A Change in Requirements
Disa Woodland, Copy Desk Chief~
In 2016, Lynchburg College decided the institute would change its name and be re-branded as the University of Lynchburg. With the name change, there came talks of revisions of the current core curriculum. According to one document being circulated to faculty and staff, Lynchburg College’s assessment data, which evaluates students’ reading, writing and critical thinking skills, has overwhelmingly demonstrated that the current curriculum is not reaching the goals for learning here at LC.
The General Education Revision Task Force (GERTF) which includes professors and some students, has been tasked with devising a new curriculum that will help increase the academic performance of students while maintaining important liberal arts disciplines. So far, there are two new curriculum proposals: the Pathways Model which would include 45 core credit hours and the Core Values Model which would include 41 credit hours. Both of these models are down from the 51 credit hours the current General Education model requires.
Both models include a decrease in history requirements, a staple of a liberal arts education, as well as suggestions of major revisions to the Senior Symposium structure which has been increasingly criticized for its lack of synthesized grading. When asked about the current Senior Symposium set-up, senior psychology major Jasmine Shifflett had this to say: “There are expectations set up in the syllabus that remain unclear when discussed in class. Even if one follows the syllabus guidelines strictly the resulting grades are inconsistent, even among students in the same section.” Students are obviously frustrated, as well as faculty who put a lot of energy and effort into helping students to succeed.
The final changes, which would begin with the first-year class of 2019 and be in full effect by 2023, will be voted upon at the November faculty meeting. Many of the professors and staff that were contacted have declined commenting on the issue, but Dr. Clifton Potter, professor of history, provided a brief but reasonable comment: “If we’re changing the name to University, then we should act like it. Each school [within the University] should be able choose its core curriculum.”
If students would like to chime in on the issue, they are free to contact Dean Chip Walton of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences or Dr. Eunice Rojas in the language department. Students can also reach out to Dr. Laura Henry Stone and Dr. Amy Merrill Willis who are heading up the GERTF.