posted on: Thursday January 28, 2010
Devin Murphy ’10 / News Editor
Faculty Senate is taking baby steps towards developing a new core curriculum. It voted last Wednesday, Jan. 20, on which direction it would like to move in developing the new core curriculum. The senate voted in favor of moving toward developing a new core curriculum which would include a concentration component. Faculty Senate decided last semester that its most important issue was the Core Curriculum Reform. The possible models were presented for discussion and vote. The first model which was presented was the concentration model. Under the concentration model there is a foundation component, a concentration component, and a proficiency component in the core.The foundation component would require 12 credit hours of Development of Western Civilization as opposed to 20, six hours of philosophy, three hours of quantitative reasoning, three hours of fine arts, three hours of a social science, and three hours of a natural science.The concentration component would require students to take six hours of courses outside of their majors. It is also possible that the concentration model would require students to take three hours of a language. A student could take two courses of his or her choice in addition to the core requirements. To fulfill the concentration a student could take two additional courses in social science, natural science, fine arts, quantitative reasoning, or language. Although none of the additional courses would be counted towards the student’s major they could count towards a minor.James Keating, Ph.D., Department of Theology and chair of the Humanities Program, presented the concentration model.”Each student should have a moment in the core curriculum when they say that they want to focus on a certain element within the core,” said Keating.He also stressed that he wants students to “own” their experiences in fulfilling the core curriculum; he wants to avoid the mentality of just getting the core out of the way. The cluster model differed from the concentration model in its thematic approach to the core curriculum. The foundation component of the cluster model was much the same as the concentration model, totaling in 36 hours of study.The cluster component of the core curriculum would require students to take three to five classes, outside of their majors, that all entailed a similar theme. For example, one cluster could be Baroque and Rococo Art, Baroque Music, Europe 1648 to 1714, and 17th Century Literature. It would be possible for students to fulfill a minor through the cluster which they pursue. Many cluster courses may also overlap with majors, which is why there are between three and five course options for each cluster.The proficiency component would require two writing intensive courses, one oral communication course, one global awareness course, and one civic engagement course.