Faculty Approves Core Proposal
Program Will Start in 1979
"There is a year of planning ahead," Dean Rosovsky said yesterday after the Faculty approved the development of a Core Curriculum.
Under the Core plan, the first courses in the new program will be offered in the fall of 1979. The first College class that will be required to fill some Core requirements, as well as some of the present General Education requirements, will be the Class of '83, which will enter that fall.
Rosovsky said he plans to appoint a Faculty standing committee and subcommittees this summer that will develop Core courses and phase in Core requirements.
The committees will work within the framework of the five areas outlined in the Report on the Core Curriculum: Literature and the Arts, History, Social and Philosophical Analysis, Science and Mathematics, and Foreign Languages and Culture.
Rosovsky's Task Force on the Core Curriculum--one of seven groups studying different aspects of undergraduate education--orginally recommended eight Core areas in a report released in the fall of 1977. The Faculty Council reduced that number to five last spring.
Last summer five small Faculty committees tried to define the objectives of courses in each area, as well as the overall requirements of the Core. Members of the committees this fall prepared the report approved yesterday by the Faculty.
The Core plan calls for undergraduates eventually to take two half-courses in three of the planned areas, three half-courses in Literature and the Arts, and one-half course in Foreign Languages and Cultures.
The Class of '86 is expected to be the first class that will have to meet all Core requirements, and none of the present Gen Ed requirements.
In 1982-83 the Faculty will review the Core program, after it has been developed by the Core committees, before voting final approval.
Rosovsky said yesterday he "would be surprised if in four years the program looks exactly like it does today."
An explanatory note accompanying the Core motion, which Rosovsky introduced to the Faculty, states: "The number of offerings will vary widely from one area to another; but overall the Core Curriculum should ordinarily list no less than 80 and no more than 100 offerings in any given year after the Core Curriculum is fully implemented."
The course catalogue lists the equivalent of 115 half-courses under General Education. However, Gen Ed requirements divide non-concentration requirements into three broad areas--Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities--while the Core plan specifies course requirements in ten sub-areas within the five broader areas.
Rosovsky said Gen Ed guidelines "tell you nothing about what a course should do," and provide no means for rejecting courses as unsuitable.
The Core plan provides criteria that can prevent an undirected proliferation of courses like that which has eroded the purpose of the present Gen Ed program, Rosovsky said.
The sub-areas of the Core are:
Literature, Fine Arts; Music and Contexts of Culture--within Literature and the Arts;
Historical Orientation; Historical Process and Perspective--within History;
Social Analysis; Moral and Political Philosophy--within Social and Philosophical Analysis;
Physical Science and Mathematics; Biological and Behavioral Science--within Science and Mathematics;
Western Europe (including language); or a major non-Western culture--within Foreign Languages and Cultures.
Legislation that the Faculty passed at its April 11 meeting urges the standing Core committees to designate Core-related sequences--consisting of two or more half-courses--that students could substitute as a by pass for one Core half-course. The legislation also encourages the committees to allow students to substitute one advanced departmental half-course for one Core half-course.
The committees are also empowered to modify sub-area requirements as they see necessary. The main standing committee may authorize the shift of one half-course requirement between areas, provided the total number of Core requirements is not reduced