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Core courses evaluated by faculty and students

It is more than a rumor that core courses are under reevaluation. It is a time for review and possibly for change, according to Julie Elliott, director of advising and first-year programs and lecturer in Christian ethics, and Kathy Lee, political science department chair.

The entire core, fixed and breadth, will be evaluated, but there will be focus groups evaluating the fixed core, which consists of INST 150, 160, 250, and 270. According to Lee, it will be evaluated by the way in which it upholds the mission statement and its overall effectiveness. The requirements have not been revised for 10 years and Lee said that it was time. Accreditation is also coming up, so it is important to have the curriculum at its finest.

The changes will not occur quickly. “We have to give it respect and time,” Elliott said. “We should not be either hasty or inefficient.” By the earliest, the faculty may be given a proposal in March, but changes to the requirements will not go into effect next fall.

To ensure that feedback on the courses is diverse, Elliott and Lee chose a committee of faculty members from a broad range of disciplines. The committee is made up of 11 faculty members from different departments and professors who have taught the fixed core classes. The job of the faculty committee will be to listen to the student’s opinions and their own experience and come to a decision. Professor Doug Trimble, who is in charge of assessments of campus, will choose focus groups made up of students. There will be four focus groups made up of 10 to 15 students. They will be diverse groups, varying in their rank, ethnicity, majors and other aspects of their college experience. Each group will be given a course to evaluate, and their discussions will be recorded for the committee.

The response from students and faculty will not be limited to these groups. Lee said, “[The reevaluation process] is in a fluid place.” Elliott and Lee want to encourage students to express their opinions. Students can talk to their SGA representatives, who will be consulted in the process as well, or look out for possible meetings where they can voice their opinions.

Elliott said she would like to hear those that are “not as loud but still have a voice.”

Eastern is here to serve its students, so through reevaluation they hope to ensure that it follows its mission statement and helps to prepare students for the future.

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