PAC Meeting Minutes, November 20th, 2012, 7:30 pm (in the cafeteria)
In attendance: Esther Kwok, Keren Gertsman, Lisa Kilner, Elizabeth Chang, Karen Aiouch, Mei Chong, Fan Chun, Nancy Wang, Nicole Ferrie, Anna Gilmour, Leana Gaerber, Michelle Au, Cindy Hum, Farah Shroff [Quorum is met.]
- Welcome: Meeting called to order at 7:30 pm by Esther.
- Guest Speakers: Fan welcomed parents and introduced Dr. Anthony Chan, Program Head of the Biomedical Engineering Technology Program in the School of Health Sciences at BCIT. Dr. Chan indicated that there were 3 types of post secondary institutions -- universities, colleges and technology/trade institutions. Previously, the technology institutions used to only offer diploma based programs but now they are offering some undergraduate as well as masters’ degrees. He indicated while universities focus instruction mainly on theory, BCIT focuses studies mainly on career. In terms of student population, 30 to 40 percent of enrolment is first year high school graduates. For the biomedical program, 50 percent of the students already have a degree.
Dr. Chan mentioned that some students experience learning shock because they weren’t pushed hard enough in high school and still expect very high marks in post- secondary education. Students need to develop proper study habits since less time is spent in the actual classroom and there is more self-directed study expected from them. If students don’t keep up with the readings, they could fall behind.
Another difference Dr. Chan cited regarding BCIT vs. university is that BCIT provides more practical, hands-on experience. There is a 5 week practicum at the end of the biomedical program. As well, BCIT helps facilitate students acquire summer jobs.
Next, Dr. Ezra Kwok, Professor Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science, UBC, and a Family Physician, spoke about university education. He mentioned that while BCIT is more job and skill focused, universities focus on critical thinking, problem solving and resourcefulness. Educators at technical institutes are not required to continue with research education.
Dr. Kwok indicated that UBC is no longer focused primarily on marks, rather they are looking for students who exhibit characteristics of global citizens. Other criteria that are now reviewed are volunteer work and past experience. In order to stand out amongst other candidates, reviewers look for individuals who have excelled in their various pursuits.
He then described a bit about university life. For UBC, the standard course load is 5 courses per term. In general, universities do not puss students to learn. They are expected to be self-motivated and disciplined learners. He suggested that students don’t get too involved in too many things in first term so that they can evaluate their workload to determine how much extra time they actually have. As well, Dr. Kwok indicated that marks achieved stay on your transcript forever so a poor performance in 1st year could lead to undesirable consequences.
- The October minutes were then passed. Nicole Ferrie motioned and Mei Chong seconded.
- Principal Report: Irfan quickly went over some achievements of school life:
- Swim team qualified for provincials
- Senior Boys Soccer -- PG placed 3rd in Zone playoffs
- BC HS Cross Country: boys’ team finished 4th among Vancouver Public Schools
- Crystal competition: Best Quality -- PG was 1st/3rd, Best Overall -- PG was 1st/2nd
- Jessica Davidson was selected to attend the Vinyl Cafe at the Orpheum
- Musical Theatre productions ran Tues. November 20th and Thursday, November 22nd
- There would be a demonstration of the “jaws of life” to illustrate the dangers of texting and driving
- There may be some new courses added: ESL 3, ESL Drama, Social Justice 12, Community Foods, Theatre Criticism, Junior Theater Company,
- There may also be a changed to the applied courses where you can take 2 half-year options
- During the upcoming Pro-D day, there will be an analysis of the academic assessment process to determine whether testing using a one-shot deal is appropriate
- Esther introduced Farah Shroff - Mini PAC Chair. She indicated that the Mini School would be working with the main school in terms of fundraising. She noted that there were over 700 people at the Mini School Information night.
- Esther indicated that the PAC Desserts night went well with 2 families donating $1000 each. She mentioned that these direct donations are very important as these funds are flexible and can be used to fund the teacher’s wish lists whereas the Gaming Grant funds have strict regulations to follow.
- Elizabeth Chang was then introduced and provided an explanation of the Gaming Grant funds and how the PG PAC proposed to allocate the $24680 (Fine Arts: $5000, PG Mini: $2000, Life Skills: $800, Clubs: $2000, Athletics: $4000, Field Trips/Activities/Competitions/Guest Speakers: $5000, Library: $2500, Contingency Fund: $3380). The motioned was favoured by all.
- Esther mentioned that there would be no formal meeting in December but rather a social is planned for all committees within Point Grey. Esther mentioned that the speaker for January would be William Wong (ESL). There will be interpreters present.
- The meeting adjourned at 9:25 pm ( Mei Chong motioned; Elizabeth Chang seconded).
Next meeting: January 15, 2012