Officials of Concordia University and Dawson College signed an agreement
on Nov. 12 that should be of benefit especially to prospective engineering
and computer science students.
The signatories were Rector Frederick Lowy, Dean Nabil Esmail and Provost
and Vice-Rector Research Jack Lightstone for Concordia, and Dr. Neville
Gurudata and Dr. Ronald E. Spivok for Dawson.
The agreement, which originated with Concordia Provost and Vice-Rector
Research Jack Lightstone, facilitates the transition from the three-year
DEC technical program to a Bachelor of Engineering program.
As it stands now, students who take the two-year Pure and Applied Science
program at the CEGEP level come into engineering at the university level
for a four-year, 120-credit program. (This may vary from program to program
anywhere between 117-120 credits.)
Traditionally, students with a DEC Tech diploma head straight into the
workforce, but as Dr. Gurudata pointed out at the ceremony, about 20 per
cent choose to pursue engineering at university.
However, these students had to add anywhere between three to 15 additional
credits as prerequisites to the regular courses in the degree program,
since they would not have had these prerequisites in their DEC Tech program,
with the whole program coming up to 135 credits. This meant adding an
additional semester or two to their studies.
Under this agreement, Concordias Faculty of Engineering and Computer
Science will review the DEC Tech curriculum to recognize some DEC credits
as prerequisites to the university-level courses. In such cases, students
would not have to take the university-level equivalent prerequisite courses.
The university has also combined two mathematics courses [Calculus II
and Linear Algebra] into one and is offering it over the summer through
its Centre for Continuing Education. This allows CEGEP students to enrol
in the Bachelor of Engineering program as soon as they leave CEGEP.
Professor Rama Bhat, chair of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial
Engineering, said, The advantages to the students are obvious: immediate
access to a university engineering program and the ability to complete
it over a four-year period.
The advantages to the university and the community are that the
students coming out of the DEC Tech program have much more hands-on experience
than those in the Pure and Applied program. They are familiar with the
design component and have honed their practical skills. They will graduate
as well-rounded engineers.
Further, the benefit of their additional skills will seep to other
students also through team-based projects such as the Capstone Design
Project course in the final year of all the degree programs, which will
add value to the Concordia-graduated engineer.
Patrick Woodsworth, director-general of Dawson College, said he hoped
the agreement would be a prototype for similar agreements to foster closer
harmony of academic content with universities, a goal that was envisaged
when Quebecs public college system was established.
Rapid growth of Engineering
and Computer Science
The Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science has seen its largest-ever
increase in enrolment in a single year 25 per cent over the academic
year 2000-01 and is on the way to doubling its students over a
The Faculty now has the largest enrolment 5,863 students
of any engineering school in Quebec. Formerly, École Polytechnique
was thought to be the largest. It had 5,134 students for the same period,
while the École de Technologie Supérieure had 3,835.
Concordias Faculty also has the highest number of graduate students,
possibly in Canada, 1,841. This includes 1,000 students in course-based
graduate programs, and 841 in research-based graduate programs, a historical
high for Concordia.
Engineering/Computer Science has grown from being 10 per cent of the Concordia
student body in 1990-96 to 17 per cent this year. The most spectacular
growth has been in graduate studies, from 20 per cent to 40 per cent of
Concordias graduate students are now in the Faculty.