Departments propose curriculum revisions*

Reporting credits: Jesse Goldberg/News Editor | Amelia Stymacks/Assoc. News Editor | Kevin Muller/Managing Editor | Aaron Davis/Opinion Editor | Julie McMahon/Editor-in-Chief | Laura Vitto/Asst. News Editor

*All proposals were submitted under the charge of Provost Carol Long as hypothetical plans in the case that Geneseo changes from a five-course, three-credit curriculum model to a four-course, four-credit curriculum model. All faculty members within a given department do not necessarily agree with or endorse their department's proposal.


>>"We're actually quite excited [about the change]," said professor Paul Pacheco.

>>The department is already focused on transformative learning, so such a change will allow professors to emphasize what they already do well.

>>No elaborate change in the proposal, especially since it is already a small department.

>>Pacheco said he doesn't see how faculty workload could remain the same post-transition.


>>"The general approach has been that art history, theater and music have looked at their curriculums," said Jon Gondar, dean of the School of the Arts. "They discussed these things in faculty meetings, and they have generally taken the approach of expanding three-credit courses to four-credit courses. In some cases, that means lengthening the time frame of the course."

>>The departments are considering linking three-credit courses and one-credit courses into four-credit courses. For example: Theater 129 and 130 hold three credits and one credit, respectively, and they are taught at the same time.

>>For most of the history courses, the members of the faculty have taken the viewpoint that they're just going to expand them and make them more intensive.

>>Gondar himself proposed offering two-credit courses in the departments to allow for some variety of electives.


>>With 18 faculty in the department, there is not agreement on the proposal.

>>It seems that the department has too many majors and not enough faculty and staff to make this kind of transition without great difficulty.

>>There would be a substantial reduction in electives.

>>Proposal suggests changing from three-hour to two-hour labs and adding recitations to some three-credit courses instead of pairing them with labs to make them four-credit courses.

>>There may be far fewer offerings for non-majors.


>>The SOB has submitted its proposal, it largely retains the existing curriculum but has less room for students to take electives.

>>"The School of Business is not excited about [the plan]," said Michael Schinski, dean of the School of Business.

>>Combining courses is difficult in programs comprised of individual courses that cover specific, skill-focused content.

>>The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the accreditation body for undergraduate business programs, can provide accreditation under a four course system. The current SOB curriculum is very well-developed and represents the culmination of years of revision and input from employers regarding the skills they want graduates to have.


>>The American Chemical Society places certain restrictions on the courses – not just topics – students need in their curriculum. The ACS, though, deals with upper-level courses, so 100-level courses are not subject to the same stringent requirements. This means that the department can adapt to the needs of possible future general education requirement changes.

>>The department looked at what is being done by other liberal arts colleges that are certified and were able to put together a good curriculum within a four course model.

>>Chemistry doesn't look at labs as components of courses, but as separate entities; this makes labs slightly more difficult to work with.


>>The department sent two proposals and although neither was very detailed and the process has been a lot of work, it's been productive in that the department is taking the chance to really look at its curriculum, said acting department chair Andrew Herman.

>>The proposals didn't represent major changes to course offerings.

>>Even if the transition to a four course, four-credit model doesn't go through, this was still a productive discussion, Herman said.


>>The School of Education has submitted two proposals, one for a childhood/special education program and another for a triple-certificate program in childhood, special education and early childhood.

>>Before the discussion of a four course model even started, the SOE had established a goal to transform its program into a 5-year program so that all graduates will have certification by the time they graduate. Now, the SOE is hoping to combine the four course model with a five year program.

>>The SOE intends to respond to the economic crisis by adapting its programs to reduce costs for the college, said Osman Alawiye, Dean of the SOE. For example, the school is considering eliminating low-enrollment courses.

>>Alawiye has his own personal six block plan as well.


>>The department as a whole has not yet agreed on the proposal, which was crafted by a department policy committee of six full-time professors.

>>Complete restructuring of the major: students would have to take 10 courses instead of 12, and there wouldn't be a checklist of required types of courses as there is now. Instead, students would simply be required to take two 200-level and four 300-level courses as part of their ten classes.