Scholar’s electives elapses?
Program to stay, but changes are coming
By Marshall Bellamy
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.