Graduation requirements continue

There will be changes in the liberal arts exit graduation requirements beginning fall 2002. But the Faculty Senate did not approve all of the proposals the Undergraduate Council recommended to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee regarding exit course requirements. And this may affect some students planning to graduate in December.

The Faculty Senate, however, did approve the proposal allowing students seeking a second baccalaureate degree exemption from one of the major works/major issues exit requirements.

But the Faculty Senate rejected the proposal creating a university-wide standard for the major works/major issues graduation requirement. The proposal suggested eliminating one of the major works/major issues exit requirements now needed for graduation in some colleges. Other colleges, such as engineering and education, only need one major works/major issues exit course for graduation.

Students planning to graduate in December, who may have opted not to register for their final exit requirement believing the Faculty Senate would approve the proposals, will not be penalized, said Curtis Wienker, associate dean for Undergraduate Studies.

“Undergraduate Studies has delegated authority to colleges to allow students to graduate in December if this is the only requirement they are lacking,” Wienker said.

Wienker said the exemption would only be for students who have already applied for graduation this December and are only missing one of their major works/major issues courses needed to graduate because they were anticipating the Senate’s approval of the changes.

“This is a one-time-only thing,” Wienker said.According to a statement from Wienker, the information about the proposed changes was given to students last August “because if the proposals were approved, hundreds of students may have come forward later in the fall requesting drops of exit courses they would no longer need to graduate, and tuition refunds.”

Historically, the Faculty Senate has acted positively on proposals from the Undergraduate Council, and the information about the possible exemptions was made available to students during fall registration, Wienker said

“This is the first time, to my knowledge, that a recommendation of the university Undergraduate Council was not approved by the Faculty Senate,” Wienker said.

Faculty Senate president Gregory Paveza said the heart of the half-hour debate on this issue was the need for students to receive a broad-based education.

Paveza said not only should students be well-trained in their discipline but also in other areas.

“We focused on the belief that we have an obligation to students who graduate from USF,” Paveza said. “They should receive an education targeted to enhance critical thinking.”

While the Faculty Senate decided not to change the exit course standards, Paveza said the discussion did spark further debate about general education requirements.

Paveza said general education requirements had not been evaluated in the past ten years and the Faculty Senate may be reviewing general course requirements during the next year.

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