FASS approves degree changes

Dalhousie University is one step closer to allowing students to obtain minors in arts and social science subjects.

At a faculty meeting on Tuesday, the Dalhousie Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences passed a motion to create minor degrees, and make the necessary changes to credit requirements for the combined-honours and double-major degrees.

Shirley Tillotson, the associate dean of the FASS, says this is an important landmark on the road to making what she feels are vital changes in the university.

"It's feeling to me like it's closer to really happening," she says. "These things are kind of complex and i'll feel great when it actually goes through."

Because degrees from the FASS and the faculty of science are interconnected, the motion the FASS voted on is conditional on the faculty of science following suit with a similar overhaul of degree requirements.

The faculty of science has not yet finished consultations. They must also vote before the proposal can be presented to the senate committee on academic administration and finally onto the full senate for final approval.

The FASS has been consulting faculty and academic advisers for months to obtain input on the frustrations students have with the current set of degree requirements.

The proposed changes would allow students to obtain either a four-credit minor or a six-credit second subject in a double major or combined honours, rather than the four-credit second subject currently offered.

Tillotson says the changes will ensure students graduating with a combined degree have equal expertise in both subjects, and she is looking forward to being able to provide students in all faculties with the possibility of getting a minor in a FASS subject.

If the approval process continues smoothly, Tillotson predicts the changes will take effect in the fall of 2011.

"It's a bloody slow process. That's kind of how it works in complex institutions and you can't do anything if you're not patient."



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