University Academic Senate votes in favor of theme reduction

University Academic Senate votes in favor of theme reduction

Anya Zentmeyer

Grand Valley University State students graduating fall of 2011 and beyond will benefit from a reduction in the number of courses – three to two – to fulfill the GVSU theme requirement.

“The theme requirement has benefited students over the years through its three multi-disciplinary, innovative courses,” said Provost Gayle Davis, vice president of academic affairs. “However, its implementation has been difficult at a scale required for a university of Grand Valley’s size. Not only students but also the academic departments have had challenges in scheduling the full three-course series. This change was made to continue to offer the benefits of the themes while mitigating the challenges of course scheduling.”

Maria Cimitile, academic program and development officer, said the reduction in the theme requirement is all part of GVSU’s attempt at restructuring general education in the best way to deliver knowledge and skills students need as a part of the core liberal education component of their degree.

“The major change under consideration is a shift in focus to the skills that we know are critical to the 21st C global world,” Cimitile said. “This differs somewhat from the current themes program, and we look forward to a revision that helps students improve their skills that we know they need to enter graduate school or employment.”

Although the change was made quickly to accommodate the March 21 registration deadline, Cimitile said the decision to alter the general education program was well received by faculty, staff and students.

Cimitile said that registration, financial aid and MyPath will include reminders about the change.

She said in addition, any students for whom the change in theme requirement causes a hardship should contact the provost’s office by phone at 616-331-2400 or by e-mail at [email protected].

[email protected]