By Jerad Godsave–
Faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences met Friday to deliberate about the future of Cardinal Core.
The Faculty Assembly solicited a Q&A and discussion among members of the General Education Task Force regarding the most recent Cardinal Core proposal. The General Education Task Force was appointed by the Provost in 2014 to ‘make recommendations for improvement to ensure that all students have a strong liberal arts and sciences core at the heart of their curriculum.
The Cardinal Core proposal is the result of that collective effort. The proposal addressed the framework and goals of Cardinal Core in order to gauge its viability and changes that could take place. Aspect of the discussion included expected student learning outcomes, implementation of possible changes, and funding the proposal.
The meeting follows an October draft submission that was circulated to A&S Planning and Budget and Curriculum Committees intended to facilitate feedback on progress and content particulars.
The primary talking points during the meeting revolved around the proposed Cardinal Core program catalogue, more specifically, the decrease of the current 37 credit hour minimum of General Education credit hours to a 31 credit hour minimum.
The decrease of six credit hours was a point of contention for many in the room. Recommended hours of six to three in written communication along with a decrease from nine hours to six in social/behavioral sciences left some faculty to question the judgement or philosophy utilized to reach such decisions.
The underlying intent for a decrease in the minimum credit hour requirement is to allow for students to engage with their majors earlier on in their college career. In order to do facilitate this engagement, both a smaller required course load and integrating upper-level coursework would be incorporated into the Cardinal Core.
Many faculty expressed that the cultural diversity credit should continue to be a part of the proposal because defining diversity continues to be a matter of relevance and difficulty.
The Cardinal Core emphasized that if there does exist a lack of a skill, such as writing, that the Core encourages department-wide integration of that skill.
The proposal itself is still under a review period until Dec. 2 to allow for all department units to submit feedback. The next tentative deadlines include presentation and feedback in the Faculty Senate by January of 2017 and then consideration and final approval by all units by February or March of 2017.