The Faculty Council passed five recommendations on Dec. 17 that will affect the General Education requirements for undergraduate students.
“The faculty is committed to the principle that students study in breadth (general education) and in depth (majors),” Bobbi Owen, senior associate dean for undergraduate education, wrote in an e-mail.
For freshmen entering the University this fall, placement into level 4 of a foreign language now fulfills the Foundations foreign language requirement through level 3.
Students were previously required to take a level 3 foreign language course even if they placed into level 4 of that language.
Also included in the revisions, students may only count one lifetime fitness course towards graduation, and the Foreign-Language Intensive requirement was repealed.
“The Foreign-Language Intensive requirement, which has never really been implemented, has been taken off the books formally, so now we have an honest curriculum,” said Erika Lindemann, associate dean for undergraduate curricula.
The final change that goes into effect in the fall is in the way that students can fulfill the Supplemental Education requirement.
They can now do so by completing a second major or minor, three courses above 199 that are not used to fulfill the student’s major requirement or completing a concentration outside a professional school.
Lindemann said the supplemental education change would allow students more flexibility with the requirement.
As of this semester, no more than two General Education designations may be assigned to a new or revised course, unless the Curriculum Committee finds a case where a course meets the criteria for a third designation.
The 2006 curriculum was reviewed by 52 faculty members, advising staff members and members of the Office of Undergraduate Curricula.
The Faculty Council was required to review the “Making Connections” curriculum, which was implemented in fall 2006 and replaced a 25-year-old curriculum.
“When the curriculum was put into place, there was a mandate to look at it,” said Andrea Biddle, an associate professor. “This was the opportunity to evaluate what worked and what didn’t.”
Students were able to express concerns about the curriculum revision through forums, drop boxes and other suggestions, Lindemann said.
“Students have been very much involved in the curriculum review,” she said.
Owen said any problems students have with the new changes should be able to be handled by advising.
Going forward, council members and administrators are focusing on communicating the changes and existing General Education requirements to parents, students and faculty.
“We need to be able to explain that to them,” Lindemann said.
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