Allows them to develop portfolios

Universities are increasingly creating programs that give students joint access to two different campuses.


When Ryerson and York universities started their joint Master of Communications and Culture program nearly seven years ago, the community of applicants was small. Since then, the number of students accepted has more than doubled.


“It’s not like nursing or teaching where you have an automatic job at the end, but it allows people to develop portfolios and credentials of various kinds,” says Fred Fletcher, 66, who retired last fall after nearly 10 years as the original designer and director of the York side of the program. “We create people who are practising artists who are capable of reflecting on their own art and doing scholarship at the same time.”


The major advantages of melding traditional academics and arts will start a trend, predicts Fletcher.


Bruce Elder, program director at Ryerson, agrees joint programs create new avenues for scholars at university.

“I believe that when these people go out and get academic jobs, (with) the richness of their thinking that develops ... these programs will become more common. It's an idea whose time has come.”