Rotary Global Classroom to enhance global competency and intercultural skills of students.
The original project goal was to hold a conference on curriculum development with international partners however, this plan was impacted by the pandemic and the closure of campus space including the Rotary Global Classroom. The conference was put on hold and the project was redesigned to focus on exemplary practices for preparing and producing a remote conference on global engagement and curriculum development. A literature review was completed which will inform development of a future conference to support and enhance the development of globalized curriculum.
International Students' Learning Experience in the Canadian Classroom
Project Lead: Lisa Robinson, School of Health & Community Services; Karen Sutton, School of Health and Community Services
Partner Durham College Centre for Teaching and Learning (formerly the Centre for Academic and Faculty Enrichment)
Funding Source: Internal
Duration: March 2018 – October 2020
Summary: The study focused on international students studying in a Canadian classroom to better understand the challenges they face as well as competencies faculty members needed to meet their unique learning needs.