Major changes made to minors

Pending a decision by the Academic Policy Committee (APC), Course Connections could be adopted as potential minors for Ohio Wesleyan students.

According to the Course Connection (CCs) website, CCs are “cross­divisional networks of courses organized around common themes.”

Philosophy professor Erin Flynn, director of the CCs program, explained that when first created, “in the broadest sense, the program’s goal was to advance cross­divisional knowledge and interaction among students and faculty.”

Professor Anne Sokolsky, director of the “Silk Road” CC, stated that the program originally “came out of an interest to make our general education requirements have some rhyme and reason to them, so that students aren’t just taking a literature course because they have to, but taking a literature course and a science course and a social science course and having some sort of sense of a flow, or an interconnectedness.”

While the core goal of connecting courses still remains, Flynn said the university has recently been considering changes to the program because “student understanding of and participation in the CCs remain too low, relative to the resources the university has been putting into the program.”

Changing CCs into minors would ideally increase student participation in the program by placing a more formal academic emphasis on CCs. When asked about the reason behind the changes, Sokolsky mirrored Flynn’s explanation, informing that, according to student feedback, “when you [as a faculty member involved in a CC] do call out and say ‘Do you want to go on this trip?’

or ‘Do you want to go to a lecture?’ if the student has ten thousand things to do, even if they want to do it, they just can’t.”

As to the likelihood of actual changes to the program, Professor Chris Fink, one of the faculty contacts for the “Food” CC, noted that “there have been discussions about new minors in various areas, but it’s really important to point out that it has all been discussion at this point.”

Flynn similarly commented, “An advisory group has made recommendations to the Academic Policy Committee regarding how the program might be transformed, but what will be done with the recommendations is up to APC.”


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