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By Leena Kamat
Teachers by day and students by night may become the reality for graduates of teacher's college interested in PhD programs.
If tomorrow's Board of Governors meeting passes a Senate approved recommendation, a PhD program in educational studies could soon be jointly offered by Western, Brock, Lakehead and Windsor universities, said Allen Pearson, Western's dean of education. The proposal must be passed at each individual institution to come into effect at that university.
The program will allow students who have completed teaching degrees to register for distance studies courses at any of the included universities, which would count towards a PhD.
The program consists of correspondence courses and core courses offered in the summer, said Mike Manley-Casimir, dean of the faculty of education at Brock. He added the proposal was not approved yet as some of the details are still being worked out.
"Graduate studies in education comes later than most," Pearson said. He explained most students planning to do graduate studies work a few years before returning to school.
"A few years down the road, they have mortgages, kids," he said. The part-time distance format will provide more accessibility, Pearson said.
Manley-Casimir said students must attend the universities for the core courses. He added the first core course would take place at Brock in the summer of 2000.
The proposal allows a maximum of four students per university, each year, for the four to five year program.
Although it has not been officially approved, Manley-Casimir said the faculty has received many phone calls from people interested in the program. Pearson added this idea has been around for several years, among various education faculties in Ontario.
Western's Senate approved the recommendation by the Senate Committee on University Planning last Friday, said Kevin McQuillan, chair of SCUP. "I think the idea is, it offers an alternative to the [traditional] graduate program," he said.
The proposal has to get final approval at Western by the Board tomorrow, said Michael Rubinoff, BOG graduate representative. "It looks like a sound proposal," he said. "It's unique. This is going in the positive direction."
Kris MacLeod, co-ordinator of summer and distance studies at Western said, "To stay marketable in the job market, distance education is perfect for professional updating."