As our plans to become a university become more widely known, we’re hearing from many alumni who are interested in ﬁnding out more about this vision. We’ve asked Sheridan’s President and Vice Chancellor, Dr. Jeﬀ Zabudsky, to share his insight and answer your recurring questions:
Q: Why does Sheridan want to become a university?
A: Ontario predicts a need for new seats for tens of thousands of additional post-secondary students, to help meet the demand in a growing number of fields which require degrees, not diplomas, for entry into the workforce.
Sheridan University will also open doors to those who may have thought degrees were out of reach. It provides students who completed college-designated courses in high school with the opportunity to transition from a diploma to a degree while attending Sheridan.
University status will further enable our degree graduates to more easily progress to graduate studies at Ontario universities if they aspire to do so.
Q: What about skilled trades – will you no longer offer this kind of training?
A: On the contrary – Sheridan has invested $47.5 million in a new, state-of-the-art skills training facility at the Davis Campus (opening in 2017 to house our skilled trades programs).
Q: Will you still offer diplomas and certiﬁcates?
A: Yes, Sheridan will continue to offer a broad array of credentials. What will make us unique is our dedication to and focus on applied and professional education and our commitment to provide pathways for our students to progress from one level of learning (credential) to the next without unnecessary duplication of learning, time or personal resources.
Our model ensures that our students’ education is relevant and engaging. Sheridan University will embrace the best of our college roots – like small class sizes and experiential learning. In addition to providing students with the hard skills to get their first job, we focus on soft skills like communication, creativity, team work and interdisciplinary thinking to prepare our graduates to adapt to shifting opportunities and meet the demands of future jobs – many of which might not yet exist.
As the accomplished alumni in this issue demonstrate, this approach to education has served our students well over the years and it’s one that won’t change in the next phase of our evolution.
Q: What will it take to achieve university status?
A: To become Sheridan University, we must be recognized as a post-secondary institution that meets the criteria established by Universities Canada (UC). Membership provides formal recognition that our programs, faculty and infrastructure meet university standards.
Q: What progress have you made towards this goal?
A: We currently offer 25 degree programs (20 Sheridan-specific and five joint programs with university partners). In 2012, we established the Sheridan Senate as part of a new governance model that aligns with what is commonly in place at Canadian universities. In June 2016, we installed our inaugural Chancellor, another feature of this governance model.
Q: When will Sheridan become Sheridan University?
A: Sheridan’s Strategic Plan was approved by the Board of Governors to cover the years 2013-2020. We are on target to achieve the plan’s vision to become Sheridan University by 2020.