Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Changes announced to Douglas College prerequisites



There’s one fewer test for Douglas College students to worry about.

The College is poised to see a drastic drop in students needing to write its English-language proficiency test as the majority of students now writing it won’t be required to.

Until now, first-year English, Creative Writing and written Communications courses have had a higher English proficiency requirement than College entrance requirements. Students who did not receive a “B” in English 12 or meet any one of a long list of equivalents were required to take the online English assessment.

However, that will change this coming winter as all three departments adjust their first-year prerequisites – eliminating the need for the test - to align with general College entrance standards.

“Only one-third of students come in meeting the “B” standard,” English department chair Elizabeth McCausland explains. “So we reviewed our data and found that the current prerequisite was an unnecessary barrier – about 75 percent of those who wrote the assessment met the score that allowed them to register in English courses.”

The change will also affect current students who have put off English 1130 as graduation approaches, McCausland notes.

The decision aligns the departments with the College’s general English-language proficiency requirements – which are currently under review at Education Council – with the exception of 0300-level English Upgrading and English Language Learning and Acquisition (formerly ESL) courses.

Students completing these courses to meet the College’s general English proficiency standard will also still need to complete the 0400-level courses before taking an English course, as research shows that the 0400-level courses are necessary for student success.