By Carolyn Turgeon
The Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities John Milloy announced on Monday the provincial plan to use $73.7 million in a province-wide credit transfer system.
The system, beginning in September, will allow post secondary students to transfer to other institutions while recognizing their previous academic achievements.
The money will be invested over five years for the new system and the new Credit Transfer Innovation Fund, said Milloy at George Brown’s Casa Loma campus
Ryerson president Sheldon Levy also spoke on the matter.
“Ryerson and George Brown College have a transfer agreement and for many years have shared the Sally Horsfall Eaton Centre, but there’s lots more to do”, he said.
The agreement is one of 500 throughout the province, that allow students to transfer between schools, but has trouble with credit, and cooperation between institutions.
According to Milloy, the agreements should be broader, as well as more common.
“We will ask colleges and universities to increase the scope of their agreements to become multi-lateral, instead of bi-lateral,” he said.
“We’re going to make credit transfer a part of these agreements.”
The system will reduce the need to take courses similar to those already taken, a relief for students like Sarah Virag.
“Ryerson only recognized maybe two credits out of my three years taken at Queens,” said Virag, a first-year photography student.
She now has to write appeal letters for each credit denied, though she’s already studying at Ryerson and spent time applying for each transfer.
“It would have been much better if Ryerson took into account that just because there isn’t an essay, doesn’t mean that the course is not valid,” said Virag.
Not only will the system facilitate a transfer to or from Ryerson, it will also allow students to finish sooner, and reduce the number of students who have to start again as first-years.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario (CFS), has been lobbying for changes to the transfer system.
“Ryerson has one of the most extensive transfer and direct entry programs,” says Caitlin Smith, RSU Vice-President of Finance and Services. “This announcement is a great first step and we welcome the help to make it easier on students.”
“The fact is there’s a growing interest among students to have college and university experiences,” said Milloy.
“The goal is to expand the opportunity for college students to come to Ryerson, as well as develop its programs.”
“At the end of the day, it’s all about the students,” he said.
Photo courtesy of the Government of Ontario