Core curriculum to be altered; diversity increased

Elizabeth Gipe September 25, 2017 0

Monday, Sept. 11, a forum open to all students was held in Gibble Auditorium regarding ongoing core revitalization efforts. This was the second student forum, the first one taking place Sept. 7.

The forums asked for input on changes the students would like to see reflected in the new core program at Elizabethtown College. Between the two forums, the students who attended were on a common page considering what they wanted to see within the new program: diversity.

While the two student forums both advocated for diversity, the ways in which they wanted to see that diversity reflected differed.

The first group wished to see areas of understanding within the core program focus on human diversity, inclusion and current events, while the second group wanted diversity within the areas of understanding themselves, through a larger array of classes for each concentration.

The first forum of students focused on how diversity should be addressed on campus through required classes.

They suggested classes that centered on how to remain respectful during difficult dialogues with other students, how to promote inclusion on campus, how to address current events and how to become involved in the community. They believed that starting classes that promote diversity and inclusion on campus would better the College as a whole and should be considered for the new curriculum.

On the other hand, the second forum of students advocated for diversity within the existing areas of understanding. For example, the area of understanding on mathematics only has two classes that satisfy the core requirement.

The students at the second forum wanted to see a wider selection of classes offered for each core, such as classes that cover communication skills and writing, as well as cultural sensitivity and awareness. In their opinion, the current options for required classes were too few, and a revised core should provide more options for the students.

Regarding the core revitalization efforts themselves, faculty members who volunteered to contribute to these endeavors have formed working groups to create new frameworks for the core program at the College.

Each of the three working groups will present their proposed basic frameworks to the faculty assembly at the end of the semester. These will be passed along to the Core Committee, where one framework will be organized based on the three originals. That framework will then go to a vote in the spring, and if passed will go to the Academic Council to be turned into a specific program.

That program will be voted on in fall 2018, and if that passes as well, it will be implemented as early as fall 2019.

However, these working groups are still looking for the opinions of students.

Students should expect a survey to be emailed to them within the coming week to ask for their suggestions. Professor of history and Dean for Curriculum and Assessment & College Registrar Dr. W. Brian Newsome is looking for input from students, as well, and asks that students with any questions or suggestions email him.

“It’s exciting,” Newsome said. “It’s great to see faculty contributions, as well. The working groups are looking for input from everyone.”

Students can also get in contact with the Student Senate with any suggestions, as most of the following correspondence between the working groups and students will be done through them.

For more information on the Core Revitalization forum or the new curriculum, please visit etown.edu/academics or contact Student Senate at studentsenate@etown.edu.

 

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