History Alters Tutorials; Juniors Allowed Choice
For the first time ever, changes in the History Department are giving junior concentrators say about which tutorials they will take, administrators said this week.
The changes came in response to student complaints last spring about not having enough exposure to professors or choice of their tutorials, said Mark A. Gragg '91, a member of the History Department's undergraduate curriculum committee.
Instead of a full-year tutorial taught by graduate students, undergraduates now take only one semester of the tutorial, History 98. The other semester, they are required to take one of the History 90 seminars, which are taught by faculty members.
"The principle behind the reform is to encourage more faculty-student contact in the tutorial," said Caroline C. Ford, the department's head tutor.
In the past, History 90 classes have been restricted to honors concentrators. But now, although honors concentrators will still be given first pick of tutorials, non-honors students will be admitted with the instructor's consent.
Gragg said that students voiced concern last spring about having to take tutorials in which they had no interest. Students also said they preferred having small conference courses with faculty members instead of teaching fellows, he said.
"[The new system] is trying to give students exposure to professors instead of tutors," Gragg said.
The department approved the final changes during its annual self-review last spring, Ford said. However, she said that the department does not yet have as many seminar offerings as administrators would like, and that more seminars will be added next year.