Minor changes to arts degree designation

The final Arts Council meeting of the 2009-10 school year took place on April 9; where many students and staff were awaiting the outcome of the proposed Honours BA Arts degree.

A new submission was put forward by the arts curriculum committee (it was the seventh proposal to deal with budget cuts) and it passed unanimously.

Currently, students who do not declare a major after their first year, or who do not meet the academic requirements of an honours program, are defaulted into a general arts degree program.

The new regulation that was passed states that any student who does not declare a major after their first year, but has a GPA of 5.0 or higher, will proceed classified as an honours arts student, instead of general.

At the end of their third year, students will have to make a decision to either graduate with a three year general arts degree, or choose a major and continue into their fourth year as an honours student.

“I really like this idea,” said third-year archeology and medieval studies student Mark Kovacs. “It forces students to take responsibility and make a decision.”

The faculty of arts plans to give students enhanced guidance in order to encourage them to choose a major and fulfill all the needed requirements of their selected program.

Currently, 25 per cent of arts students are sitting in the general classification simply because they did not chose a major; however, their GPA’s are high enough to be in an honours program. This new designation will allow them to be classified as honours students and therefore the university will receive more government funding for them.

The faculty of arts have not completely turned away from the idea of a liberal arts degree, which was widely discussed in early February, and will explore the possibility of developing a new rigorous and carefully designed program for students who don’t want to declare a major.

The timeline for the development of this program has not been set.

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