By Joseph Ho
Students at the Chang School of Continuing Education will soon be able to enrol in upper-level accounting and business courses required for professional designation, after a petition by the Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR) caught the eye of school officials.
Shinae Kim, CESAR’s director of finance and services, said Ryerson President Sheldon Levy was “very supportive” of extending access to advanced courses in high demand for Chang School students.
“I think the decision is we’re going to go do whatever we can to provide students [with] those opportunities and I hope that we will
be successful,” Levy said.
The petition, presented to the administration Feb. 27, is decorated with more than 370 signatures. It asks that courses such as ACC703, ACC706, ACC801, ACC821, and BUS800 be made available in the evenings through the Chang School, where many students attend to obtain professional accounting certification.
But it’s still unclear when the courses will begin to be offered.
“I know that they want us to begin to do that this summer and I hope we will try to do that in the summer,” Levy said. “If we have to work with the Ted Rogers School of Management to help us do that, then we will do that.” Currently, continuing-education students who need those credits must enrol in the daytime as what the school calls “special business students” – students taking at least one course through Ryerson University outside of their Chang School certificate program but not pursuing a degree.
They must apply through the admissions office to get this status, but the Ryerson website states that even if special status is granted, it doesn’t guarantee a spot in a course.
That isn’t helpful for Jeanette Stephens, who is half-way through her accounting certificate but holds down a job as a legal assistant to pay for school.
Stephens works full-time, and though evening classes would be ideal for her, she still recognizes the needs of students with families who can only enrol in daytime classes.
Enkhee Garamochir, a program assistant for international accounting and finance courses at the Chang School, said that although there’s a large number of students enrolled in the program, not all are at the same level of accreditation.
“I would estimate that [there are] around only ten per cent [of students] who would need to take those advanced-level accounting courses next academic year,” Garamochir said. “Not all of them will be applying as special business for the next academic year.”
Kim said that without vacancy, students were told to take the required courses at other universities like York or Athabasca.
That wouldn’t work for Muhammad Ali, a third-year finance student hoping to complete a minor in ac
counting. His future goal is also to become a certified accountant or certified management accountant.
Ali attends Ryerson full-time but said he expects to become a parttime student next semester due to work. Attending York would add an hour to his commute.
While the school has not provided any concrete plans, students are relieved they will soon be able to fulfill their academic requirements now that administrators have taken notice of the problem.
“I mean, we’re all extremely happy… [that] we’re going to be accessing these courses the same way daytime students would,” Stephens said. “We’re happy that the school has listened and recognized that it was a problem and is doing something about it.”