Universities under pressure to recognize more college credits

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Ryerson is looking at ways to facilitate a smoother transition for incoming college transfer students — a response to the government’s push for a regulated transfer credit system in Ontario by 2012.

According to a Council of Ontario Universities report, the province’s universities are not well integrated with its colleges. Although university courses are fairly standardized across the country, college courses vary and often do not receive university credit.

At Ryerson’s senate meeting on Nov. 3, a priorities committee presented their findings on the issue.

They discussed if Ryerson was doing enough to recognize transfer credits and how it should respond to the move for regulation.

Currently, college transfers make up 15 per cent of undergraduate students at Ryerson.

“I think there’s many students that come from the college system and are unsure how their credits are going to count and what they could count for what degree program,” said Ryerson President Sheldon Levy.

“I think there are lots of issues under which universities should be working with the colleges much closer.”

The Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has pressed its post-secondary institution to establish an integrated system like British Columbia and Alberta, stated the report released in July.

Neil Thomlinson, a member of the priorities committee, said that often, college courses are not relatable to university courses and makes it harder to grant those credits.

“Ryerson program coordinators all try to get students the most credit they can, but at Ryerson it’s complicated by the curriculum structure,” Thomlinson said.

He added that Ryerson differs from most schools because of its many specific, professional programs so the odds of taking a relatable course at college are slim.

Also, prior courses taken by college transfer students will often count for a professionally-related or liberal credit but won’t be equivalent of a class in a specific program, he said.

A possible solution could include stating on the letter of offer the number of credits a college transfer will get upon their acceptance, rather than waiting till the school year begins, he added.

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