Nation's schools caught in the web
By Karen Robbins
A single trip through the information super highway will now offer students the power to access information about any university in the nation.
Campus Access is the newest online directory which provides high school and university students with a career centre, information on financial aid, a forum for showcasing Canadian art and information on topics relating to student life.
Although universities already provide information to students on their own web sites, Campus Access was set up to provide students with a comprehensive look at universities, said Noah Gurza, creator of Campus Access and recent McGill University graduate.
High school counsellors have also shown an interest in online assistance for their students. Diana Rajala, a counsellor at Oakridge Secondary School, said online services seem to be becoming a trend. Rajala added she is pleased the information found on the internet can provide up to date information, as many printed books are only updated yearly.
Campus Access sends profile questionnaires to universities throughout Canada asking about the size of their student body, programs they offer, as well as tuition fees, admission requirements and nightlife attractions for students on and off campus.
Questionnaires are also sent to student council presidents asking about the university's "bird courses," favourite professors and most popular courses.
Gurza said the general response to the site has been positive. Most schools are interested in the service when they see it provides more than Macleans magazine's yearly rating. Some student councils, however, have yet to respond.
"I'm disappointed by the response from the student union presidents," Gurza admitted, adding only nine schools have returned their questionnaire, Western being one of them.
Lara Chaloner, publications officer at Western's office of the registrar, said the university receives many profile questionnaires from different internet services. "The university fills out general questions about the university but does not answer questions that require a personal opinion," she said.
Lori Gribbon, manager of applicant services warned that internet websites should not be the only services students use to research universities. "[Internet sites] should not be the be-all, end-all of services but a helpful tool for students to begin researching about universities."