Provost Long discusses four-course model with students

Students who serve in the College Senate held a caucus with Provost Carol Long on Dec. 2 to discuss Long's proposed transition to a four-course model.

Under a four-course system, most courses will carry four credit hours and students will take four classes per semester. A specific proposal for how departmental and general education requirements might fit into this model has not yet been established.

The next major step in the process, Long said, will be the analysis of department reports due on Feb. 1. These reports will highlight potential changes that each academic department would make if the change were implemented.

Long said that meeting with student senators is one of many actions she is taking to ensure that student voices are heard in the discussion process. The provost has also spoken with the Academic Affairs Committee and the Inter-Residence Council, as well as with individual students. She said that students with questions may feel free to stop by the Office of the Provost in Erwin Hall.

The Student Affairs Committee of the College Senate is planning to arrange focus groups that will meet at the start of next semester to encourage conversation about student concerns pertaining to the proposed transition. The information obtained in these focus groups may be referred to faculty departments, said junior Lauren Abdallah of the SAC.

Abdallah said she urges students to involve themselves in the discussion. "One way … students can get involved is by being vocal and starting conversations," she said. "Ask questions and stay on top of the information that is out there."

Long said that she is interested to continue to hear from students on this issue, and that it is crucial that she know what students want from their education at Geneseo in terms of research opportunities, general education, service learning and academic programs. "These are things we don't hear enough about from student voices," she said.

"It's a lot of work to change a whole curriculum," Long said. "I'm trying to unfold the conversation at a pace that allows people to think about it." She said that the switch could take several years and that no decision will be made without consideration of student and faculty needs.