By Marilee Devries
Curriculum changes have been proposed by Ryerson’s curriculum renewal committee that, if approved, would provide options from a much wider range of courses to students.
According to the committee’s proposal, the change is based on student demand for more choice in recently conducted surveys.
Mark Lovewell, the senior advisor at the office of the provost, also serves as the vice chair of the curriculum renewal committee and he says that it’s that notion of student choice that makes these adjustments so important.
The conjecture for curriculum changes includes the introduction of writing-designated courses called W-courses. W-courses would mean the detachment of the writing component currently present in all Liberal Studies.
The committee is suggesting that students be required to take six Wcourses as the standard for any Ryerson degree. The school might also begin calling mandatory classes “core courses” while liberal studies courses may be referred to as “breadth classes.”
Open or professionally related courses will be called “choice courses.”
He points out that the changes would also make earning a minor from a broader range of interests more accessible to students.
“We want to provide flexibility to the students to help them shape their educational and career goals,” Lovewell said.
Second-year graphic communications management student Bonnie Chow thinks that flexibility in course selection is vital to the university experience.
“If you have students who are forced to choose from a small selection of classes, you are restricting their freedom to explore their interests in other subjects,” she said.
Engineering student Kai Morgan doesn’t see the necessity of Wcourses for all students.
“We already have a large amount of courses on our plates,” he said. “And taking courses that don’t have anything to do with engineering doesn’t interest me.”
Any implementation strategy for curriculum changes is bound to be rolled out over a few years.
“You can’t make changes of this significance quickly,” Lovewell said.
It would begin with a few programs and eventually be applied university-wide, although with a few exceptions.
“There is still going to be a wide variety in the levels of flexibility across programs,” Lovewell said, referring to programs like engineering and architecture.
“That’s just the way Ryerson is.”