On September 16, 2012, ESSCO members voted to further research student opinion on the high school-to-University transition with regards to math and science curriculum. The research, and follow-up documentation, falls under an ESSCO initiative called the Lobbying Issues and Action Committee (LIAC) under the direction of ESSCO President, Michael Seliske. I, Mike Kovacs, have been asked to chair the committee.

The issue that initiated this LIAC research topic is student concern regarding coursework in their first year of an Engineering program. Much of the content covered in the first year of an accredited Canadian Engineering program, is meant to review high school material, and to build on those basic concepts, ultimately leading to the field-specific technical material related to each stream of engineering. Consequently, when students feel uncomfortable with this basic material, senior-year courses also suffer, as students are uncomfortable with the basic material and can no longer do the work to the capacity that others might.

From experience and discussion with various generations of high school graduates, I believe the Ontario math (and perhaps science) curriculum has lowered standards and removed important content in the past 5-10 years, which was crucial to a more fluid transition into math-dependent post-secondary programs.

My goal through this LIAC committee would be to coordinate a short, but valuable survey for all engineering undergraduate students, to gather data that may be analyzed to determine the undergraduate engineering opinion on this high school-to-University transition. The LIAC committee would review a set of survey questions (3-5 questions total), and assist in the distribution of the survey with the goal of achieving a tremendous response. It would then analyze the data, and hopefully with some citation from official documentation, create a short and concise report to be submitted to media outlets, and the government if the findings are deemed significant.

You have been provided a means of applying for the LIAC committee, through ESSCO. If you are interested, please respond by September 26th at 6pm, so that we may finalize a committee and begin working on the survey.

Interested applicants may possess the following traits/interests:

• Investigative research interest, in order to provide more content to a final report of survey findings. This would include researching the revisions of the Ontario education curriculum, to find references to the content removal which may be causing this issue.
• Data analysis. Depending on the complexity of the system we decide to analyze (we will likely design for simplicity), we may benefit from someone with some statistical analysis experience.

Interested applicants should apply here

Any questions can be directed to Mike Kovacs at vp.external@macengsociety.ca

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