curriculum inches toward final approval
officials say the new core curriculum requirements will
accurately represent the mission statement.
Faculty committee members are still working to select
courses that would meet the objectives of the new core
curriculum and better reflect TCUs mission statement
of cultural and global awareness.
The new curriculum is scheduled to take effect in August
Melissa Canady, director of assessment, said one of the
reasons for creating the new core was that the current
curriculum does not do a good job of representing TCUs
mission statement. She said there is no way to measure
its effectiveness in developing a students career.
We want to formalize the university assessment committee
to make sure students will learn under the new core,
More than 30 faculty members recently attended a forum
to discuss several sections of the new core. Nadia Lahutsky,
who chairs the Faculty Senate, told faculty members to
think about issues
that come from the new core, such as how to give credit
to transfer students.
Faculty Senators recently approved a recommendation to
give permanent status to an existent assessment committee
and charge it with the evaluation of the new core beginning
in the 2007-2008 academic year.
The universitys current curriculum has three sections;
foundations, explorations and physical education. The
new core has three sections as well, but with new names
with the purpose of educating students to be ethical leaders,
Foundations will be called Essential Competencies. According
to Senate documents, committees designed the competencies
section to let students learn how to reason mathematically,
express thoughts clearly and write efficiently.
Students will be required to take three hours of math,
three hours of oral communication and 12 hours of writing
emphasis and written communication.
The new core puts more emphasis on what students
want to learn in the classroom about a subject,
Canady said. Instead of putting all the pressure
on the professor to teach something to students.
The Explorations will become the Human Experiences and
Endeavors. This section has 27 hours distributed among
humanities, social and natural sciences, and fine arts.
Catherine Wehlburg, director of the Center for Teaching
Excellence, said the new core combines professionals from
several areas to teach one course and give students different
points of view about a subject.
The new TCU core is unique if you compare its structure
with the ones of other institutions, Wehlburg said.
It combines faculty from different areas of human
The Heritage, Mission, Vision and Values section of the
new core will expose students to 18 hours divided among
religious, historical and literary traditions, as well
as citizenship and social values to develop a cultural
and global awareness.
This section is the embodiment of TCUs mission
statement, Canady said. Its important
because when students graduate, they will be able to say
that they were exposed to all these areas that are essential
in our society.
In April the Faculty Senate will review all core-related
policies as the next step toward establishing the new
The process of developing a new curriculum began in 1999
when former Chancellor Michael Ferrari asked administrators
and faculty members to design a new core that would reaffirm
TCUs mission of educating individuals to think
and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in
the global community.