VP Education: 10 Meetings AttendED

Anson Chen - VP Education
Posted on: July 2, 2016

Hi everyone! As promised last issue, I’m back with real VP Education updates from meetings that have now all happened at once. Please bear with me because there are a lot of updates!

PD

Last month, I sent an open letter to WatPD expressing student concerns, and EngSoc B’s approval of a department professor’s idea of running a survey. These concerns have been taken seriously and got the ball rolling on what I hope will be very meaningful changes to PD. The Engineering PD committee has agreed to run a survey through EngSoc, potentially by Fall. The nature of the survey will broadly capture what students feel about the PD, and why they feel that way. This information will then shed insight on how PD and Engineering can tackle those issues which, I think we can all agree, are currently highly widespread. That said, I have the general impression now that PD and the engineering professors have students’ interests at heart and am fairly optimistic about where this is heading.

WaterlooWorks

CECA has consistently promised that WaterlooWorks will launch in Winter 2017, and this continues to be true. I’m hearing through Feds, however, that it is best to only expect “basic functionality” for the launch term – i.e. WaterlooWorks will be functional enough to replace Jobmine, but some of the promised extra features may take longer to be fully implemented. CECA will be running a demo of WaterlooWorks in CPH Foyer on Tuesday, July 12, during lunchtime for anyone to stop by.

Rate My Work Term, the co-op rating tool, is one of those features promised for WaterlooWorks. I’ve been working with CECA along with reps from the other societies to develop the questionnaire that will become Rate My Work Term. It looks decent so far, but let’s cross our fingers that it launches in a timely fashion.

Co-op

7 students were on co-op in Fort McMurray during the fires; they are all safe. CECA is assisting them with finding replacement employment, and compensated them $500 each.

Employment stats for both Spring and Fall are good; as is what typically happens, the overall number of jobs/employed students went up, while the percentage dipped slightly due to increasing enrolment.

A common question I get asked is why Waterloo is able to advertise a 99% employment rate when, for example, the typical employment for Spring is around 96%. I found out the answer is that the 99% corresponds with Fall work terms; coincidentally, Fall is the term with no first years on work term. This is on CECA’s radar for them to figure out with UW marketing.

Student Concerns

Thanks to a highly-noticed Facebook post on the EngSoc group that you may or may not have spotted, a handful of important academic concerns were discussed amongst engineering students. I have since brought all of them to the attention of somebody relevant. Some were answered while the following are currently on the radar:

  • Rising international tuition

  • Rising admission averages and effects on the interest diversity of incoming students

  • Access to course overrides and course approvals on co-op

  • Schedule-related challenges in fulfilling CSE requirements

If you have others, definitely let me know at vpeducation.b@engsoc.uwaterloo.ca and I’m happy to bring them to people who can address them!

Exam Bank

Exam Bank raffles are ongoing this term! This means everyone who got midterms back (hey you, yes you!) should be submitting exams at engsoc.uwaterloo.ca/exambank for some pretty solid chances to win $25 Cineplex gift cards! We will raffle out 3 more gift cards before the end of the term, dates depending on submission volume.

That’s everything for now. Thank you so much and talk to you soon!