Volume 93, Issue 73

Wednesday, February 9, 2000


Public library moves to mall

New degrees fall under community microscope

Gay meds face classroom barriers

No cheering as hackers shut down internet search engine

HRDC grant money questioned


Back Asswards

Caught on campus

New degrees fall under community microscope

By Leena Kamat
Gazette Staff

The Western community will get their chance to debate the pros and cons of becoming the Harvard of the North at two meetings over the next week.

The first meeting to discuss proposed changes to Western's degree program is scheduled for tomorrow, said John Thorp, chair of Western's Senate Committee on Academic Policy and Admissions. SCAPA presented their proposed changes to the Senate Jan. 28.

"It's a part of the process to try to explain the proposals to the university," he said of the meetings. He added this is often standard procedure when there is a debate over an issue which may impact the majority of the school's students.

Part of the reform package includes adding a core program of six half courses in a variety of fields which is similar to how Harvard University works, said Mark Kissel, VP-education for the University Students' Council who also sits on SCAPA.

Kissel said he thought the idea was great, but added there may need to be exceptions to this new strategy, notably in the faculties of music and engineering, based on their stringent course requirements.

Rebecca Coulter, associate dean of the faculty of education, said she planned on attending tomorrow's meeting which will give the Western community an opportunity to clear up any misconceptions.

"I always think it's useful for people to talk about change," Coulter said, adding one suggestion which may arise would be replacing the first year general program with a common core program, instead of the proposed plan to incorporate core programs into a student's final three years.

Coulter, who likes the idea of having a common core, said she has spoken with many students who would be in favour of the changes.

Jerry Paquette, associate professor in the faculty of education, said he thought the elimination of the three year baccalaureate was inevitable. "One prediction over the long term, is three year degrees are going the way of dinosaurs."

Paquette added this move is partly based on the elimination of Grade 13 in Ontario. He said he would have to question the judgment of students who have four years of high school and then opt to discontinue their education after a three year degree.

Second-year film student Kyo Moon said if incoming students knew exactly what they wanted to pursue, the new core program would be pointless.

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