Faculty pass curriculum changes

Faculty pass curriculum changes

by Kelsey KnutsonStaff Writer

Faculty members voted to move forward with curriculum changes Tuesday, April 14 during the final meeting of the semester.

During the meeting, faculty members discussed details in the proposed curriculum.

Professors on campus have expressed both excitement and defiance toward the proposal, but it ultimately passed with a majority vote.

Faculty in favor of the proposal felt confident before Tuesday’s vote.

“My feelings are that it is going to pass,” Rick Spellerberg, department chair and professor of mathematics, said prior to the meeting. “Assuming it’s passed, it will be good for students.”

Members of the Learning Programs Working Group have worked with students for two years to come up with what they believe is the best possible outcome for the proposed curriculum.

“Every segment of campus has had a part in this,” Spellerberg said. “LPWG has put in a lot of time. I’m hoping it passes.”

Spellerberg said the changes will be beneficial for students and allow them to focus more on specific classes. Under the new curriculum, classes will fall under a certain criteria.

The significant changes in the curriculum would be new cornerstone requirements and another category, known as “embedded skills.”

These eight areas of study will replace the eight cornerstones. These courses however will give students a more in-depth look into the area and provide experience with hands-on learning.

With these new courses, students will be able to apply what they have learned in more time-intensive classes through deep learning activities throughout their four years at Simpson. By reducing the number of credits it will take to graduate, students will take four courses a semester instead of five. Students will have fewer classes, giving them more time with each course.

In faculty meetings the professors are amending and making changes to parts of the curriculum as they see fit.

For example, what was originally “Diversity and Power” as an area of study has now been changed to “Diversity and Power in the US.”

This change was made by a faculty vote. There have also been changes in some of the language regarding embedded skills and the Simpson Seminar.

The current Liberal Arts Seminar and the Senior Colloquium will be replaced by a Senior Capstone course.

“The core of our current curriculum has been in place for about 30 years,” Brian Steffen, department chair and professor of communication studies, said. “The faculty is taking this very seriously.”

Some of the embedded skills that passed include requirements such as Leadership experiences, Critical Thinking experiences, Literacy experiences and Written Communication experiences among others.

Details of how the curriculum will be implement have yet to be determined. Faculty will work throughout the summer on the proposal.

“Right now they [faculty] are tailoring things to make it more of what they want,” senior Kyle Liske, former Student Government Association president, said.