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Mature students ...

Mature students ...

Old Aug 17th 2009, 4:11 am
  #16  
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Default Re: Mature students ...

Pick and mix is definitely a good analogy.

I am now at university studying for my Bachelor of Special Education and over the last couple of months I am gaining a bit of knowledge of the system, so here goes:

A degree course will have a certain number of credit hours, and you pick up courses over time to make up those hours. You will probably have a limit over how long you have to take the courses - my course can be done in 1 year flat out, but you can take up to 5 years if you want. I have to do 36 credit hours which equates to 12 courses to get my degree. Of those courses 5 are compulsory and 7 are elective.

For the course I am doing there seems to be no particular order to do them in (although some require you to have done one of the other courses on the program), you just take the courses when they are offered, as not all course are offered on all semesters. The semester thing is still confusing me - I have just done 2 courses in summer school (condensed into 6 weeks), but in the fall the semester lasts for 12/14 weeks. Then there is winter and spring semesters and also an intersession??? Not too sure on that whole thing yet.

All marks are given as a percentage and gpa worked out from that. Unless you are going on to do further study - seems to be a pass (50%) is all you need although people seem to be pretty competitive - one lady in a course i did freaked out if she got less than an 80 for anything

If you get stuck, I have found the people are pretty helpful and if they don't know about equivalency etc, will point you in the direction of somebody who can help.

I can sympathise with the confidence thing - i was so nervous about going back to university (tears and everything) and that got even worse when I walked in and saw all the other students who didn't even look old enough to have left school for the most part. It is daunting being in a new educational system as there is so much stuff to figure out. Be honest when you don't know, and ask the other students for help when you need it - it is amazing the simple stuff that you just don't know because it is just different from what you are used to. I've found everybody really helpful and when they know you are from away (the accent tends to be a give away) they don't mind the stupid questions.

I was also scared off the studying as my brain just doesn't seem to work as well as it used to - i could read things and understand them - 20 mins later didn't have a clue what i just read, things just wouldn't stay there. BUT, the big advantage of being a bit older - common sense and experience helps a great deal!!

Apologies for rambling on - hope there are some helpful bits in there, and feel free to ask if there's anything I can help you with.

Good Luck!
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Old Aug 17th 2009, 4:52 am
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Default Re: Mature students ...

Originally Posted by Almost Canadian View Post
I only really know how this works for degrees. In North America, each student sits a test and is given a mark (let's assume out of a hundred). Unlike in the UK where 70% would represent a first, 60-70 a 2:1 etc) here all the marks are looked at and the highest 5 (let's say) are given A+, the next 10 are given A, the next 10 A- etc. So each student's grade depends upon how they compared to each other, rather than an objective criteria. It's referred to as the "Bell Curve" I assume that each mark is given a point, and the average of those points becomes the GPA. A certain level of GPA will be required to progress to the next level of education. For example, I understand that a GPA of at least 3.7 is required for the holder of bachelors degree to be considered for law school. I have no idea how the calculation is made.




30 is higher, 10 is lower. For those wishing to attend Uni, the 30 subject is preferred.
A levels were done like that up until my the 80's I think. It's the only real way to guarantee standards.
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Old Aug 17th 2009, 7:40 am
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Default Re: Mature students ...

Ann,

I havent noticed you mention what subject area you're looking at, BUT have you considered Mount Royal? They have been granted 'University Status' now and as far as I am aware they have a much more 'alternative experience' admissions policy.
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Old Aug 17th 2009, 8:03 am
  #19  
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Default Re: Mature students ...

Regards transcripts for your A levels if you still have the certificates then I think you can get this information from the exam board.

An organisation which provides canadian equivalency of your A levels for educational purposes (and others) for a charge is WES.I have used them recentley to evaluate my OU degree in canadian terms.

WES.http://www.wes.org/ca/index.asp
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Old Aug 17th 2009, 2:15 pm
  #20  
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Default Re: Mature students ...

Originally Posted by Alan2005 View Post
A levels were done like that up until my the 80's I think. It's the only real way to guarantee standards.
The English way or the North American way????
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Old Aug 17th 2009, 2:18 pm
  #21  
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Default Re: Mature students ...

Originally Posted by ann m View Post
I have friends here of varying 'mature' ages (32 to 43) all studying locally for their degrees - Accounting, Law, Nursing and Business - and they confuse me a little. One guy aims to have his Law degree in time for retirement from the police - he's in no rush and just completes a subject here and there as his budget allows.
Is this in Canada or England? From memory the Law degree has to be completed within a certain period of time (8 years rings a bell for some reason) for it to be a "qualifying law degree" for the purposes of the Law Society and the Bar. I guess if he just wants a degree, then it won't matter, but if he wishes to practice, he may need to look into this.

I didn't know it was possible to study law part time in Alberta. This is how I obtained my degree in England and when I mention it to lawyers over here they look at me as if I have just landed from Mars!
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Old Aug 17th 2009, 3:17 pm
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Default Re: Mature students ...

Originally Posted by Almost Canadian View Post
Is this in Canada or England? From memory the Law degree has to be completed within a certain period of time (8 years rings a bell for some reason) for it to be a "qualifying law degree" for the purposes of the Law Society and the Bar. I guess if he just wants a degree, then it won't matter, but if he wishes to practice, he may need to look into this.
It is here in Canada AC - I'm not sure of exact details but I think he said he was aiming at between 6 and 8 years to qualify (and retires in 10 yrs). I don't know what he plans to do with the degree afterwards.
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Old Aug 17th 2009, 3:24 pm
  #23  
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Default Re: Mature students ...

