MSSU examining changes to core classes

Nathan Carter

It is possible that there will be a change in the core curriculum next sem-ester.

Under the proposal, total general education requirements would be reduced from 51 hours to 47 hours, including 3 hours of institutional requirements.

According to Dr. Brad Kleindl, interim vice president for academic affairs, there are two factors playing heavily on the decision.

“Fist is the mission of the University,” Kleindl said. “We are a liberal arts university so we have a strong liberal arts component in the core curriculum. The second issue is that there is a state set of requirements that students in the state of Missouri are supposed to have in terms of a liberal arts course in terms of outcome measures.

“When we looked at those issues and the nature and outcome of our core curriculum, it’s rally not shifted since the 1980s.”

A curriculum oversight committee was created and headed by Drs. John Messick, professor of biology, and Jack Oakes, professor of computer information science, to evaluate the core curriculum. The committee wrote a proposal to the Academic Policies Committee that has oversight over the nature of the core classes in the University’s catalog.

The Faculty Senate received the proposal last spring and “deliberated on it” over the summer. The Faculty Senate passed it, but it still has not been implemented.

“There are still additional steps,” Kleindl said. “Once it goes to the Faculty Senate with their recommendation, it has to go to the Board of Governors.”

Then the Board of Governors sends it to the Faculty Senate’s office and then to the academic affairs office where it will then be approved or rejected.

“It has not been approved by the Board of Governors, therefore it is still a proposal,” Kleindl said.

Kleindl also said that a new catalog would not necessarily affect older students.

“As a student, you can decide which catalog you are going to graduate under,” he said. “Any catalog that is enforced while you are a student can be used.”

The rationale for the changes as listed in the proposal:

Fewer hours would will make MSSU more attractive to potential students.

Several degree programs require more than 124 hours and the only place to reduce the total number of hours and meet state certification requirements is in general education.

Recommended model would allow students more choices and options.

Recommended model more closely aligns with other universities.

Headings align with state matrix terminology.

Fewer required courses require less overload and adjunct faculty.

Under the proposal, students would take one less course in humanities and fine arts, one less American history course and would not be required to take a physical activity.

The Board of Governors will be voting on the proposal next meeting, Friday, Sept. 18.