Relate to Senate: What to expect in the March 2017 meeting

The UBC Senate meets monthly to discuss and vote on academic matters pertaining to the university. What goes on in the Senate chambers can often feel very overwhelming or dull to the average student, and the dockets posted before every Senate meeting can be long and tedious to read. Here’s what to expect at the March 2017 Senate meeting:

Changes to Continuing Studies

As part of the UBC Career and Personal Education Strategy, Senate is approving a restructuring of the Division of Continuing Studies, a division which currently offers courses and programs tailored to adult learners. This change takes effect on July 1, 2017, and will include the following changes:

  • Renaming the Division of Continuing Studies to the Division of Extended Learning (UBC ExL)
  • Have UBC ExL be a tool to support faculties in creating and executing credit-based and non-credit programs for adult learners, as well as the logistics behind these programs (administration, registration and student services).
  • As a result, UBC ExL will no longer be an academic unit, but rather an administrative unit similar to Enrolment Services or the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. The 25 Senate-approved courses that were formerly in Continuing Studies will either be transferred to faculties or discontinued.

Flexible learning ad hoc committee

Danika Coulbourn — current forestry student senator and chair of the flexible learning ad hoc committee — will be presenting the final report of her committee prior to its dissolution.

The report is a green paper that highlights the idea of how the university wants to tackle the implementation of the “Comprehensive Learning Record” — or as student senators have referred to it in the past, the “Enhanced Learning Record.” This is a system that will allow the university to recognize students’ learning that has been happening outside of the classroom. The report has four phases to it, of which the record will slowly add options to enhance the current transcript. The full report is seven pages long and is included with the docket.

Our final meeting

For the current Student Senate caucus, this will be our final meeting of our term before a new group of student senators come in. As per tradition, UBC’s president will be presenting certificates of appreciation to the 18 student senators for their service on the Senate this year.

This year, we tackled a lot of topics — from biomedical engineering, to the fall reading break, to the standardized syllabi policy. While our terms are coming to an end, for me, it has been an honour to serve you as a student senator this year and to be writing this monthly column for The Ubyssey alongside my sidekick, Daphne Tse. So for the final time this term, I'm signing out.

This next Senate meeting will take place on March 15, 2017 at 6 p.m. in IKBLC 182 a.k.a. Victoria Lecture Theatre. You can read all 129 pages of the Senate docket online and as usual, Senate is open for anyone to attend if you’re ever interested in academic affairs or meeting Santa Ono.

Daniel Lam is a third-year atmospheric science student and a student senator at large. His views expressed do not reflect those of the Student Senate caucus or the UBC Senate.