Community meetings are kicking off this week to discuss Ryerson’s upcoming academic plan. As the school develops its educational goals for the next five years, The Ryersonian takes a look at what could be in store for students.
Possible credits for zone education
Since opening in 2010, Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone has developed into a world-class incubator providing support to aspiring entrepreneurs and successful start-ups. Last fall, the school launched a fashion zone and began to explore the possibility of offering zone education for credit. With plans for Ryerson’s future Church Street development including zone expansion, the upcoming plan could hint at more zone opportunities.
More e-learning opportunities
Last year, Ryerson formed two online education committees and joined the province’s e-learning consortium. As the school grapples with space concerns and searches for a way to provide courses in different formats, e-learning initiatives and an expansion of Chang School courses could figure into the upcoming plan.
Better course flexibility
In 2012, Vice-Provost Academic Dr. Christopher Evans told curriculum town hall attendees that the school is considering sweeping changes to its undergraduate curriculum model. At the time, he suggested the school could enable students to take courses within a wider range of subjects despite their major. The changes would represent a move away from the school’s traditional table system and could be facilitated within the five-year academic plan.
Prioritizing mental health services
In recent weeks, the Ryersonian reported the school is experiencing record-high wait times and a lack of funding for counselling services. With experts reporting that mental health issues are on the rise at academic institutions, the prioritization of counselling and additional student health support might get a mention in the academic plan.
Support for marginalized students
In a draft planning framework for this year’s plan, the vice-president academic cites a need for more support aimed at “marginalized and under-represented groups.” Though the school already offers funding and services for Aboriginal, first-generation, disabled and international students, broader changes within the plan could expand support within those groups.