Volume 91, Issue 56

Thursday, January 8, 1998

El nino


Students get dual degrees with ease

By Sandra Dimitrakopoulos
Gazette Staff

An agreement signed yesterday between Seneca College and York University will have students out in the real world in three years with both a diploma and a degree under their belt.

This articulation agreement is one of the first of its kind in Canada in which Seneca college students with minimum B-averages are given the option of completing their last year of study in general arts and sciences at York. Students must also complete a summer university course at the end of the first and second year, finishing with at least a C-average.

"The idea grew out of continuing discussion between the two schools in addition to a desire to create a more intense program," said York's dean of arts George Fallis. Set to begin in September 1998, some students are currently participating in the program.

A similar type of agreement exists between Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Guelph, University of Waterloo University and Conestoga College. Students can obtain a joint bachelor of arts degree with a career development practitioner certificate in three years – beginning study either at Conestoga or any one of the universities.

"This arrangement offers an interesting combination for students who want to follow both practical and theoretical paths," said Laurier's VP-academic Rowland Smith.

This type of articulation has yet to hit post-secondary institutions in the London area but Western's dean of arts James Good said there has been regular communication between the university and Fanshawe College in regard to setting up a similar type of program.

A previous project between Western and Fanshawe involving a fully-integrated joint nursing diploma and degree fell through in its final stages due to funding problems, said Howard Rundle, president of Fanshawe College.

Integrated programs are difficult to fund because of student classification, yet Fanshawe students are presently being offered two Western undergraduate courses as part of their arts degree, Rundle said.

Other existing obstacles to implementing a similar project include trying to make courses equivalent. The attitude regarding degree programs may also hinder change, Good said. "Universities tend to jealously guard their degree program."

David Scott, spokesperson for the Council of Ontario Universities, said he believes this type of articulation results in more opportunity for students, which could make them more attractive to potential employers.

To Contact The News Department: gaznews@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998