McGill welcomes CEGEP students


McGill extends warm welcome to CEGEP students: February Open House, changes to admissions criteria, and a new appointment

As part of several initiatives to reach out to Quebec applicants, McGill University is organizing an Open House specifically for CEGEP students (February 13, 11 am to 5 pm). An ambitious undertaking, the February 13 Open House will offer a wide variety of admissions information, as well as student activity booths, campus tours, and visits to individual faculties. Centred on the downtown campus but with input from the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences on the Macdonald Campus, the Open House coincides with recent changes to some of McGill’s admissions criteria for CEGEP students, and the establishment of a new staff position to help francophone students adjust to life at the University during their first year.

"We wanted to reaffirm our commitment to making Quebec students feel welcome on campus, especially since the international aspects of McGill have dominated public attention in recent years," says Robin Geller, head of the Admissions, Recruitment and Registrar’s Office. "Our purpose is best captured in the theme we chose for February 13 -- Opening Doors to Your Future -- and we’ve enlisted the participation of current students and faculty across campus to highlight what McGill has to offer, what’s special about this place."

Geller has been visiting local CEGEPS to explain the changes in admissions criteria, primarily the adoption of the cote R, which the Faculties of Arts, Science, Management, Engineering and Education will implement next September. Other faculties are considering adopting the new criteria for the fall of 2001. The cote R is a value used by all Quebec universities in assessing CEGEP applicants for admission: it is calculated for each student, in each class, based on the student’s grade, the class average, and a factor reflecting the strength of the class cohort. "We are adopting the cote R for three reasons," says Geller. "It’s a better predictor of performance at McGill than CEGEP grades, it compensates for different grading practices, and it will help us make admissions decisions more quickly."

Better service is also the reason for the appointment of the new assistant for francophone students, who will report to the First-Year Office. Cathy Giulietti, a McGill Faculty of Education graduate who has worked in a variety of capacities in Student Services, began her job last week. Working with Leslie Copeland, the First-Year Coordinator, Giulietti will focus on coordinating and implementing orientation programs and services, such as study skill workshops and buddy programs, particularly for new students beginning their undergraduate courses in a second language. Francophone students at McGill number approximately 22% of the student body, and the University is eager to make them feel welcome, while maintaining its responsibilities to the rest of the undergraduate and graduate student population, say Giulietti and Copeland.