Q&A session on changes eases concerns

At the two-hour long sessions held on April 16 to address to students’ concerns regarding the transformative changes that will take place in the fall of 2003, mostly freshman along with a few sophomores, were in attendance.

They are the most confused parties because they will be forced to bridge the two programs as the transformation takes place.

A common student concern, voiced by Kelly Sheperd, a sophomore double major in psychology and sociology, is about being able to finish on time with the changes.

Susan Albertine, dean of the school of culture and society, assured Sheperd that, although for a double major there are no guarantees, she never wants to hear that any student was slowed down.

Albertine indicated departments will have to be flexible and work with students; possibly waiving requirements if necessary. “The rule is do no harm.”

Michael Palmieri, freshman law and justice major, asked, “What’s going to happen to SET?”

A common rumor among underclassmen is that SET will be eliminated. Students think that if they avoid taking the class, they will be able to replace it with an elective of their choosing.

This is not the case. Albertine recommended that all rising sophomores complete SET because even if it is eliminated it will be replaced by another specified requirement. The College believes these changes will help move away from lecture-based learning. Instead, students are supposed to become more active and engaged, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Albertine also gave some background as to what other goals of the transformative changes are.

Departments were asked to create individual goals and standards as to what knowledge and abilities a student who has completed their major sequence should have obtained.

“It’s not just what you pour into the empty vessels,” Albertine said. “It’s important to think about what you want the end result to be, what comes out, what students can perform.”

Ultimately, students will be completing fewer but more intensive courses.

Actual class time will not be affected by these changes. Rather, additional outside work will be required. She said, “Your butt in a chair is no measure of learning.”

This means instead of being required to take 36 to 38 credits within a major, students will now be required to complete 10 to 12 courses

There will also be an overhaul of the general education program, which has yet to be completed.

The changes that will be implemented in the Fall 2003 are mainly to introductory major courses.

This is so incoming freshman will begin the program 100 percent and sophomores will be able to switch into the new system.

They are working from the bottom up. Changes to the upper level courses will be soon to follow.

The College will be completely transformed by the fall of 2004.