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Friday, September 29, 2023


CLASS signs off on proposals

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Undergraduate Council approved four proposals ranging from modifications of undergraduate policies to additions of new majors, Wednesday.’

After a presentation from chemistry associate professor Simon Bott, who chairs the C.L.A.S.S. academic policies and procedures subcommittee, the council approved a credit equivalency for freshman chemistry laboratories.’

‘If somebody gets (high school) credit for the lab course, they can present their lab reports from high school. I would examine those lab books to offer credit,’ said Bott, faculty director of the chemistry department.’

The council’s approval allows students to receive course credit for their high school work, but students would not receive a grade or grade points.’

The council also approved a modification to the undergraduate drop policy that gives students the option to drop courses online without needing professors’ signatures.

Faculty will be notified of their dropped students via e-mail, Registrar Debbie Hermann said.

However, C.L.A.S.S. council members raised the concern of e-mail inboxes being flooded with student drop notifications.’

‘There’s going to be some hiccups in the modification, but we’re not going to have those insane lines of students trying to get a hold of faculty on the last drop day,’ Bott said.’

In addition, new degree programs will be added to C.L.A.S.S., such as a major for liberal studies.

‘The intent of this degree is to address students interested in a broad-based liberal arts-social sciences kind of education, ‘ Degree Programs committee Chairman Richard Scamell said.

To pursue a major in liberal studies, students will be required to complete three minors.’

‘Two of these minors would have to come from programs offered within C.L.A.S.S., and one of the minors could come from another program in C.L.A.S.S. or from a program from another college that offers a minor,’ Scamell said.’

The Degree Programs committee offered potential sample program models such as pre-law, global business communication, business emphasis and language emphasis. ‘

‘There’s a large number of minors that could be put together in a realistic way, but we think this would be attractive for current and incoming students who are interested in doing a broad-based liberal arts-social sciences kind of educational experience,’ Scamell said.’

A major in liberal studies will appear on the transcripts of students who graduate with this degree.’

‘Our advisors will help students design a program that both fits intellectual and professional interests ideally. It should be something that will fit with the marketplace,’ said Thomas Behr, director of the liberal studies major.’

Geology associate professor William Dupre said the downside of the degree is that it might provide an opportunity for students who can’t succeed in a major to get a degree with a bunch of minors.’

‘It doesn’t sound real satisfying to say these people can’t get a high (grade point average) in a major, so we’ll try to find some place for them,’ Dupre said. ‘The thing that seems to me quite reasonable is that it is a broad-based education.”

Behr, however, said the proposed major is not a catchall general studies major that exists at other universities.’

‘We anticipate working very closely with them and not so much to force students into a major, but to help them graduate,’ Behr said.’

The liberal studies major will help students who are having difficulty deciding on a major complete a program and graduate in a reasonable amount of time, Behr said.’

‘It gives our students who cannot decide real options to move forward,’ Undergraduate Scholars director Diana Velez said.’

The Degree Programs Committee also obtained approval from the council for a new Bachelor of Arts in American Sign Language Interpreting (ASLI).’

The committee’s proposal stated the ASLI program prepares undergraduates to be certified interpreters for the deaf.’

The meeting closed with the announcement that instructional associate professor Lawrence Williams was re-elected C.L.A.S.S. Council chairman for the coming academic year.’

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