Volume 92, Issue 12

Wednesday, September 23, 1998



Partial learning

Friday's Senate meeting saw a very interesting proposal put forward to senators by the Senate Committee on Academic Policy and Admissions.

Interesting but misguided.

If approved at the next meeting on Oct.16, the rules regarding student transcripts at Western would change to allow students to omit from appearing on their transcript some of the courses they took during their academic career

The proposal states if the university receives a request in writing, courses which were not requisites for the student's degree would be kept from the document. It would also contain a note which would identify it as a partial transcript.

Can anyone say it's time to abuse the system?

It's absolutely ludicrous a university would offer to give a student a document which is a misrepresentation of their university career. There's a reason programs at this university require a certain number of credits to obtain a degree and this proposal would undermine this entire process.

The justification is that it would create an equal playing field for all students because those who have transferred from other schools find only the courses they have taken at Western show up on their transcripts.

There is no good reason why a university should be issuing partial depictions of an academic career. How many resumes are submitted with little notes at the bottom which read "partial resume only?" If an employer received a resume like that there'd be no way the person who handed it in would get the job.

This brings the question of whether an employer would take a partial transcript seriously – or dismiss it entirely.

Western is renowned for many of its alumni who have been very successful because they are bright, talented people. If this proposal is approved this university risks the chance of being renowned for its alumni who are where they are because they were able to omit a few bad marks from their transcripts.

How much would you trust a lawyer who settled for a 52 per cent in writing 101 because they knew they wouldn't need to put it on their transcript.

Then again, maybe it would be good for some students. They could concentrate on getting good marks in the three classes that are required for them to take in a year and then just make sure they pass the ones which are optional.

There's an academic philosophy for you.

Since this university charges everyone an arm and a leg for anything from a fax to academic records, it also brings to mind another question. Will a partial transcript cost more than a full one?

To Contact The Editorial Department: gazette.editor@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998