PHOTO: NATALIA BALCERZAK

Chang school PR course gets bad rep

In News /

By Diana Hall

Students are demanding a refund for a Chang School of Continuing Education course they say has taught them nothing nine weeks into the Winter semester.

Sixteen out of 18 students enrolled in a reputation management course (CDPR114) have sent a letter to the administration arguing they should be reimbursed and credited for a course that left them “disappointed.”

“My fear is that we, as students, are paying for the ineffectiveness of the instructor in more ways than one – by not learning, and by actually paying full tuition and not receiving value,” said Brad Lee, a continuing education student.

As outlined in the March 15 letter to program director Muthana Zouri, students are particularly frustrated with instructor Rick Hall’s “failure to cover course materials beyond discussion of the textbook,” “inadequate and unclear assignment notes” and “treatment of students in a condescending manner.”

“I’ve checked out of this class. I don’t want to go any more,” said Corey Herscu. “Why should I sit there and [listen] for three hours while this pompous person condescends to the entire class? He tells us we should know better because we’re in university. It’s not fair.”

Lee is frustrated that the school isn’t doing enough to address the students’ complaints. Students heard nothing from former administrator Cheryl Ficker, who sat in on one class and shocked students by resigning shortly after.

But Gervan Fearon, outgoing dean of the Chang School, insisted the administration has “taken rather significant steps” to appease the students’ concerns, such as arranging a meeting with Hall, and by installing program administrator Nick Douloff as a co-teacher, who has more university-level teaching experience.

“We have really high ratings [for programs at the Chang School] but with 1500 courses, even a 0.1 per cent error means that somebody is affected,” Fearon said. “And what I hear [is that] students are saying they were affected and what they’re hearing from me is I want to address it.”

Lee said Ryerson is “applying a band-aid solution to a bad situation.” Students hope to discuss possible solutions with Douloff on March 27.

Hall couldn’t be reached for comment.

Comments

  1. I am anxious to see a public response from the Chang School’s in regard to these issues. I am discouraged by what I am reading. I have been contemplating expanding my knowledge and acquiring new skills through the continuing education program. I was thinking about enrolling in the spring session and looking forward to exchanging ideas with follow students in the area of digital media. Now I may need to reconsider my options as this school is one choice among several in the GTA.

  2. This is a real eye opener, and the problem seems to persist in other areas. I had a horrible experience with an instructor who was not prepared, just quickly went throught PowerPoint slides copied and pasted from textbooks, gave us no exercises, no feedback, showed no interest in putting effort into her job and seemed to always be in a hurry to finish the class. I tried to speak with the Academic Director, who was quite dismissive as well. I would stay away from Chang School.

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