August 14, 2020

Curriculum Changes Still Debated in Congress

posted on: Thursday February 25, 2010

Maxwell Kravitz ’12/ News Staff

There is a question circulating around Providence College: What is going to happen to the Development of Western Civilization program?

Student Congress met on Feb. 23 with an agenda to grapple with Civ proposals. Congress also voted both the Hellenic Student Association and Six Gents Sketch Comedy as recognized student organizations at the College.

Student Congress President Andraya Pulaski ’10 invited Megan Bennett ’10 to present the proposals for the Foundational Component of the Providence College Curriculum.

“The goal is to produce more developed proposals than can be submitted to the senate as legislation to be debated, amended, and voted upon,” said Bennett.

The main objective in reconstructing Civ is to improve the teacher to student ratio. At about one teacher for 25 students, there are aspirations to cut the twenty-five students down to fifteen.

There were many questions of concern. Bennett fielded questions concerning teacher standpoints on Western Civilization.

“The new proposals and curriculum aim for positive responsiveness of the students,” Bennett said. “With responsiveness from the students, the proposals aim in allowing professors choice of teaching as opposed to force.”

Faculty Senate has been evaluating five options for DWC. Bennett informed Congress that the Interdisciplinary Colloquia and the Great Books and Interdisciplinary Colloquia Hybrid are top candidates for change.

“The Senate seems to be leaning toward option five [Great Books Hybrid],” Bennett said.

The Great Books and Interdisciplinary Colloquia Hybrid model seems likely in boosting the morale of the student body. With the number of students cut down in a lecture, “students will be better engaged in the work and participation,” said Bennett.

This model could also replace DWC with a new, revised 12-credit course.

Bennett told Congress, “Father Shanley seems to be conservative, leaning towards the honors model that DWC offers.”

The honors model is very similar to that of the “Experimental Civ,” which Bennett confirmed is primarily seminar-based.

Bennett also explained that the Great Books Model would result in professors being more passionate on the material they cover in class. Another aim in the construction is to add more diversity among students and faculty.

For a better sense of what option five consists of, Bennett covered the basics of the proposal. “Freshman year focuses on eight or so books per semester, consisting of ancient/medieval and modern/ contemporary. Sophomore year will be the Interdisciplinary Colloquia.”

The Interdisciplinary Colloquia consists of range of six different subjects. The subjects include, but are not limited to, Nationalism in Film, Women in Antiquity, Sacred Spaces, Germs and Disease, Leadership, and the Medieval Mind.

The main objective of the new core curriculum is to cut down the amount of students, have both teachers and students engaged in material, and allow for a better credit system for the sake of the transfer process.

In addition, the Hellenic Student Association was voted to be recognized by PC. As a result, the association will be given their own space and put on events without having to be co-sponsored by BMSA.

Now that the Six Gents Sketch Comedy is recognized as an official organization, writing and performance workshops and auditions will begin. Representative Kaitlyn Guzik ’10 has been trying to get this organization off the ground since 2007.The BOP office announced that tickets for Alice in Wonderland will be sold in the BOP office and will cost $5.

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