PD20, Co-op Restrictions on Unpaid Word Terms and MoreAlex Hogeveen Rutter - VP Education
Posted on: January 19, 2011
Jeff Henry, former VP External, IW EIC and Comp Eng Alum, now Waterloo City Councillor for our ward will be speaking on Tuesday January 25th at 6PM in RCH 302 to talk about the value of an engineering degree, even in non-engineering professions. I’ve heard him speak, and it should be a valuable talk.
The Vision 2015 Town Hall will be held Wednesday, February 2nd at 5:30 PM in E5-3101. If you have questions or concerns about engineering education at UW and are wondering if the faculty plans to address them, make sure you get your questions in. http://www.engineering.uwaterloo.ca/Vision2015/findoutmore.html
PD20, the nascent starting course for all engineers, was released this month. I have reviewed the content and can attest that it is fundamentally useful information for us to develop as potential engineers. I have met with the entire PD20 team and discussed the critical issues surrounding our education and needs. I have great confidence in their experience and abilities, but more importantly was impressed by the culture permeating Professional Development.
If there is a problem or concern with the content, the format, the instructions, etc. the team is incredibly committed to
a) giving the student the benefit of the doubt
b) Correcting the situation for future editions
Like any course in its infancy, there will be glitches and confusion and this team is incredibly dedicated to taking full responsibility for such problems and rectifying them as soon as possible. For example, there was a somewhat ambiguous question in one of the earlier units and greater clarification has already been added. Another example: In a previous PD offering, when it came to light that an instructor was marking one assignment particularly harshly, every assignment marked by that instructor was re-evaluated.
I hope all students taking PD find the course as valuable and clear as I do, but if not, know that the PD20 team is there to genuinely incorporate your feedback into the program, and give you the benefit of the doubt in the interim. It is incredibly important for students to identify and raise issues to myself or the PD20 team so they can be corrected, rather than complain anonymously.
Instructions for registering for PD electives rather than PDEng through Quests will be emailed to all students later in the term
There will be new guidelines for unpaid off-campus work terms, effective W2011 interviews for S2011 jobs. Basically, jobs must be paid at or above the minimum wage (in North America) or the prevailing market norm internationally. There are a few exceptions, but under no circumstances can paid and unpaid students be working side-by-side.
Exceptions include certain humanitarian, NGO or charitable organizations, entrepreneurial ventures and pre-approved clinical, medical or research positions. Start-ups, new ventures or financially struggling employers may request one-time permission to substitute alternate remuneration equalling a minimum of $3000.
Similar on-campus regulations, effective S2011 for F2011 jobs provide exceptions for pre-defined special initiatives or programs including competitive teams such as Midnight Sun (max 1 such job), pre-defined alternative experience programs such as India Training Programs, research or admin positions for certain students with disabilities and during time-to-time special moratoriums driven by unusual circumstances such as economic strife.
Finally, I met with the coordinator for Waterloo Works, the replacement for Jobmine. They seem dedicated to enhancing the user experience and ensuring it meets student and employer needs: more info as it becomes available.
As part of Vision 2015, Eng Computing hosted a focus group to identify problems with the computers labs, Nexus and computer use in engineering in general. Let me know if there are further problems with Eng Computing you have encountered and keep an eye out for an opportunity to give feedback to your departments.
If you are interested in running for VP Education, talk to me about what the job entails