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About the SPACE Certificate: For Students

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“All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.” —Albert Einstein, 1937

Interdisciplinary education frameworks such as STEAM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) and STS (Science, Technology and Society) that aim to integrate the sciences with the arts, humanities and social sciences are increasingly being developed to help students thrive as our society enters the Fourth Industrial Revolution, an era that will be marked by the impact of AI, biotechnology and genomics, climate change and other complex global problems. In preparing the next generation for the challenges and opportunities these developments pose, it has been widely recognized that reinforcing the connections between disciplines will have an indispensable role to play. Yet, specifically integrating the arts, sciences, humanities and social sciences in post-secondary education has been a persistent challenge. For more than a decade at Dawson, SPACE has been working to take on this challenge by developing pedagogical and support practices that encourage the integration of the program disciplines among students and faculty. In addition, SPACE has created and maintains a number of co-curricular venues and activities––a website, conferences, exhibitions, hackathons, podcasts––where students can share work and apply knowledge and skills that emerge from their participation in SPACE. Starting in the Fall of 2021, SPACE will also begin offering students various pathways for participating in SPACE and receiving recognition for their contributions through the SPACE Arts and Sciences certificate.

In alignment with the Dawson Graduate Profile outcomes, students who participate in the SPACE: Arts and Sciences certificate will have unique opportunities to: 

§  engage in complementary learning activities in and out of the classroom, such as workshops, research collaborations, writing groups, multimedia creations, excursions and hackathons.
§  access specialized learning environments such as makerspaces and editorial spaces, through virtual platforms and at regular SPACE meetings.
§  apply acquired program skills and integration of knowledge across disciplines, in particular across the arts, sciences and social sciences.
§  develop and deepen literacy across the arts and the sciences.
§  apply teamwork and leadership skills through collaboration on projects and in venues that engage the entire community.
§  enrich their classroom learning and grow beyond the classroom by pursuing independent projects relevant to their interests.
§  receive peer and faculty mentorship.
§  share their work with others in a SPACE Learning Community, across Dawson College, and beyond, through articles, podcasts and other media formats on the SPACE website as well as through talks, conferences, exhibitions and annual public programming.
§  engage in discussions and collaborations with others, including people from other disciplines across the arts and sciences, around projects and issues of common interest or concern. 
§  explore big-picture questions about how what they are learning connects to their life, to the world around them and to their ability to become an active and engaged citizen in society. 

Who can participate in the SPACE: Arts and Sciences Certificate?

The SPACE certificate is available to all Dawson students from pre-university programs and career/technical programs. Students will be provided with a wide range of activities and with flexible, individualized pathways relevant to their interests to complete the certificate through program, general education and complementary courses, as well as through participation in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities

How do I fulfill the requirements for the SPACE: Arts and Sciences Certificate?

Following the Learning Communities framework for certificates, the learning outcomes of the SPACE: Arts and Sciences Certificate consist of developing the following attributes:

Knowledge Understand issues and problems from multiple disciplinary perspectives; analyze diverse points of view and understand issues contextually; identify and analyze arts, sciences and social sciences connections within and across courses, disciplines, programs, and from personal, social, and technological contexts.
Application Apply knowledge and skills in varied settings, including within SPACE Learning Community; integrate disciplinary knowledge and skills with other perspectives and modes of inquiry, in particular across the arts, sciences and social sciences.
Agency Learn and practice forms of individual and collective behaviour that will lead to an interdisciplinary outlook essential to the preparation of citizens for work, civic participation, and lifelong learning.

There are three major requirements for completing the SPACE certificate that can be combined to develop the attributes:

1.     Foundational Knowledge
2.     Co-curricular Participation
3.     Independent Capstone Project

Students will have flexible pathways to achieve these requirements through a mixture of coursework and para-academic activities. The most common combinations students will encounter in the co-design of their learning pathway are shown in the table below. The details of each requirement are given subsequently.

Path 1    SPACE 365-BXP + 15 credits of co-curriculars + capstone
Path 2    Paired BXE/BXH + 12 credits of co-curriculars + capstone
Path 3    Foundational Knowledge Project + 15 credits of co-curriculars + 1 cross-listed course + capstone
Path 4    Foundational Knowledge Project + 15 credits of co-curriculars + capstone that has a component related to coursework


1.  Foundational Knowledge: Bridging (Inter, Multi, Trans, Anti)-Disciplinary Perspectives

Within the context of coursework or through a series of workshops, students will be guided towards bridging knowledge and combining modes of inquiry from multiple disciplines across the arts and sciences and social sciences.

Foundational knowledge can be acquired through one of the following options:

§  365-BXP Contemporary Issues SPACE 365: Make Things That Matter (Winter semester)

•  On a case-by-case basis, it may be possible to substitute a different 365 BXP/BWP Contemporary Issues course not affiliated with another certificate. Students following this pathway will need, at minimum, to demonstrate integration of an arts and sciences theme related to the course content. Consultation with a SPACE coordinator will be required for this substitution.

§  Paired BXE English and Humanities “Investigating Story Value(s)” (Winter semester)

§  A series of co-curricular workshops

•  Co-curricular workshops are being designed to fulfill the foundational knowledge requirement for students unable to register in an approved course and for use as resource materials in annual learning and teaching activities within the SPACE LC. Certain of these workshops will be led by SPACE faculty; others will be done asynchronously by certificate students, culminating with the completion of a faculty-mentored project for those choosing this foundational knowledge option.

Since the foundational knowledge requirement cannot be double counted, on completion of one of the approved options, students may apply any of the other options to the remaining certificate requirements. For example, completion of the SPACE 365 and the paired BXE English/Humanities courses will give the student the foundational knowledge requirement, one additional cross-listed course and a context for proposing and completing an independent capstone project.

