Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Underground Issue 02

Graduate Ghosts at UTSC

Added on Oct. 7, 2010

UTSC is generally known as an undergrad-centric campus. The common perception is that UTSC does not promote its graduate programs as much as it does its undergraduate education.

William Gough, vice-dean of graduate education and program development, confidently said that this perception is false.

According to Gough and Rick Halpern, dean and vice-principal (academic), most U of T graduate programs currently operate within a tri-campus system, while all Ph.D. programs do.

“We are not interested in duplicating or replicating what other tri-campus programs do, and we are developing programs that complement the existing ones, and will enhance graduate education overall at the university,” said Halpern, disproving common assumptions about the development of graduate programs at UTSC.

Gough highlighted that “niche programs” in environmental science make UTSC special in graduate education. He added that UTSC has plans to expand smaller graduate programs and establish new programs.
“At present, we are developing a proposal for a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, a master’s in biodiversity and conservation and a Ph.D. in human resources management,” Gough said.

 He drew special attention to the clinical psychology program, which is likely to start next September.

Despite the relatively small size and short history of the programs, most UTSC graduate students seem to be satisfied with their choice of both campus and program.

Two Master of Environmental Science students, Vivian Ng and Ambreen Sultana, agreed that they chose UTSC because it has great curriculum and renowned researchers in their field of study. Sultana’s friend, who had already completed the same program, recommended her to apply. Ng said that the program’s exceptional reputation brought her all the way from Saskatchewan.

The task of improving the lives of graduate students at UTSC has already been undertaken. Co-president of Graduate Students’ Association at Scarborough (GSAS), Colin Seepersad, outlined that GSAS holds a variety of events throughout the year, including guest speaker sessions and Christmas charity parties. He emphasized that the group, with 24 passionate executives, works hard to reach everyone and share great experiences.

“Just take that break. Come out and try to make out at least one event this year,” he suggested.
He added that GSAS is also working hard on combining some of their events with St. George and UTM’s graduate student unions to provide better opportunities for all U of T graduate students.

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