"Funshawe" packs 'em in: Enrollment higher than Western
By Paolo Zinatelli and Kelly Marcella
For the first time in recent history, first-year enrollment is higher at Fanshawe College than at Western.
Fanshawe College president Howard Rundle said the college was surprised at the higher than usual numbers, which indicate a first-year enrollment of 6,500.
The number of fast-trackers was underestimated, Rundle said, adding the college saw a 10 per cent increase in enrollment, yet was only expecting a five per cent increase.
"We were fortunate that we had a major building completed ahead of time," Rundle explained.
"Fortunately, we were prepared," said Emily Marcoccia, manager of marketing and communications at Fanshawe College, adding new buildings and classrooms were operational for the start of the school year.
"We have more first-year students than Western for the first time," Marcoccia confirmed.
"We're expecting approximately 6,000 new full-time students on campus," said Lori Gribbon, manager of undergraduate admissions and liaison services at Western. "It's a little early in the game the numbers could change in the next four or five weeks," she added.
As well as the higher number of first-year students at Fanshawe, the college is now offering a collaborative program with Western in partnership with the faculty of information and media studies.
Students in the new media theory and production program will graduate in four years with a three-year bachelor of arts degree and a two-year diploma.
"I think the time has come for greater collaboration," said Gloria Leckie, associate dean of FIMS at Western. According to Leckie, the program allows for more in-depth applied components.
"Admissions are done through Western. Our admission standards are a little bit higher," Leckie added.
"[Joint college and university programs are] something the government believes is a good idea to give post-secondary students more flexibility," said Bruce Skeaff, spokesperson for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
Twenty-two proposals for degree-granting status were submitted by 16 colleges across the province, however, only 12 were approved, Skeaff explained.
These new ventures are just pilot programs at the moment and it is too early to judge their success, Skeaff added.