Post Classifieds

FYE courses no longer classified as INTD

By Christine Peterson
On March 1, 2012

First-Year Experience courses will no longer be designated as interdepartmental because of a small change to university senate by-laws.

Freshman one-credit First-Year Experience courses have long been called interdisciplinary, but the scholastic standards committee proposed that the classes be considered UNIV classes rather than interdepartmental classes.

These one-credit courses, however, did not fit the definition of INTD, which, according to the Scholastic Standards Committee report, is any course that "transcends any single discipline."

Freshman FYE courses do not come from departments and schools, so the Scholastic Standards Committee moved to change Section C2e of the bylaws to encompass this new distinction. Instead of "...for general education of all undergraduate schools and colleges and specific courses open to freshmen and sophomores," the revised text has become "the general education of all undergraduate schools and colleges, all UNIV courses, and specific courses open to freshmen and sophomores."

This distinction, according to the chairman of the committee Thomas Recchio, will impact nothing; the motion made only as a form of "housekeeping."

Because freshman first-year courses are not connected with any specific college, the teachers are not necessarily faculty instructors, instead, instructors with a special area of expertise, said Recchio.

Recchio also explained that while this change is more to clear up some gray areas, old questions were raised at the meeting, surrounding issues such as voluntary teaching.

"With the FYE courses, there's no credit for teaching them, it's voluntary," said Recchio.

This designation then between INTD and UNIV cleared some air around the subject.

"There was residual misunderstanding back some ways that gets raised when this issue comes onto the center floor," Recchio said.

Before, FYE courses were grouped together with specific department courses, following the same course-approval process. The problem with this was the lack of connection FYE courses had with the departments. The motion that passed on Monday will give UNIV courses their own course approval process, distinct from the colleges.

Now, UNIV courses will be "proposed by and administered by university units that report to the chief academic officer and are not academic departments," according to the report.

"They are separate but parallel," Recchio said.

While only three words were changed in the existing bylaws, this new division will help separate between INTD courses and the new UNIV courses, though this change will have little effect on the general student population.  


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