Lib. ed. requirements to change next fall

Under the new requirements, courses will no longer fulfill multiple themes.

by Danielle Nordine

Effective fall 2010, the University of Minnesota will change some liberal education requirements, although many of the changes will not affect current students, the University announced Tuesday. Every course offered under a theme and core was reevaluated, which resulted in some classes shifting. A new theme will be added and some of the category names will be changed. Under the new requirements, courses will no longer fulfill multiple themes, although they can still fulfill multiple requirements, such as a core and a writing intensive class. Classes are still being evaluated and may be added or dropped from lists, so current students may want to revisit their class plans, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education Robert McMaster said. The changes in classes that meet the requirements will be listed on APAS, One Stop and in University course catalogs. Classes offered during fall semester 2010 will be posted on One Stop on March 14. Classes currently approved under each theme and core are listed under the liberal education section of One Stop and will be updated as more classes are approved. A new theme called Technology and Society has been added to the list of requirements for students starting at the University in 2010, replacing one social science core class. âÄúI think the new theme will give students a better idea of how technology is affecting society and how society affects technology,âÄù said Phillip Barry, whose class, Overview of Computer Science, will be included under the new theme. Four categories have been changed to better reflect the goal of the theme or core, McMaster said. Citizenship and Public Ethics will become Civic Life and Ethics, Cultural Diversity will become Diversity and Social Justice in the United States, International Perspectives will change to Global Perspectives, and Other Humanities will be Arts/Humanities, according to information on One Stop. âÄúEvery decade or so, you really need to take a look at the requirements and see, based on the UniversityâÄôs curriculum, our idea of topics students should know about and societal changes, if they still fit,âÄù McMaster said. A review of the liberal education requirements began in 2006 when a group called the Council on Liberal Education was created to look into the classes, cores and themes, McMaster said. The council worked until 2008 to create the new requirements, which the University senate approved in 2008. Since then, the council has been evaluating classes. The goal of the council and revisions, McMaster said, was to clarify the requirements and make it clearer to students why they are necessary. âÄúWe needed to define better to the students why these [requirements] are important and why they need to go through the process of taking these courses,âÄù he said.