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Restructured Core shows promise

| Monday, January 19, 2004

The University’s decision to eliminate the Core requirement is a good example of the positive outcome that can be reached when officials consider student input and work with students to make changes.

Officials collaborated with students throughout the examination of the Core course. First, the Core Congress was created and representatives from each Core section were called upon to give their feedback and opinions. Then, Core administrators and faculty actually incorporated some of these suggestions into the course, experimenting with new ideas garnered from student advice as they tried to tailor the course more effectively to perceived student needs and wishes.

But after years of continued complaints about Core from the Congress, the faculty and the students, the College of Arts and Letters realized that repeated course tweaking and modification had failed to fix the course and it eliminated the mandatory Core requirement.

Even in this final step, the University has made impressive efforts to satisfy all factions. Core will still be offered as an optional college seminar course. And students who take the elective are presented with an additional option, as well; the college seminar will be offered as both a semester and year-long class. Professors, instead of following a rigid syllabus, can propose their own ideas for material on a variety of topics. By allowing faculty members freer reign to teach subjects about which they are passionate, the level of enthusiasm will unquestionably be increased in both the instructors and their pupils.

This new system stands as an example of University commitment to truly fulfilling the academic needs of faculty and students. The College consulted all parties involved to create an adequate and acceptable alternative to the previously flawed Core course, which reflected a desire to foster a cooperative, comprehensive and progressive learning community. The University should be congratulated for its open-minded and responsive handling of the Core issue, and the implementation of the new program will undoubtedly prove beneficial to all Arts and Letters faculty and students.