General Education vote held off until fall

Christa Kelly, Staff Writer

The finalization of Augsburg’s new general education requirements a project that has been underway for over two and a half years will likely be finalized and voted on next fall.

The announcement comes after the faculty senate members elected not to hold a non-binding straw poll to determine the current attitude towards the proposal.

Professor Jacqueline deVries, a lead designer of the new requirements, says that this decision will have both positive and negative ramifications. Her team was hoping that the vote would give them further insight. “We need to know before we sink any more time and resources into [the proposal].”

But the faculty senate was hesitant. They were concerned that staff would think of it as “binding,” deVries explained. They decided it would be better not to hold a mock vote and instead push the final vote to the fall, giving faculty “more time to mull this over.” In lieu of the straw poll, a survey will be sent to faculty next week to “elicit an idea of where we’re at in terms of support.”

In the meantime, deVries helps to use the extra five months to refine the proposal. She expects the final draft to be released in September or October, with a formal vote following the next month.

“Changing curriculum is a really long and complicated process,” she said. “We have polled everybody. We basically know what their opinions are, and now we need people who are willing to work.”

The changes that deVries is hoping to make before releasing the second draft include using “less broad language,” specifically in sections determining the guidelines for what courses meet requirements.

But the long wait will be worth it. DeVries believes that the final proposal will create “a curriculum that is both distinctive to Augsburg and transfer-friendly.”

Adult Undergraduate students will also likely see changes under the new system. “Augsburg was a leader in offering educational opportunities for adults,” deVries says. “We need some changes to build that program back up.” She is hoping to have a group work over the summer to design a parallel curriculum for the AU completion program.

This article was originally published in the April 12, 2019 issue.