By Tara Deschamps
Students could have a lot more courses to choose from in the future thanks to a set of new proposals that are being put forward by Ryerson’s curriculum renewal committee.
The school’s vice-provost academic Dr. Christopher Evans told program advisors and faculty assembled at March 21’s curriculum town hall meeting that the school is considering changes to the undergraduate curriculum model.
Among the proposed changes are new standardized terms where a student’s degree program would be called their “major” and a “concentration” would constitute six to 12 courses that are taken in one subject area.
The school might also begin calling mandatory classes “core courses.” Liberal studies might be referred to as “breadth classes” and open or professionally related courses as “choice courses.”
“[The choice category] is the area where students would have more choice to take courses of interest,” said Evans. “It would be the most important to achieve a minor.”
Within the categories, the school is considering requiring students to take six courses that emphasize writing skills through a variety of subjects.
“We all want our students to be good writers,” said Evans. “It’s one of the most important skills.”
According to Evans, these new potential course categories and requirements would offer students more choices by moving away from the traditional table system.
While he said making adjustments to curriculum is a “work-in-progress,” 66 per cent of the 73 programs Ryerson currently offers are already aligned or close to being aligned with the proposed course structure.
He anticipates additional changes or exceptions will be made for programs that are not close to fitting the proposed structure.
“I think there will be some programs that never fit into this [model], just like we have some exceptions now like engineering,” said Evans.
He added that while the changes would “provide more student choice and availability”, the curriculum committee will only submit a proposal to the senate and provost this May.
If approved, Evans estimates that it would take two to three years to complete all the policy revisions.
Photo: Mohamed Omar