As befits a liberal arts college, the Colorado College curriculum is intended to prepare students to work outside of their comfort zones after graduation. Because the world is rapidly becoming a conglomerate of global cultures and peoples, future citizens of this world must be prepared to engage with peoples and situations with which they are not familiar. The redesigned CC curriculum aims to provide students with cross-disciplinary educational experiences outside of their majors.
The new plan will take a holistic approach to critically interpreting the modern world. Currently, the Curriculum Executive Committee, which consists of four tenured faculty, three untenured faculty, the directors of the Writing Center and First-Year Experience program, the dean, the Provost, and three current students, is working to address which classes or topics would be included in the redesigned CC curriculum.
At the end of Block 3, the student representatives of the CEC proposed a tentative framework for a redesigned curriculum to the CC faculty: six classes titled “Learning Across the Liberal Arts.” These are intended to help incoming students understand the vastness of a liberal arts education and discover different ways to procure knowledge. The tentative framework is divided across four categories, explained below:
• CC100, a first-year critical inquiry seminar which provides a foundation for the courses that students will take for the new CC all-college requirements; these inquiry or problem-driven seminars will be grounded in the discipline of the faculty who will be teaching the course.
• CC120, a writing class that will be taught to all first-years during Block 2.
• Power and Equity, a two-block category which includes one block focused on the U.S. and the other focused on a global topic/area.
• Language, two blocks of the same language.
However, the votes will not be cast and amendments will not be made on the proposal until at least next semester. This is because many students and faculty want to wait until Dr. Roger L. Worthington’s “External Review on Racism and Anti-Racism at Colorado College” is completed and its results are available to inform positive curricular changes.
Even without the delay, adoption of a new curriculum is not a rapid process. Any changes will take months to verify; after their implementation, it will take many years for students and faculty alike to adjust. The redesigned CC curriculum will call for faculty to create new courses; then departments have to approve these new courses; and finally, faculty must publish these new courses on Banner. Then, once these new courses are implemented in the CC course schedule, the process of peer reviewing and altering these courses to better align to the framework will take many years.
Zac Schulman, Student Body President encourages the CC community to be patient and continue persevering in the process of redesigning the school’s curriculum.
“[The curriculum changes are] something that we should never lose sight of,” Schulman said, “We should never lose sight of how the new curriculum is preparing students at CC for the world after college. At a liberal arts school, the motive should be to keep students as dynamic as the world that they are entering and equipped with the tools to face it. We often think of college as a sort of intellectual gym to train the mind, but there are other sorts of ways that college prepares you for the world. Being thoughtful in the way that we design this new curriculum is important because the problems that students are grappling with after and in college are large and complex.”