Volume 95, Issue 67

Thursday, January 31, 2002
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Four students seek Huron crown

UWOFA support students

Fine, take all our weed, we'll just do shrooms

Gehring gets off, legally speaking

Cooldegrees denies any wrongdoing

Hey math nerds! Solve this ya geeks

Double cohort means double the confusion

News Briefs

Double cohort means double the confusion

By Lizanor Barrera
Gazette Staff

As the countdown to the fall of 2003 continues, many questions surrounding the double cohort remain unanswered.

Plans between Ontario universities and the provincial government that would have defined how universities deal with problems surrounding the elimination of the OAC year were abandoned this month, leaving universities with merely a set of "principles" to use as guidelines, explained Arnice Cadieux of the Council of Ontario Universities.

In September 1999, secondary schools across Ontario implemented a new curriculum recommended by the Royal Commission on Learning, which had the province's five-year secondary school program reduced to four years.

While the new curriculum includes classes designed to better prepare students for both the workplace and post-secondary education, many questions have arisen as to whether or not the new program has put the students at a disadvantage.

"There was not enough planning," said Pete Lipman, a member of the Ontario Secondary School Teacher's Federation.

"We are very concerned. According to government statistics, more students under the new, intense curriculum are failing in grades nine and 10. Kids trying to get into university will have it tough, because a mark is a mark, regardless if they are from a four-year or five-year program," he said.

In the fall of 2003, both new and old curriculum students will be applying, creating an influx of applicants to post-secondary institutions in Ontario.

"There will definitely be a fallout from the transition of a five-year program to a four-year one," said Ted McTavish, principal of Banting Secondary School in London. "But the good kids will get in, even with the bottleneck."

"The government is making sure that every willing and qualified student will be given the opportunity to receive post-secondary education. Both old and new curriculum people will be treated fairly," said Tanya Cholakov, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Some universities have opted to rely on quotas to ensure fairness when accepting students, Lipman said. Under this policy a predetermined number of students from each group will be accepted.

However, some applicants may meet all regular requirements for a university but still be denied admittance simply because that school has already filled the quota, Lipman explained.

"Western and all the universities in the province are working together to adjust to the pattern of increased cohort," said Western president Paul Davenport.

"Western has built three large academic buildings to accommodate more students and we have in our operating budget special funds to hire more teachers," he added.

Some educators are less positive. "The bottom line is that people don't know what is happening or what is going to happen, and we have the first years of 2003 as guinea pigs to find out," Lipman said.

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