Intro English requirements subject to change for Fall 2006

Maureen Nagg

The English department hopes to change the structure of introductory English courses required for graduation by Fall 2006.

Discussions on redesigning the English requirement took place at an Educational Policies Council meeting yesterday. The department hopes to change the courses English 10001 and 10002, each currently a semester long, into year-long courses.

“We want to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the instruction of these courses,” said English department Chairman Ron Corthell on why he wants to lengthen the courses.

If the changes are made, students will be with the same class and instructor for the entire year. The credit hours for the two courses would also change. Each is now three credits, and they would be changed to four. The total English credits required for graduation would go from six to eight hours.

With the added credit hour, Corthell wants technology to be incorporated into the curriculum.

“Technology is relevant to writing in this century, and we need to adapt to that need,” Corthell said.

The department plans to enforce use of WebCT among instructors and students and work with the library, the Writing Center and Moulton Hall to enhance the technological environment within its courses.

Some members of the Educational Policies Council raised concern about increased credit hours.

“I worry that students in schools such as the College of Fine and Professional Arts, that need many hours to graduate, will have a hard time completing this requirement,” said Thomas Janson, professor and assistant director of the School of Music.

John Ackerman, associate professor in the English department, said lengthening the instruction process will have a greater impact on the learning ability of students.

The current required English curriculum has been in place for 12 years and is in need of revamping, according to the department.

“The current curriculum is a horizontal process spread out over one year,” said Ackerman. “We feel a vertical program extending four years would be the best way to improve the writing program at

Kent State.”

The English department plans to conduct meetings with students to get their point of view on the proposed changes. Ackerman said the council is still in the process of showing other departments the English department’s proposal as well.

Contact College of Arts and Sciences reporter Maureen Nagg at [email protected].