The Students' Movement to Remove PDEng sign now

We, the undersigned students of the Engineering faculty at the University of Waterloo, would like to petition the Director of Professional Development for Engineering Students (PDEng), Carolyn MacGregor, and the Assistant Director of PDEng, Jeremy Steffler, to consider cancelling this mandatory, distance education course.

For the following reasons, we do not believe that this course has affected our workterm placements, university education, and overall preparation for the real-world workforce in a positive manner:

Students are pressured to write what markers want to see instead of thinking for themselves
When completing opinion-based assignments, students are presented with two options. The first is to write what the markers want to read, which takes less time, and the second is to write what they actually think, which usually takes more time. Students typically take the shorter route because it not only guarantees them a pass, but also takes less time. Students that actually write what they think is right are penalized, told they are wrong, and then have to redo the assignment and a make-up. Because of this, students are discouraged from voicing their actual opinions.

Unneeded stress at the end of the workday
When one returns from a typical eight or more hour workday, no one wants to participate in a mandatory school course. This is the case with PDEng. Students must go from physically learning how to fit in into the workplace and then return home to learn theoretically how to do the same.

Infringement on what is supposed to be our time away from school
The University of Waterloos Engineering programs have not garnered the distinction of being one of the most rigorous and tough programs in all of Canada without hard work. Through the four months of school (eight for 8-stream students), students work diligently to learn the university way of life while still succeeding academically. With a co-op program, students do not have more than two consecutive weeks off for personal vacation; many with less. With the addition of PDEng during workterms, there is less time to wind down and not think about school.

Assignments that do little to develop professionalism
Many assignments asked students to discover personal information that they would have already done in high school and self-discovery courses and programs. These assignments included "Developing your inner animal", "What type of team player are you?", "My conflict style", and having to critically reflect upon how these activities make us more valuable at the workplace. By the university level, students will already know their personal strategies for dealing with a variety of situations. Also, being able to reflect upon their abilities will not benefit them when they are required to use it in the workplace.

Critical reflections that want us to explain how we feel towards a subject instead of doing it
This returns to the statement of actually learning how to do a task versus learning the theory behind such practises. Many times the critical reflections ask for feelings and thoughts about situations that students really do not care about. In turn, they fabricate answers that markers want to hear in order to get a pass. This does not add anything to the education of co-op engineers.

Blog entries play off stereotypes and reflecting upon them teaches nothing
The blog entries are based upon real co-op experiences and using the tone of real co-op students. They still use stereotypes that some students may find offensive. There is a "geeky" blog that students are opposed to because they feel it incorrectly represents the demographic make-up of PDEng students and their interests. Also, asking for reflections for the fictional characters' mistakes will not benefit students. Many times students know that the situation is wrong and are unable to extract several topics of discussion out of a seemingly obvious blunder by the fictional characters.

Graduates of the Engineering faculty have gone on to positively impact the workforce without the support of PDEng
The professionalism of these graduates has never come into question for almost 50 years. The over 1,200 Engineering students feel that professionalism cannot be taught and can only be learned through participation in the real-world workforce. The sole reason of co-op is to apply the theory learned in the classroom. By offering five straight years of non-stop theory, PDEng will undermine the workplace professionalism that the co-op program originally intended for students to learn.

Assignments are graded with respect to "student competency" requiring a mark of 75\% or higher to pass
When the university deems a passed term to be one of 60\% or higher and a passed course to be of 50\% or higher, they contradict themselves by saying that students with these marks are not competent in their courses. Students that get between 50\% - 75\% on an assignment or module in PDEng are not competent and are failed. They are given the opportunity to make-up the assignments, but if still below 75\%, they fail. The programs justification is that they do not know enough to pass. This goes against the aforementioned marking policy for the rest of the universitys courses.

Also, passing a module is based upon a checklist of assignments. If you get below 75\% on one of them, you fail the entire module, instead of having an average mark assigned for each module to determine passing or failing.

9. PDEng will deter candidates from attending the University of Waterloo
Many students have expressed their utter disgust with the information that is supposed to be learned from PDEng. Many have said that they would not have chosen the University of Waterloos Engineering program if they had known about PDEng. PDEngs stance is that students should have known if they read their acceptance letters fully, but many times students do not read past the line "The University of Waterloo is glad to accept..."

For these reasons and more, we respectfully request that the program be cancelled and removed from our graduation requirements.

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Latest Signatures

  • 17 December 2015399. Erik Dej
    UW ID (last 2 digits) 45 please give us a much needed break.
  • 17 December 2015398. Mike L
    I support this petition
  • 15 December 2015397. Matt W
    UW ID (last 2 digits) 68 В
  • 11 December 2015396. Megan Stone
    I support this petition
  • 08 December 2015395. Faisal A
    I support this petition
  • 06 December 2015394. Vitto J
    I support this petition
  • 06 December 2015393. Anson C
    UW ID (last 2 digits) 20168832 В
  • 02 December 2015392. Ken I
    UW ID (last 2 digits) 30 To be honest is to be punished
  • 02 December 2015391. Joomin Y
    I support this petition
  • 24 November 2015390. Chulmin P
    I support this petition
  • 16 November 2015389. Jaclyn S
    UW ID (last 2 digits) 20175220 В
  • 14 November 2015388. Mike S
    I support this petition
  • 04 November 2015387. Rory A
    I support this petition
  • 03 November 2015386. Umair K
    UW ID (last 2 digits) 34 Pd Eng is not worth it and is not useful.
  • 25 October 2015385. Hilary L
    UW ID (last 2 digits) 63 В
  • 20 October 2015384. Alla A
    UW ID (last 2 digits) 55 PDEng waste of my time
  • 11 October 2015383. Xiao W
    UW ID (last 2 digits) 20179154 PDeng is a total wast of time!!!
  • 06 October 2015382. Armin Marquez
    I support this petition
  • 04 October 2015381. Richard S
    UW ID (last 2 digits) 20178222 В
  • 29 September 2015380. Harpaul S
    UW ID (last 2 digits) 20175646 it sucks like crappy poo!
  • 21 September 2015379. Joshua D
    UW ID (last 2 digits) 75 В
  • 19 September 2015378. Richard S
    UW ID (last 2 digits) 22 Please use last 2 digits of student ID for security purposes.
  • 19 September 2015377. Emily E
    UW ID (last 2 digits) 21 В
  • 18 September 2015376. Andrew Walls
    UW ID (last 2 digits) 41 PDEng doens't really TEACH anything..
  • 16 September 2015375. Adrienne N
    UW ID (last 2 digits) 20180302 В
  • 29 August 2015374. Fatin H
    UW ID (last 2 digits) 66 There needs to be abtter way in teaching Comm. skills than the internet
  • 28 August 2015373. Doug A
    UW ID (last 2 digits) 20164197 The PD Eng program is such an annoyance, I have even considered transferring to Queen's...

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Tom TateBy:
Petition target:
PDEng Administration


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