Graphic courtesy of: Linda Lockhart
Mar 9, 2011
A significant Quarters to Semesters transition milestone was achieved at the end of February. All binders, which contain the curriculum for programs in semesters, have been approved by academic units and the University Curriculum Council (UCC) or are in the queue for review and approval.
With each approval completed, the University is one step nearer to a complete overview of what curriculum will look like in the new academic calendar and how current offerings will translate to semesters. A quick preview of OHIO curriculum in semesters, by the numbers, includes nearly 8,000 courses offered at Ohio University’s six campuses spanning general education, introductory and advanced disciplinary courses, graduate courses, electives, independent studies, education abroad and tutorials.
Rising to the original challenge presented by the Quarters to Semesters Transition Team, departments have taken the transition as an opportunity for comprehensive review and revision of curriculum. The effort has included streamlining the list of majors, reducing the total by almost 25 percent. The reduction is a result of combining some existing majors and discontinuing others—many of which have been dormant for a while.
“Holistic changes” have been noted for 33 programs. Journalism, for example, has made major changes that introduce a great deal more flexibility for students.
“Our industry today demands that graduates have a broader skill set,” said Bob Stewart, director of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.
Instead of a specific focus in one area, such as print or broadcast journalism, the industry expects employees to provide news and information for use in a variety of media, Stewart explained. The changes to the journalism curriculum, which have been approved by UCC, will give journalism students choices that allow them to pursue areas of particular interest while helping them prepare for a career in a changing industry.
“If we had not been changing to semesters we might have tackled the changes in a different way,” Stewart said, describing a more gradual transition. The more aggressive approach was a decision resulting from the transition to semesters. “We decided if we’re going to do this, let’s do it right.”
Final approval of binders is anticipated at the April UCC meeting.