The TrackOne program (abbreviated as T1) is a direct-entry first-year undergraduate program in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, which allows students to enroll in one year of classes before deciding on a disciplinary major amongst the “Core 8” (all programs except for Engineering Science). Students in the TrackOne program transfer directly into the second year of their program of choice assuming that they meet the academic requirements to do so. As a first-year only program, TrackOne has no home department or Discipline Club to oversee their activities. On the Faculty’s side, the program is overseen by the TrackOne Liaison (formerly Lesley Mak, Curtis Norman, and Cori Hanson) and the academic Chair of First Year (formerly Prof. Susan McCahan, Prof. Kim Pressnail, currently Prof. Micah Stickel). On the student side, activities and initiatives for the T1’s are delivered by the TrackOne Class Representative and a collection of upper year former T1 students who volunteer as part of the TrackOne Mentorship Program.
Written by Albert Huynh, TrackOne Representative 0T8-0T9.
The TrackOne program was first conceived by Prof. Susan McCahan (at the time the academic Chair of First Year) and Trevor Cuddy (at the time the Director of the Engineering Student Recruitment and Outreach Office) as a way to compete with other universities offering general first year programs without alienating students who already knew what disciplinary major they wanted to stream into. The first class was established in the Fall of 2007, with 92 students completing that first year.
Given that there was no discipline club to organize initiatives and events for students in the program, the TrackOne Committee was established by Wayne Lin, the first T1 Class Rep, to serve this function. In that year, the TrackOne Committee was also recognized by and included into the EngSoc by-laws and provided funding under a new model, distinct from other discipline clubs. Since 2007, it has been left to the discretion of the T1 Class Rep every year to decide whether or not to formally convene a committee comprised of their classmates to act as the TrackOne Committee as well as how to structure it.
The first version of the TrackOne Mentorship Program was established in 2009 by Daniel Moon and Donnie Yee. After running for a couple of years, it became dormant before being reestablished in 2013 by Vibhor Sachdeva, Kevin Wang, Stephanie Gaglione, and Katherine Marek, creating the foundation for its current version which not only provides direct mentorship but also organizes broader TrackOne social events. In recent years, the TrackOne Mentorship Program has taken on some of the original social and community building function of the TrackOne Committee.
The first common room for TrackOne was granted by the Faculty in Winter 2009 and was originally located in the office space of SF4301C. Before that, the TrackOne students were granted access to every other Core 8 program’s common rooms as a compromise for not having one of their own. This first common room was outfitted with nothing more than a small couch and a corner desk. Given that the room was located amongst graduate student offices, noise complaints were called in about the T1’s frequently, which created a real risk of losing the rights to a common room altogether. Ultimately the solution to the noise complaints was to move the common room to the third floor in 2010 and eventually to its current location outside of SF1105 (a room formerly used for storage by the Engineering Computing Facility).
The first TrackOne Dinner Dance was hosted in Winter 2009 under the name “Indecision” and was organized by Stephanie Chow, Becky Gan, Jin Hee Kim, and Jolene Chu, with no funding (the event broke even with ticket sales). The actual event was held in GB202 and the food was heated in residence ovens at New College. In subsequent years, the event was renamed “8-ball” and starting in Winter 2012, was re-envisioned by Evan Boyce as a Dinner Dance that could serve the entire Skule frosh population.
For its first 4 years, TrackOne also had an annual “beach party/BBQ” which was held in May. In its fifth year, the event became a group trip to a Blue Jays Game before being dropped in consideration for how many students leave the city for the Summer. At the beach party, it was customary to sign the TrackOne volleyball, which has since fallen into a state of disrepair.
In 2012, on the occasion of the first significant graduating class of T1’s (considering that the majority of them went on PEY), Lesley Mak, the TrackOne Liaison at the time, created the tradition of hosting a graduation party. This graduation party eventually came to serve both the actual graduating class, as well as the current first-year class who would be “graduating” into another program in the second year. In 2017, a 10-year anniversary reunion at the Faculty Club replaced this graduation event.
The traditional symbol/logo for T1 has always been the 8-ball. It was chosen both to represent the 8 disciplinary paths available upon completion of the program as well as the idea that magic 8-balls are used to provide answers to tough questions or decisions (in this case the relevant decision being which program to pick).
The motto for T1, “scisco iterum laxus,” also draws on this theme. The phrase was a 2007 Google translation of “ask again later,” a common response by T1 students to the question “what program are you going into?”. This motto appears on the first two iterations of the T1 patch. Since the traditional “T” notation of program and graduation year did not afford for former T1’s to easily identify themselves after transitioning into their program of choice, T1 students began adding an additional “T1” to the end of their graduating year to indicate this. For example, a former T1 Mineral Engineering student who graduated in 2013 with PEY is denoted “MIN 1T3T1+PEY” and a former T1 Industrial Engineering student graduating in 2021 would be “INDY 2T1T1”.
In 2017-2018, the U of T Concrete Canoe Team named their canoe "TrackOne" to fit in with their selected amusement park theme. They placed 5th in the overall Canadian competition that year.
The TrackOne Class Representative is the official head of the TrackOne Committee and is elected with all other first-year class representatives in September.
|2017-2018||John Peri||MECH 2T1T1|
|2016-2017||Jane Illario||COMP 2T0T1|
|2015-2016||Alex Caton||ECE 1T9T1|
|2014-2015||Erwin Lam||ELEC 1T8T1+PEY|
|2013-2014||Amir Sheidaei||INDY 1T7T1+PEY|
|2012-2013||Tabish Gilani||MECH 1T6T1+PEY|
|2011-2012||Evan Boyce||MECH 1T5T1+PEY|
|2010-2011||Teresa Nguyen and Matthew Lattavo||CIV 1T4T1+PEY & CIV1T4T1+PEY|
|2009-2010||Anthony Alayo||ELEC 1T3T1+PEY|
|2008-2009||Albert Huynh||CHEM 1T2T1+PEY|
|2007-2008||Wayne Lin||INDY 1T1T1+PEY|