Not seeing what you pay for
By Sabrina Carinci
Western students soon may not have to worry about the bad grades they received in those pesky first-year courses.
The Senate Committee on Academic Policy and Admissions proposed two changes to the policy on academic transcripts in Senate Friday.
The first recommendation made by SCAPA was to provide students with a partial transcript, which would be restricted to those marks and grades leading to a specific undergraduate degree in business, dentistry, education, engineering science, law, medicine, nursing, physical therapy or leading to any graduate degree.
According to the proposal, students would be required to submit a written request for a partial transcript. The transcript itself would also be identified as partial.
Although some senators felt the proposal would be positive, others felt it was troublesome. "The idea of fragmenting a student's academic record causes a real concern," said Peter Mercer, VP-administration at Western.
Nick Iozzo, VP-education for the University Students' Council, on the other hand, felt giving students a chance to omit various courses from their transcript would be a positive advantage for students who choose to complete their entire degrees at Western.
If, for example, a student begins an English degree at Queen's, then decides to come to Western and take law, only those courses taken at Western will appear on the student's transcript. "We want to help create an equal playing field [for all university students]," Iozzo said. "You've earned it so why not?"
The wording of this first recommendation was also called into question. "The policy on Academic Transcripts be revised to permit students to request a partial transcript restricted to marks and grades leading to a specific degree program," it read. A few senators, such as Jim Good, dean of arts at Western, felt the wording stated failing grades could also be omitted from a student's transcript. "F's don't lead to a degree," he said.
Due to the unsatisfactory wording of the recommendation, this first proposal will be revised by SCAPA and discussed at the Senate meeting next month.
The second of the two recommendations proposed beginning Jan. 1, 2000 and dating as far back as 1993, student transcripts will include a listing of all scholarships, awards, prizes, fellowships and medals awarded to the student by the university.
This recommendation was agreed upon and passed by Senate. "Only awards based on merit will be shown on the transcript," Iozzo said.