Admissions task force recommends changes

January 08, 2004, vol. 29, no. 1
By Diane Luckow



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More effective undergraduate admissions requirements are among six recommendations that the undergraduate curriculum im-plementation task force would like to discuss with members of the university community.

In fall 2002, senate approved in principle, significant changes to SFU's undergraduate curriculum. These changes include an increased emphasis on writing, quantitative reasoning and breadth of study.
The task force has since completed a discussion paper outlining recommendations for implementing the proposed changes. Project co-ordinator K.C. Bell is now encouraging wide spread discussion of these recommendations during a public consultation period that stretches to the end of March 2004.

“We know that, despite our high admissions standards, a significant number of students arrive here unprepared to undertake university study,” says Bell.

As a result, the task force proposes changing SFU's admissions policies. Applicants with English 12 grades below 60 per cent would not be admitted. Applicants who earned 60-79 per cent in English 12 or an equivalent college level English course would have to pass an additional English language proficiency exam with a satisfactory grade. This requirement would apply to all students, including international students entering from a Canadian high school or college.

Says Bell, “We're recommending a three-pronged approach to enhance writing and quantitative abilities. We recommend increasing the number of students who possess, at admission, the abilities we expect. We recommend offering improved academic support for students who have problems with writing and quantitative skills. We want to ensure that all students who graduate have not only taken courses that foster writing and quantitative abilities but have also been exposed to academic areas outside their chosen fields.”

The new undergraduate curriculum is slated for implementation in September 2006.

For more information about the task force, the project and the consultation dates, please visit http://www.sfu.ca/ugc or contact K.C. Bell, kbell@sfu.ca or 604-268-6854.

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