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By Nina Chiarelli
Western's Senate will hear recommendations today for a four-year bachelor of science program in computer science.
John Thorp, chair of the Senate Committee on Academic Policy and Admissions, will recommend a retroactive motion to introduce the four-year general bachelor of science program in computer science with a specialization in software engineering to the faculty of science.
This recommendation will attempt to provide general students with a sufficient background in computer science, said Bob Vancise, professor and academic counsellor in the department of computer science.
Vancise said he feels this program will give students following a general degree the edge they need to compete with honours students in today's job market. "We've had a four-year general program for a number of years, but we find in the industry the areas of primary concern for employers are software engineering and that's what this new program focuses on," Vancise said.
Michael Owens, associate dean of the faculty of science, said this program has been running through the faculty of science since last year, but until now students have had to obtain special permission. "We've already approved it, but all new programs must be approved by Senate before they're official. The only significant aspect is the retroactive condition," he added.
While both departments are hoping the new program will be retroactive, there is uncertainty how many students this will affect, Vancise said. "We've had three students graduate with this degree so far, but because of the retroacitivity there might be students eligible to graduate as early as this fall."
Nick Iozzo, VP-education for the University Students' Council and SCAPA member, agreed with the necessity to provide general students an opportunity to compete in the workplace.
"It's a great idea and another attempt to provide flexibility for students who don't want an honours degree," he said.
According to both departments, the recommendation is viewed strictly as a formality and is expected to be passed by Senate.