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Cassie Michel (‘20): Junior representative for the Curriculum Revision Task Force

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Welcome to the “Senate says” column. This column is intended as a platform for students to learn about the different commitees in our Student Senate, and interact with our student governance.

I am a junior class representative on student senate. One of the opportunities I have had from being in student senate is to be a student representative on the Curriculum Revision Task Force. Objective one of the strategic plan for Luther College is to “reinvent the curriculum to inspire and prepare students to solve grand challenges.” A part of this goal is revising the all-college requirements, or general education requirements, which is what the CRTF has been tasked with doing.

The last time a major revision to the curriculum occurred was about 10 years ago. In 10 years, our society and world has changed and it is important to revise our curriculum to adjust for the changing world.

During the sit-in last year, suggestions for institutional change involved adding requirements for social justice. Revising the curriculum gives Luther the chance to change these requirements. In addition to myself, the members of the CRTF are Noor Bibi (‘21), Andi Beckendorf (‘93), Professor of English Martin Klammer, Professor of Sociology Char Kunkel, Assistant Professor of Biology Dawn Reding, Associate Professor of German and Director of Student Honors and Fellowships Elizabeth Steding, and Assistant Professor of Education and Coordinator for Music Education Jill Wilson.

The process for curriculum revision is complex. As a task force, our goals are to streamline the curriculum and create a curriculum where it is easier to see the connections between classes and disciplines.

Our task force started by looking at institutional data to see how our current curriculum is performing, comparing our curriculum to peer institutions, researching new and innovative curriculum models, and looking at Luther’s goals for student learning compared to peer institutions.

We talked with Paul Hanstedt (‘88), who works in revising curriculum and has helped other institutions through this process. Some of the faculty members also attended a conference about college general education where they learned from other institutions who recently completed this process. We created faculty, staff, and student surveys to get input, opinions, and ideas from members of the community.

Based on the work we have done, we realized in order to do a quality revision of the curriculum while remaining in conversation with the community, the process will take longer than expected.

Recently, we have been discussing what should be guiding the curriculum, or the “why” behind the curriculum. It is important to have guiding principles, values, or ideas to build the curriculum off of. We looked at the Norse Creed to see who students want to be and what they value.

Faculty have been engaging in discussion about what should guide the curriculum. In the future, we will be looking at Luther’s learning goals and will consider aligning them to the AACU guidelines while adjusting them to match the values of Luther. We value and appreciate feedback, and you can email me at [email protected] with any questions comments or concerns, and I will pass it on to the CRTF.

Signed,

Cassie Michel (‘20)

Junior Representative for the Curriculum Revision Task Force

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