March 23, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 90  

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Scholar’s electives elapses?
Program to stay, but changes are coming

By Marshall Bellamy
Gazette Staff

There is discussion underway and plans being formulated to alter Western’s current scholar’s electives program; though no major changes are expected, students can prepare for several adjustments.

“Students can pretty much do that with the modules,” said Brian Timney, dean of social science and chair of the Senate Committee on Academic Planning and Awards. Timney noted that scholar’s electives allows students more flexibility in choosing courses for their programs, which the new modular degree system already allows for every student at Western.

The changes to the program are still being discussed, Timney said, adding that although it has been decided that changes will be made, the finer details have not yet been worked out.

“There is a recognition of the quality students,” said Western VP-academic Greg Moran, referring to eligible scholar’s electives students. “All of the options will still be available, it’s just an evolution,” he said, explaining the structure of the program that allows students to design their programs has been eliminated.

“At Western, we’ve been trying to upgrade all of our programs to attract the very best students,” he said “As a result, we decided to change the program.

“It’ll be a much smaller program; it’ll be just the students who want to take them,” Moran said. “I don’t think there’ll be a smaller demand — people want to be in scholar’s electives.”

According to Timney, there was a hesitancy to completely eliminate the scholar’s elective program because of the 500 students enrolled. “It’s a pretty popular program, so we decided to keep it,” he said, adding recognition of quality students would be heightened by the creation of a “student’s honours society” for those with an average of 90 per cent or higher.

“What we want to do is maintain scholar’s electives, but change the format to allow more possibilities,” Timney explained, noting that because the program draws students to Western, there should be incentives for quality students.

“I personally feel there is a need for change. Scholar’s electives is a real drawing point to this school,” said Matt Wilson, an affiliate senator and student representative on SCAPA, noting the issue will be addressed at the next SCAPA meeting in April.



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