Conference Theme

Gateways in Higher Education: Cultures, Transitions, and Transformations

The Mi’kmaq people call Halifax K'jipuktuk, meaning “Great Harbour.” Halifax harbour is quintessentially a gateway—ships and people arriving and moving through—immigrants landing, soldiers embarking, refugees seeking shelter. Between 1928 and 1971, more than one million immigrants, refugees, war brides, and evacuated and displaced persons saw Halifax's George's Island lighthouse and the gates of Pier 21. Many stayed in Halifax, many more moved on into the rest of Canada.

Each year, thousands of students come to Halifax as intellectual immigrants; students from across Canada and the globe arrive, move through their studies, and continue on as competent, committed citizens. Students can choose from a multiplicity of programs and majors from any of Halifax’s higher education institutions: 

  • University of King’s College (est. 1789)
  • Saint Mary’s University (est. 1802)
  • Dalhousie University (est. 1818)
  • Mount Saint Vincent University (est. 1873)
  • NSCAD University (est. 1887)
  • Université Sainte-Anne (est. 1890)
  • Nova Scotia Community College (est. 1988)

In the realm of theory and practice of technology, pedagogy, and assessment, it seems as though higher education is continually at a gateway, a liminal space, where possibility and advancement is available. In this context, what is the role of the post-secondary institutions, classrooms, and teachers in supporting students in their quest for higher learning? Understanding where we have come from, and where we are now, is key to understanding where we are going, and how we can develop and change over the next century to meet the needs of our changing student demographics. 

We invite conference participants to engage in questions such as these, and considerations of our collective contributions to social, political, economic and human well-being in the unique context of Halifax—a place that combines real and metaphorical gateways with a 200-year history of providing opportunities for higher education.

Conference Threads

We are pleased to offer several conference threads associated with the conference theme.  These conference threads will assist in the creation of the conference program, and to group presentations together in a more coordinated manner.

  • Assessment for Learning
  • Learner and Learning-Centred Course Design
  • Teaching Practices to Support Experiential Learning
  • Indigenization of Higher Education
  • Internationalization of Higher Education
  • Motivating and Understanding Learners
  • Understanding and Supporting Faculty and Instructors
  • Innovations in E-Learning
  • Faculty and Student Partnerships in Higher Education
  • Learning Thresholds (Threshold Concepts and Decoding the Disciplines)
  • Leadership of Change and Innovation in Teaching and Learning

Conference Streams

In addition to conference threads, which are connected to the theme of the conference, we also invite presenters to identify whether their session is associated with one of the Special Interest Groups or Caucuses in STLHE.  Where possible in the program, we will ensure that we plan the program to enable streams associated with these SIGs to be established throughout the conference.

The affiliated groups within STLHE are:

  • Teaching Assistant and Graduate Student Advancement
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Canada
  • College Sectors Educators Community
  • Educational Developers Caucus
  • 3M Fellows