'Better flexibility': UPEI students can now double-count courses

A policy recently passed by UPEI's Senate could change the way many students register for courses.

Previously, a course could only be applied to one major or minor, now a limited number can be double-counted

Students at UPEI will now be able to count some courses toward two requirements within their degree. (Stephanie Brown/CBC News)

A policy recently passed by UPEI's Senate changes the way many students will be able to register for courses.

Students will now be able to double-count courses to put toward more than one requirement within their degree. 

Previously, explained Kathy Gottschall-Pass, the chair of the Department of Applied Human Sciences, if students did a double major or a major and a minor in programs that had the same course requirements, they could only apply a course to one.

Then, they would have to find another course within the same area to fulfil the second requirement.​

Previous system caused frustrations

"If the student took the Research Methods course for the Foods and Nutrition program, then instead of counting it in the Kinesiology program as well, they would still have the content, but we would ask them to take another Kinesiology course in order to make up that course so the two would balance," she said.

Kathy Gottschall-Pass thinks the new policy removes roadblocks for students. (Stephanie Brown/CBC News)

Gottschall-Pass said this caused frustration for many students, and for faculty who help with course selection.

"Sometimes we are scrambling to try and find a course that fits the student's timetable and is able to meet those kinds of needs, so this will really fix that particular problem."

The policy is in place immediately for all current students.

'Simplifying the process'

A student with a double major can double-count up to nine credit hours and a student with a major and minor can double-count up to six credit hours.

Courses can be counted toward more than one requirement, but each credit is still only counted once in terms of overall hours of credit required for the degree.

Gottschall-Pass said this policy gives students a lot more flexibility.

Student Union VP Johnathan Rix says he sees no downside with the new policy. (Stephanie Brown/CBC News)

"When I'm counselling students, I see this problem come up a lot in our department because of the kinds of program we have and because there's some similarities between the different degrees that we have, and students are really interested in taking both of those programs, so I really see it as simplifying the process a whole lot."

"They'll be able to just take that one course once and then they'll be able to choose something else at the university, something that really interests them in order to meet the other requirements in the degree."

'Can't really see a downside'

Johnathan Rix, a UPEI Student Union vice-president, said since the policy passed on Friday, he has already heard from a friend who is looking forward to double-counting some courses.

"I think a lot of students will take a lot of programs that cross-list, like chemistry and biology or sociology and psychology, and this just creates better flexibility for students.

"I can't really see a downside, and I think it's something that students over time will continue to appreciate."