Volume 93, Issue 68

Tuesday, February 1, 2000


UWO mourns students

Money talks at King's forum

Psych prof accused of racism

SCAPA proposes revamping of bachelor-level degrees

Toronto TAs to settle with admin

Prez candidates face off with media

Funding gets the checkered flag

New anti-panhandling legislation comes into effect

Theft remains a big problem for UPD


Experience not going to get in Connell's way


SCAPA proposes revamping of bachelor-level degrees

By John Intini and Chris Lackner
Gazette Staff

Western could soon become the Harvard University of the North if senators put their weight behind a proposal presented at Friday's Senate meeting.

The White Paper, created by the Senate Committee on Academic Policy and Admissions, was presented by the committee's chair John Thorp and called for a revamping of the school's bachelor-level degrees.

Under the new plan, Western would offer three types of degrees – a four-year baccalaureate with honours, a four-year advanced baccalaureate which would not include the honours distinction and a three-year baccalaureate.

A second component of the new system would be the introduction of a core program which would require students to take six half courses in a range of fields including historical studies, moral reasoning, science and foreign cultures.

"This is an attempt to offer a breadth of knowledge in studies," Thorp said, adding the double cohort may create even greater problems since many students will have even less general knowledge when they enter university.

Mark Kissel, VP-education for the University Students' Council and a member of the committee, said the program was based on Harvard's model.

Thorp stressed three-year degrees would not be eliminated through the new plan, but rather improved. He added the required half-courses would be taught by Western's top faculty.

Thorp said the proposal brought to Senate last fall was met with skepticism. "Last year, there was a healthy debate in the Senate. Some reactions were quite radical, but involved good input. The new proposal should diminish the concerns raised last year," he said.

Michael Owen, associate dean of the faculty of science said he was enthusiastic about the concept of a four year non-honours degree, but added he had some concerns as well. "Many science programs would be forced to make vast changes in their requirements and flexibility," he explained.

Thorp said in some cases, notably engineering science and music, exceptions to the required core programs would be made.

Student senator-at-large Marc Chernoff spoke in support of the plan, adding three-year programs should be eliminated since in many cases they are not recognized by Canadian and American graduate schools.

Thorp said SCAPA has set an implementation date for September 2002 and said it should be ready for Senate's vote by May of this year.

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