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Majors see change

February 24, 2012

In the four months since Monmouth College faculty voted to adopt the 4-4 calendar, departments have proposed amended majors to the curriculum committee. Since then, the committee has reviewed the over 30 revised majors and made suggestions. According to Dean of the Faculty David Timmerman, the new majors will be announced and ready in time for class registration later this spring.

“We are now about to have schedules planned out and submitted,” said Timmerman.

As part of the change, departments have completely eliminated some classes and replaced them with courses that focus on topics from varying past classes while throwing in new information.

“In some cases, they [the departments] found that their courses could not be adapted and it would be better to just create new ones,” said Timmerman.

As a result, over 16 new courses have been proposed and approved by the faculty at their meetings for the past few months. Since December, the faculty has approved 27 new courses to better correlate with the 4-4 system.

The biggest change course-wise will come from the education department. Eight of the 27 new courses are within the education department. While every major had to be reformed to fit into the 4-4 system, the education department is also regulated by the Illinois State Board of Education, which mandated new policies that every college that has an education program will have to adhere by to continue granting teacher certification.

“We decided we can do both of these at the same time,” said Craig Vivian, chair of the education department.

Vivian describes the new structure as a double helix, where students will participate in on-site practicum while taking classes and that the two would relate to each other.

“Now, when you take that course,” Vivian said, speaking hypothetically, “you’re going to go in to the school and work with children.”

Furthermore, the department plans to have elementary education majors only take education classes during their senior year. Furthermore, he said that students would spend their mornings in the schools, observing and student teaching, and come back to campus in the afternoon to talk about what they experienced earlier in the day.

“That’s our guiding narrative for this,” said Vivian, “our guiding light.”

As part of this process, the faculty also added exercise science as a major and changed the name of the “physical education” department to “kinesiology.” In proposing the major, three courses were also created, EXSC225, Exercise Physiology, EXSC251, Functional Anatomy, and EXSC351, Exercise Programming and Performance.

“What I’ve been seeing is a lot of students interested in sports and exercise,” said Sean Schumm, an assistant professor in the kinesiology department, in a press release. “They want to get into performance training or to train athletes or to prepare for advanced schooling in other health-related professions. Now, these students will be able to use a major in exercise science at Monmouth to get the background they need.”

As Monmouth continues transitioning to the 4-4 calendar system, Timmerman said the college would continue to work with students to ensure they are able to make the transition successfully.

“We see this as a change that’s positive for the students,” said Timmerman, “and we’re committed to working with the students during transition.”

Andrew Drea


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