Originally Posted by pinkmcfarquhar View Post
Apologies for rambling on - hope there are some helpful bits in there, and feel free to ask if there's anything I can help you with.

Good Luck!
Pink - thank you so much for your post - that was helpful, and very kind of you to write

Originally Posted by Butch Cassidy View Post
Ann,

I havent noticed you mention what subject area you're looking at, BUT have you considered Mount Royal? They have been granted 'University Status' now and as far as I am aware they have a much more 'alternative experience' admissions policy.
Yep - Cheers Butch - Mount Royal's was one of the websites I was looking at last night. I think speaking to a real-life person is the way to go!

The other thing for me to consider is the time issue. I'm not sure I can get my head around being a permanent student - and four years sounds forever to me right now. So I should look at two year diplomas (which qualify as part of a degree) which can then be added to at a later stage if I am so inclined.

I don't know if I'm in fantasyland or not right now - just playing with options and thinking out loud to you guys - thanks for listening
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Old Aug 17th 2009, 4:04 pm
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Default Re: Mature students ...

Originally Posted by Almost Canadian View Post
The English way or the North American way????
A levels used to be normalized Normalization is ideal when you have a large cohort of students. For 'A' levels, there are enough people taking them to make the possibility of you being unlucky because you are in a brainy year very remote. It is much more likely that the difficulty of the exams will vary, and by a greater extent to.

There are pros/cons to both methods, but given the purpose of 'A' levels is for selection (by universities/employers) then normalizing is the best approach as it tells you who the best students are regardless of the exam they took. However, you wouldn't normalize a test where the primary purpose is to show competency as you just want to know whether they can do it or not.
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Old Aug 17th 2009, 4:31 pm
  #25  
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Default Re: Mature students ...

Originally Posted by ann m View Post
The other thing for me to consider is the time issue. I'm not sure I can get my head around being a permanent student - and four years sounds forever to me right now. So I should look at two year diplomas (which qualify as part of a degree) which can then be added to at a later stage if I am so inclined.
Perhaps the flexible option of open/distance learning might suit you better? Continuous intake, paced and non-paced courses, diplomas that can be laddered into a degree at a later date, and Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) that offers academic credits for learning from life and work experiences. Dip in and out of courses and programs to suit your other commitments. More info at www.truopen.ca
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Old Aug 17th 2009, 4:35 pm
  #26  
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Default Re: Mature students ...

Originally Posted by ann m View Post
I'll keep this thread as simple as possible (initially).

Could any teachers, professors, or parents of kids in high school please explain to me, in simple language, the following terms:

GPA (Grade Point Average) - I mean I can guess what it means but what is the definition - average of what or how many subjects?

English 30, or Physics 20, or Maths 10. What do the numbers actually mean? Presumably is the level achieved but which way round, what Grade at school, etc, etc?

If one wanted to enter further education in Canada, how easy or practical is it to achieve minimum entry qualifications? What costs, or time duration might one require?

I am not a stupid person (!) - I have a couple of UK "A" levels - I am literate and have a brain that is happy with language and hates numbers - so I find myself at this mature age distinctly lacking in the Maths and Sciences departments (read crap), but perhaps more fundamentally, I am also lacking in my knowledge and understanding of how universities and colleges work. The websites alone are daunting.

I may get more specific with more questions after you good people have explained the basics to me. I thank you.
From the title of your post "mature students" I'm not sure if your post has been answered. In Ontario "Mature students" are adults who have been out of full high school education for at least three years.

Regarding.....If one wanted to enter further education in Canada, how easy or practical is it to achieve minimum entry qualifications?

I entered York University in 1988 via the mature student route. There is no GPA required to get in via this route. (I had no 'A' levels at all). York university looked at work history, stability and ability to pay.

Regarding.....What costs, or time duration might one require?..........

The cost is determined by your residency status i.e. non-permanent residents often pay three times the going rate. I got through the degree in 2 1/2 years (most universities in Ontario have limits on how many credits you can take at any one time).

Regarding.....What if you happened to be studying in a year full of boffins, or a year with below average students.

I was really worried when I signed up that everyone would be a genius esp.as I left school with two CSE's but mature students have the highest pass rate of any group at university. If the work you submit is of high enough quality then bell curves mean nothing. I graduated with flying colours on the honour roll.

Finally, college vs university.....there's a strong prejudice against graduating from a college as they are seen to lean toward the Trades. I graduated from York with a BA and then Seneca with Computer Science which seems to have worked well for me....now I'm a Technical Writer at IBM.

Being a mature student at York was a LOT of fun....I wish I could go back.
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Old Aug 17th 2009, 4:51 pm
  #27  
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Default Re: Mature students ...

I took a lot of finance and accounting courses at BCIT. They mark each exam as a %. Your GPA is simply the total of the % you achieved in each course divided by the number of courses you start (so not completing a course you have started is a really bad idea).

Although you are awarded the mark given, they also look at the results through a bell curve "filter". Once you have enough data to compare with, the average marks, and the distribution around the average is very consistent. By doing this they can quickly pickup any biases introduced by different instructors or different topics (for instance, tax law can change from one year to the next). The end result is to make the marks more consistent and more reliable.
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