The Academic Affairs Committee passed a motion approving a new collaboration program, referred to as the Major Modification: New Combined Degree Programs, between 19 University of Toronto Mississauga undergraduate courses and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education master of teaching degree.

The undergraduate programs involved in this program will be the Departments of Biology, Chemical & Physical Sciences, Mathematical & Computational Sciences, and Language Studies, as well as the forensic science program, which will be administered through the Department of Anthropology.

According to the committee’s agenda, “the proposed combined degree programs will provide our strongest students with the opportunity to gain early (conditional) graduate admission (in Year 3 of undergraduate study), a clear pathway towards the teaching profession, access to an enriched combination of academic programs, early exposure to graduate level courses, and a reduced course load while completing their MT [Master of Teaching]

“After Year 4, students will confer their undergraduate Bachelor of Science or Arts degree and receive a full offer of admission to the Master of Teaching Program at OISE (provided they fulfill all the conditional admission requirements). In the remaining two years of the Combined Degree Program (Years 5 and 6), students will complete 9.0 FCE of graduate level courses to earn their Master of Teaching degree,” continued the agenda.

By their fourth year, students will have already completed their undergraduate specialist or major, and have earned enough credits to have completed their first teaching subject.

The program is designed to give students an opportunity to pursue their degree at two learning-centric institutions, allowing them to take graduate level courses at an early stage, which will reduce their overall workload.

The OISE faculty will be discussing this program in October 2017 during their administrative council meet, whereas the program is anticipated to take effect as of September 1st of 2018.

Also presented during the Academic Affairs Committee meeting were the UTM Program Plans by the Career Centre. The Program Plans is a reference guide to all undergraduate students that gives them access to UTM’s resources. It also shows students available career opportunities, the courses available, and gives students the opportunity to get involved with activities related to their academic programs.

The committee also discussed extending the deadline for the credit/no credit policy, which was implemented in 2011, to become by the last day of classes instead of the current option which is the final course drop date.

The meeting’s agenda proposed that “for courses with a final examination, students must choose CR/ NCR by the final day of classes in the term the course is offered, provided the student has not yet written the final exam,” read the Committee’s agenda. “In courses with no final exam, the student must not have written the final test or submitted the final assignment.”

The implementation of this policy is still under administrative review.

The committee approved the motion causing the new extension of the credit/no credit policy to be approved as of September 14th. The committee did not specify when the new extension would be anticipated to be put into effect.

VP university academics and affairs Maya Tomkiewicz did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication regarding UTMSU’s role in the extension approval.