Dean Lake Lambert announced on Monday a sweeping round of changes to Mercer's general education curriculum for fall 2012, including replacing First Year Seminar and Senior Capstone classes with new interdisciplinary classes, lowering core requirements and adding new writing courses.
The new curriculum – called the Integrated Learning Program – will replace the courses previously known as FYS and SCP with a new set of classes called INT, which stands for interdisciplinary studies.
INT will cover similar topics of self-composition and community engagement as FYS and SCP, and will include an experiential component called INT-X.
The new curriculum also will reduce the amount of core credits needed for CLA students to graduate from 50 hours to 40 hours, Lambert said. Students will then be allowed to replace the extra 10 previously required hours with courses of their choice.
Student body president Trenton White said the new curriculum is not intended as a way to lower Mercer's standards, but rather as an opportunity to offer students a broader range of choice.
"The new coursework will just allow students to take more classes in their respective majors or elect to take other classes they find interesting," White said.
The changes to the curriculum will also require students to take three new writing courses, Lambert said.
“We hope that our renewed focus on writing instruction will help bring more focus to this area and will renew focus on how to teach faculty to teach students how to write,” Lambert said.
The new requirements will not affect current students, who will be grandfathered in under the new curriculum, Lambert said.
The Integrated Learning Program will also have no effect on existing University programs such as Great Books, UNV, preceptorship, Peer Advising and study abroad.
For more on this developing story, read next week's Cluster, or check back in at www.mercercluster.com for updates.
*Story updated March 1 to provide greater clarity.