Curriculum review and implementation

A revised Arts & Sciences undergraduate curriculum was implemented for the class matriculating in fall 2012. For a summary, click on the Finding Your Path link below.  For a full account of the original review of the undergraduate curriculum, please see the report of the New Curriculum Review Committee(pdf), chaired by Mark Rollins. For further information regarding the proposed changes to be adopted into the curriculum, please see the report of the Curriculum Implementation Committee(pdf) chaired by Matt Erlin.

For more about the New IQ Curriculum: see Finding Your Path (pdf)

The Curriculum Implementation Committee is focusing its efforts on the following projects:

1. Technology: As part of the implementation process we are revising the tools that students and advisors use to interact with the curriculum. The web course listings are getting expanded search features, along with a new look and feel. Phase 1 of that endeavor, an overhaul of the A&S curriculum information, went live in late January. Click here to explore. In late April, post-registration, we will release phase 2 of the web course listings, which will bring the new IQ curriculum reports into the fold. At this point the curriculum information on the College’s website will be updated as well. Because the revised curriculum is for first-year students matriculating in the fall, this release is being timed to coincide with the receipt of admissions decision letters. (The IQ curriculum does have a small presence on our site for curious early-decision students and their parents. The ArtSci planner is also receiving a thorough overhaul, and throughout the spring semester we will be testing, training new advisors, etc, all the while gearing up for the release of the revised application at the end of May. Both current and new students will be using the new planner application, called PlanIT.

2. Integrated Inquiries: We have developed 22 “Integrated Inquiries” (IQs), which are based on a consolidation of the existing ~300 clusters. Departments and programs are currently reviewing these proposed IQs (reviews are due March 1st), and we anticipate finalizing the IQs by March 15th. For a description of the methodology for designing IQs, click here. For an alphabetical list of the IQs and their proposed courses, click here.

3. Course Designations: In November of 2011, courses were assigned their new attributes (LCD, HUM, NSM, SSC) based on the formula outlined in the Curriculum Implementation Committee report. Courses that were QA migrated to AN, and courses that were WI and SD retained those designations. Following the attribute assignments, departments and programs were sent a Worksheet to Designate Distribution Areas for Courses. As noted in the accompanying letter from Professor Matt Erlin, this was an opportunity for departments and programs to review courses to ensure that 1) the designations were consistent with the content of these courses and 2) the designations were consistently applied across the range of courses offered by the department. Proposed revisions to the attribute assignments, if any, were to be submitted the the Curriculum Committee (c/o Trevor Bilhorn) by Friday, December 9, 2011. In some cases, the Curriculum Committee has requested additional information in support of any proposed revisions, and this process will continue.

Fall 2012 course listings came online on February 20th; print copies are due to arrive on March 12th. As always, for each Arts & Sciences course, the course description is followed by information about what distribution requirements each course satisfies in the Arts & Sciences curriculum and the curricula of the other schools. There are now two listings for Arts & Sciences: "A&S" and "A&S IQ." The information that follows the "A&S" heading are the Discovery Curriculum attributes--the curricular requirements for all current ArtSci students. The information that follows the "IQ" heading are attributes for the revised curriculum that will roll out for incoming ArtSci freshmen this fall.

4. LCD Sequencing and Placement: Foreign language departments have identified which of their courses participate in sequences, as described in the original NCRC document. To facilitate auditing completion of this requirement, participating courses have been tagged with the attribute LS (Language Sequence). This attribute will display in course listings.

5. Assessment: Members of our Assessment Subcommittee will meet with faculty representatives from each of the four distribution areas. The aim will be to formulate 3-5 specific learning outcomes for each of the areas as well as an assessment plan that outlines how we will measure our degree of success in producing these outcomes.

6. Small Group Experiences: During the next few months, we plan to survey departments and programs that offer large introductory lecture courses in order to determine their interest in adding a small-group element to their courses. The aim of these “satellite seminars” is to provide an in-depth, seminar-type treatment of select topics dealt with in the main course. They will be conceived with first-year undergraduates in mind and particularly groups such as pre-med students who might not otherwise have an opportunity for a small-group experience in their first year.