Despite the late start to the school year, university admissions officers in British Columbia say the strike hasn’t caused them to change any plans and applying students shouldn’t be worried.
“We have the ability to work with students and make it all come together and we will do everything in our ability to do what we can,” said University of the Fraser Valley secretary and registrar Al Wiseman. “We’ll just roll with it.”
Wiseman and other admissions officers contacted by The News on Monday, before a tentative agreement had been reached, noted that most admission decisions revolve around an interim application deadline that occurs in the spring and usually combines Grade 11 and 12 marks.
A student is usually admitted or confirmed on a conditional basis, provided that final grades from classes ending in June are in keeping with the rest of the student’s admissions package, explained UBC undergraduates admissions officer Andrew Arida.
“Our message to student is that there’s no need to be worried,” he said. “As long as students have some or all of their Grade 12 grades by March, then it’s business as usual for us.”
Arida said there’s no reason to believe that won’t happen.
Simon Fraser University admissions director Louise Legris had much the same message.
“Right now, it’s too early in the school year for grades to be affected,” she said.
Students planning on applying to out-of-province institutions may find admissions officers understanding of their plight.
University of Alberta registrar Lisa Collins said the admission process revolves around the interim application deadline of May 1, at which point admission officers decide whether to offer students a spot based on their Grade 11 and Grade 12 marks.
Collins said the university is considering changing the weight placed on Grade 11 grades. She noted that it is rare for marks to change significantly between the final two years of high school.
“What we’re aiming for is student success,” she said. “Every strike is different and every province is different.”
At UFV, Wiseman says the flexible approach taken by registrars outside of the province would be mirrored here in the event of a strike elsewhere.
“We’d be working with students to say we’re expecting you to be able to come,” he said. “We can make something work, no matter what the specifics are.”
And he thinks government and the teachers will be able to ensure graduating students are in a position to enrol in university next fall.
“I think there’s going to be huge pressure on both sides to make sure they figure that out,” he said.