Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

July 20, 1999

U of G, Seneca College offer new degree in technology

The University of Guelph has received $80,000 from the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade's Strategic Skills Investment Program to help launch a Bachelor of Science in Technology degree program in partnership with Seneca College.

This initiative will address identified community needs for graduates who excel in problem-solving/communications skills in addition to strong laboratory and technical skills.

The four year program will offer majors in applied pharmaceutical chemistry and physics and technology.

The first of its kind in Ontario, the program received $80,000 for start-up costs from the Strategic Skills Investment Program announced by the Ontario government in its spring 1998 budget. The fund is one of several under which the province supports academic programs designed to develop employment skills.

"Job creation is one of our government's top priorities," said Guelph-Wellington MPP Brenda Elliott. "This partnership between University of Guelph and Seneca College will help us meet the increasing demand for highly skilled personnel."

Students will alternate their studies in Guelph and Toronto to complete the integrated academic program in four years, compared to perhaps six years to complete a degree and then a diploma, or vice versa. The program also includes one year of work experience. The co-ordinated curriculum will incorporate both institutions' strengths.

The inaugural class will begin in September. Guelph hopes to see up to 40 students admitted to the program each year for an eventual steady-state enrolment of 160 students. However, enrolment this fall will be lower, given the late start of the program.

"We're pretty excited," said Prof. Bob McCrindle, dean of the College of Physical and Engineering Science, adding students will be exposed to numerous training opportunities.

All students will undertake four terms of practical work experience as a mandatory component of the program. "There is a shortage of people in computing and electronics areas because of the tremendous demand industry has right now," said Prof. Ken Jeffrey, chair of the Department of Physics. "We've created a program which will help fill that demand."

The University will use the government funding for such one-time costs as purchasing a computer, creating liaison materials, developing World Wide Web programming and co-ordinating co-op placements between the two institutions.

"The funding is a signal that the University's collaborative efforts and commitment to meeting a societal need are being recognized," added Brenda Whiteside, acting associate vice president (student affairs).

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120 Ext. 3338

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