"A key message here is that we're not in any way backing away from part-time students," said DesBrisay. "It's our historic mission to be accessible to the people of Saskatchewan ... and we want to promote the option of part-time study at an institutional level. But our research shows that Open Studies is an unproductive option for RTD students who, instead of leaving the university, continue to take classes and struggle to improve their marks without supports like academic advising that are in place in our colleges."
The change, which still requires approval of University Senate in October and the Board of Governors in December, would see Open Studies continue as an admission category for casual students but administrative responsibility for that cohort would devolve to the colleges. Casual students would then have full access to college support services currently unavailable to them in Open Studies, DesBrisay explained.
For RTD students, continuing full-time study through Open Studies would no longer be an option, he said. Instead, colleges would be responsible for identifying at-risk students "and helping them stay and succeed, or helping them leave with a plan to return."
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