Common curriculum changes

BURKE BISCHOFF

A mandatory science lab course and a more extensive foreign language requirement will be among the new changes to the common curriculum for new students.

As the Fall 2013 semester begins, students will be faced with a newly formed common curriculum that seeks to better prepare them for graduation, according to John Sebastian, associate professor of English and director of common curriculum.

The standing committee on the common curriculum is putting into effect a newly revised common curriculum for incoming and existing students.

According to Don Hauber, biology professor and standing committee on the common curriculum chairman, the committee has been reviewing the old common curriculum since spring 2005 by the common curriculum review committee.

The main changes to the common curriculum are both philosophical and structural, Sebastian said.

The committee wanted to change the philosophy of the old common curriculum from being a requirement checklist to representing their idea of what a Loyola graduate should look like, Sebastian said

“We have tried to infuse the new curriculum with a number of different learning outcomes and objectives that enable us to reform that kind of student,” Sebastian said.

The committee rethought the existing requirements structurally in the common curriculum by sharpening the focus on particular requirements, Sebastian said

For example, students will be required to have classes that specialize and detail certain aspects presented in a broader course, he said.

The committee also added new elements entirely to the curriculum, he said. Sebastian said he believes the most significant additions are the newly required courses in creative arts and cultures.

To complete the requirements, students will need to take a lab science experience and additional foreign language credits, he said.

The first year seminar has officially been added into this new common curriculum, he said.

When deciding the new common curriculum, the committee asked different faculty work groups to decide on learning outcomes. 25 different learning outcomes were chosen across different courses, such as critical thinking and written and oral communication.

Students can view their online Degree Program Course listing and see the new common curriculum, Sebastian said

“We want students who graduate who are critical thinkers, who are excellent communicators both in written and oral form, who have a knowledge and an understanding of different forms of disciplinary knowledge, who understand our unique Jesuit Catholic identity and mission and who are really transformed into people who will go out into the world and change it for the better,” Sebastian said.

Burke Bischoff can be reached at [email protected]