Students can’t get no satisfaction, opt to drop out

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By Agata Zieba

Kim Nesbeth has just started her third year at Ryerson as a first-year psychology student.

After two years studying business, Nesbeth decided to change programs.

“I just wasn’t too interested in business, it didn’t fit my lifestyle,” she said.

As a result, she spent last summer struggling with the switch, trying to figure out how many of her courses were transferable.

Many Canadian students, like Nesbeth, arrive to university and find that their program isn’t what they expected.

The most common reason students leave or transfer postsecondary programs is because they feel like the course isn’t right for them, according to a recent Statistics Canada survey.

Ryerson has taken notice and is considering making certain courses more transferable.

Course transferability was discussed and made a top priority on Ryerson’s academic plan at a recent town hall meeting on academic restructuring.

“We’re working on more flexibility,” said Heather Lane Vetere, vice provost students. “But changes to the curriculum aren’t quick and easy.”

The abundance of specialized programs at Ryerson is likely why it’s so difficult to transfer courses, added Vetere.

Alan Shepard, provost and vice-president academic, agrees.“Ryerson’s curriculum is more structured than other universities,” he said.

Mehmet Zeytinoglu, interim vice provost academic and chair of the academic standards committee, hopes improving Ryerson’s curriculum will decrease dropout rates.

Duncan MacLellan, politics professor, believes a lack of course transferability can be a financial setback.

“You basically have to start again and that can be very costly,” he said.

For Nesbeth, only a few of her courses were transferable and the rest were just a waste of money, she said.

She remains content with her decision to switch programs. “Why would you want to spend four years doing something that’s not worthwhile?”

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