Arts & Sciences curriculum change student forum on April 19, 2017

Michael Wenye Li/ Sun Assistant Photography Editor

Arts & Sciences curriculum change student forum on April 19, 2017

April 20, 2017

Faculty Presents New A&S Curriculum Proposal

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Correction appended.

The College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Student Advisory Council hosted a student forum on the curriculum review on Wednesday.

To start off the forum, student representatives explained the new curriculum proposal and answered questions.

“The new curriculum proposal is designed with the goal of enabling students to explore more areas of study beyond their majors,” said Prof. Tom Pepinsky, government, chair of the Curriculum Committee. “We want to empower students to explore and allow them to get the most out of their liberal arts education.”

In the new curriculum, distribution categories are replaced by five new modes of inquiry: humanistic inquiry, social and behavioral inquiry, scientific inquiry, mathematical and quantitative reasoning, and interdisciplinary exploration. Prof. Ravi Ramakrishna, mathematics, stated that the new categorizations “simplified the classification of courses and make it easier for students to remember.”

The second adjustment of the new curriculum is Foundational Courses, which serve as “gateway” courses for their respective disciplines for students who “often find it daunting to take courses outside of their major,” Pepinsky said.

Additionally, human difference has been added as the third breadth requirement in addition to geographic and historical breadth. HD classes will focus on topics such as class, race, gender, nation, ability and ethnicity.

The new curriculum also allows students to study abroad without any foreign language requirement, making it an easier and more accessible options for students.

Some students asked if first-year writing seminars would be removed, raising the concern that with the loss of FWS, there would be less small, engaging classes that students could take, especially for STEM majors. However, the current proposal does not make that recommendation.

Pepinsky also emphasized that this is only a preliminary proposal. The committee will be meeting with all the departments to get their feedbacks on the draft curriculum.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that first-year writing seminars would be removed and that faculty members presented the proposed curriculum. In fact, student representatives presented the curriculum, which does not include the removal of first-year writing seminars.