Faculty to discuss proposed changes to curriculum

By Austin Schmitt

The University Senate will receive a progress report on the new General Education curriculum at their meeting at 3 p.m. Monday in the W.T. Young Library Auditorium.

In December, the Senate approved a general outline of the new course format, said Susan Carvalho, the convener for the General Education Steering Committee.

The new curriculum involves 10 courses worth a total of 30 hours that would be required for all incoming freshmen starting in Fall 2010. Currently there is a 45-credit requirement. It also includes four areas of study, as opposed to the nine that exist now.

These four areas would be intellectual inquiry, communication, quantitative reasoning and citizenship.
Intellectual inquiry would be similar to a humanities or social science course, and focus on problem solving; the communication requirement would bring an oral communication component to the curriculum.

Quantitative reasoning would teach mathematical statistics that can be used in everyday life; citizenship would replace the cross-cultural requirement and would teach concepts such as civic engagement and cross-national comparative issues.

The Senate also formed 10 committees to look into each course more in-depth, Carvalho said.

“Ten committees were formed to articulate more precisely what each of the 10 courses would look like so we can start to look at which department is offering (the class), class size and whether faculty supports new curriculum and also whether the students would support it,” Carvalho said.

At Monday’s meeting, there will be an update on how the conversations are going within the different committees, Carvalho said. The final form of the General Education curriculum will be formally presented to the University Senate at the April 13 meeting with a final vote set for May 4.

During the month of March, different faculty members within each department will meet and discuss the changes within their department, Carvalho said.

“(The) month of March is really the open forum process,” Carvalho said.