Communication and Culture

By Rob South

Things are changing in the Faculty of Communication and Culture. No longer the Faculty of General Studies, the name change occurred in part because of the University of Calgary’s intention to move to a direct-entry model of admission for first-year students.

With direct entry not planned until 2002, Communication and Culture wants to avoid any confusion their name change might create for first-year students who were admitted into General Studies.

"The name has changed, but for the moment nothing else has," said Communication and Culture Dean Kathleen Scherf. "Yes [first-year students] were admitted into General Studies, but the name has changed and it will mean nothing else."

Scherf plans to talk to student groups during U of C 101 and send out an e-mail to students in the faculty to help them understand the name change.

"I am expecting confusion, but I want to eradicate it," said Scherf. "This is the type of thing that does not take years to clean up."
Aside from potential confusion for new students, the name change appears to be a very positive experience for the faculty.

"People’s eyes light up," said Communication and Culture’s Associate Dean of Research Janice Dicken about reaction to the new name. "Several have said it’s about time."

According to Scherf, the name Communication and Culture is intended to clearly articulate the faculty’s thematic area of study and signify an increased emphasis on research.

"It’s important to think of Communication and Culture as a conversation, not as a list," said Dicken about the new name.
The faculty also hopes the name change will help them attract students to the 11 programs they offer.

"We are interested in students who want a program that is interdisciplinary and holistic," said Scherf. "Direct entry will mean an increased burden in marketing and recruiting for students."

U of C Associate Vice-president Student Affairs Peggy Patterson believes students can expect to see an increase in marketing from faculties as a result of direct entry and curriculum redesign.

"One of the things faculties will want to do is make sure students are familiar with the courses they offer," said Patterson..


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