2. Co-curricular Participation: Connecting Learning Experiences In And Out Of The Classroom

Students will participate in co-curricular activities and take cross-listed courses as part of their involvement in a SPACE LC.

The requirements for co-curricular participation are completed through

§  Registration in and completion of at least one course cross-listed course (could be foundational knowledge course) of the certificate

•  The minimal requirement for cross-listing is the integration of an arts and sciences theme into one or more classroom learning activities. Projects that make arts, sciences and social sciences connections can further be used by students to transfer their learning from the classroom to SPACE venues and other annual activities.

§  Involvement in at 15 credits of activities outside of courses through

•  SPACE venues (e.g., website, annual showcase, exhibitions, conferences)
•  SPACE events and meetups (e.g., workshops, talks, excursions)
•  SPACE projects (e.g., podcast, publications, competitions, collaborations)
•  other equivalent to be approved in consultation with SPACE coordinator.   Examples include: relevant research, volunteering, or extra-curricular activities associated with other initiatives within or external to Dawson and shared within the SPACE LC in some form (e.g., through a presentation, article, workshop, exhibit, podcast, event, etc.)

Note: number of credits required can be reduced to 9 credits by taking additional cross-listed courses. Each additional course is worth 3 credits.

Co-curricular and extra-curricular activities will be tracked by SPACE. Students will be responsible for reporting and getting approval for hours not associated with scheduled SPACE activities. A list and schedule of available co-curricular activities will be maintained and updated on the SPACE web site.


3. Independent Capstone Project: Applying Knowledge to an Integrating Activity

Within the context of a single course or through an independent project, students will complete a capstone integrating activity that applies the foundational knowledge of the certificate to an arts and sciences theme.

The capstone is to be done with approval from a SPACE LC faculty member

§  through a program-specific integrating activity (e.g., CE, IA, and IS)
§  as an independent project proposed by the student

• themes can be integrated from any of the courses cross-listed in the certificate, approved in consultation with an appropriate faculty member and SPACE coordinator.
• themes can be integrated from co-curricular activities, conditional on approval by SPACE coordinator.

Students will be required to submit a proposal to SPACE indicating how the independent capstone project will apply the foundational knowledge of the SPACE certificate and how it may be shared or presented within the SPACE LC. This requirement naturally fits the integrative learning specific to programs but may be co-curricular in nature.

Table 2 shows the most common learning pathways and is followed by specific examples of how each requirement could be met for certificate students from a variety of programs.

Table 2: Most common SPACE Certificate pathways

  Foundational Knowledge Co-curricular Participation Independent Capstone Project

365-BXP SPACE 365:
Make Things That Matter*
§ 15 credits** of co-curricular participation
from a selection of activities
Can be related to coursework or outside of courses


Paired BXE English and Humanities:
Investigating Story Value(s)
§ 12 credits** of co-curricular participation
from a selection of activities
Can be related to coursework or outside of courses


Foundational Knowledge Project
§ Choose any cross-listed course
§ 15 credits** of co-curricular participation
from a selection activities
Can be related to coursework or outside of courses


Foundational Knowledge Project
§ 15 credits** of co-curricular participation
from a selection of activities
Must be related to coursework

*other 365 equivalence determined on a case-by-case basis
**the number of credits required is reduced according to number of cross-listed courses down to no less than 9 credits for 3 courses taken. For more than 3 cross-listed courses, reflection assignments will be provided to acrue additional credits.

Table 3: Examples of most common SPACE Certificate pathways for students from various programs

Program Foundational Knowledge Co-curricular Participation Independent Capstone Project

365-BXP SPACE 365:
Make Things That Matter
§ Paired BXE
§ 10 meetings of SPACEcorp project group
§ Education robotics research
§ Museum excursion
LED simulation of heat transfer in a 2D medium
with unknown heat capacity
§ Exhibited in SPACEweek showcase
and presented at ScienceFest

Liberal Arts

Foundational Knowledge Project:
article published on SPACE website
§ Science: History and Methods
§ 15 meetings: SPACEmag group
§ Museum excursion
§ 2 talks
SPACEpod podcast: interview with Dr. Lorne Scharf
exploring the science and treatment of COVID-19
§ Published on SPACE website

Social Science

Paired BXE English and Humanities:
Investigating Story Value(s)
§ 365-BXP SPACE 365
§ Workshop series
§ Museum excursion
§ 2 talks
Short story exploring implications of surveillance
technology on society
§ Submitted to writing competition
§ Published on SPACE website


Foundational Knowledge Project:
website article illustration
§ SPACE website art direction
§ Museum excursion
§ 2 talks
SPACE poster design: project explores underlying
science and arts theme
§ Based on coursework
§ Published on SPACE website
§ Exhibited in SPACEweek showcase


Foundational Knowledge Project:
mentoring students in 3D printing
§ 365-BXP SPACE 365
§ 10 meetings: SPACEcorp project group
§ 1 workshop facilitated by student 
§ Museum excursion
Explorations of 3D printing: designing housings to
waterproof outdoor sensor kits
§ Demonstrated at ScienceFest



Additional Information for Certificate Students 

Once registered, students in the certificate will be provided with further details including

  • §  Student-specific resources such as

    •  FAQs
    •  More examples to aid students in co-constructing certificate pathways
    •  A complete list of co-curricular activities and cross-listed courses
    •  Example capstone projects
    •  Certificate logistics: an activity schedule, how-to track progress, proposal and activity forms, etc.
    •  Calls for participation (in support of venues, events and projects)

  • §  Resources for self-study, asynchronous and/or live use by the SPACE Learning Community
  • §  Information about venues (e.g., publications, the annual Showcase, use of makerspace resources, etc.)

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