VP Education: ED-vocation, PD, Co-op and Moar

Anson Chen - VP Education
Posted on: June 3, 2016

Hey B-Society! I hope you’re all enjoying the super warm weather, because I sure am.

Speaking of warm weather: Q) Which is faster, heat or cold?

A) Heat, because you can catch a cold.

Haha… ha… *booed off the page* Here are some updates for you on the VP Education side.

WatPD Satisfaction

One of the faculty committees that I sit on is the WatPD Engineering Curriculum Committee. This group consists of 2 associate and academic directors for PD, professors from each engineering department, and myself. The goal of the group is simply to improve PD and to evaluate its usefulness.

Last Wednesday at the committee meeting, something happened that has not happened before. A professor from ECE presented on the results of a survey run by one of his students who graduated this year. The survey asked 75 engineering students across a variety of programs to rate how useful PD was to them, and whether it increased their employability at all. The responses were rather negative. Furthermore, the results contrasted the satisfaction ratings in the formal end-of-course surveys, which average at 3.5/5 (70%). The professors suggested it might be useful to have EngSoc run a survey to verify whether students really are this dissatisfied with PD. If students are discontent, PD may have to be changed.

Sidebar for your interest: Nanos, Trons, and Softwares rate PD more negatively than all the other engineering programs.

I am planning to present a letter to the committee in favour of conducting the survey. The letter is currently undergoing refinement with the EngSoc Council. If you have input regarding whether or not you think EngSoc should survey student satisfaction in PD in order to initiate change, feel free to send me an email at vpeducation.b@engsoc.uwaterloo.ca.

Co-op Updates

Another Engineering committee that I sit on is the Co-op Working Group. This group also consists of representative department professors and CECA representative(s). The goal of the group is to improve Engineering co-op.

A few interesting things I learned from last week’s meeting:

  • The Engineering employment rate for the Spring 2016 work term is 93% (of which 7% are hired by UW in research or other positions). The overall rate is 2% higher than Spring last year, while the percentage hired by UW is more or less the same.

  • Nanos have the highest number of students hired by UW in research positions.

  • Civils are not taking as many research positions, leading to a 4% lower first work term employment rate than last year.

  • For Fall 2016, 300 more students will be looking for employment than last year, leading to the largest Fall term to date.

  • WaterlooWorks continues to be on track to launch in Winter 2017. WaterlooWorks will offer features such as improved job search with location map, unlimited document upload, and the option for employers to provide salary information and interview feedback.

Exam Bank

Throughout the term, we will be raffling away $25 Cineplex gift cards, and all you have to do to enter is submit an exam (or multiple) to the EngSoc Exam Bank. The first raffle is on Friday June 3rd, and we will do at least 2 more this term. For more details, see the blog post on www.engsoc.ca!

Finally, if you are interested in running for VP Academic for the next Executive term, look out for an upcoming by-election!