Volume 92, Issue 83

Wednesday, March 5, 1999


Sparse group of students gathers to discuss education

Students meet to influence budget

Fanshawe bus pass raises Western questions

Transcript changes compare marks

Budget cuts threaten library resources

Weed progress is home grown

Discussing the future UN


Transcript changes compare marks

By Sabrina Carinci
Gazette Staff

Recent Senate-approved changes to student transcripts will create mixed feelings for students whose grades tend to fall below average.

As of December 2000, the information found on student transcripts will include the number of people in a particular class as well as the class average.

John Thorp, chair of the Senate Committee on Academic Policy and Admissions, said the committee had been working on the changes for about a year. He added they were aware any proposed addition to transcripts would advantage some students and disadvantage others.

The additional information will now give onlookers an idea of where a student stands in comparison to the rest of the class.

For example, a student who received a 75 per cent in a course where the class average was 95,will not look as positive as they would have appeared to be.

On the other hand, however, a mark of 75 per cent will be accentuated if the class average proves to be significantly lower.

"It gives a clear picture of a student's mark. It's going to expose the people hiding behind their marks – it makes it fair," said Nick Iozzo, VP-education for the University Students' Council.

Rob Tiffin, deputy registrar at Western, said the information will be extremely advantageous for undergraduate chairs who are required to evaluate students for admission to graduate programs. "The feeling was that it would be helpful information for people – it's reasonable," he said.

Registrar Roma Harris agreed. She added students concerned with losing prospective employers most likely have nothing to worry about. "At the end of the day, employers look for transcripts to see if you have a degree. Not necessarily the marks."

Mohammad Ali, a fourth-year honours economics student at Western, said he thought the new changes to student transcripts would prove to be a positive addition. He said knowing professors and employers will be able to compare classmates with each other may drive students to work harder in their studies.

Maggie Blouin, a first-year social science student at Western, said she did not necessarily agree. "It would bother me if I fell below the class average and people could see that," she said.

In addition to academic information, Thorp said the new transcripts will also include a legend to explain and describe the value of final grades. Also, SCAPA will present an annual report to Senate illustrating faculty averages and distribution.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999