Changing curriculum

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Amarillo College is undergoing a core curriculum change. The proposal that AC submits will take effect in fall 2014.

The core curriculum is a set of educational goals that focuses on making sure all students using it will learn set material tied to age and grade levels.

Core curriculum is mandated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

“The THECB gives colleges some freedom to decide its core curriculum, but they also prescribe requirements,” said Dr. Daniel Ferguson, an associate professor and chairman of the English department.

Each institution’s core curriculum applies to all academic degrees. They range from 42 to 48 credit hours, depending on the college or university. Students who later transfer to a Texas college or university will be able to transfer credit hours of core curriculum, and those hours must be accepted.

“The THECB recently decided that the core curriculum be more responsive to students in the 21st century,” said Dr. Lana Jackson, chairwoman and professor of First Year Experience.

AC’s proposal includes reducing science by two hours. Students currently are required to take eight hours of natural science credits; the change would be to six hours for non-science majors. Physical education no longer would be required.

Under the proposal, students would be required to take EDUC 1300-001 – FYS – Learning Framework.

The class carries three credit hours. It teaches students study skills and shows how to be more effective and efficient learners.

Students still would have their choice of courses from the foundational component areas. Certain core objectives would be required to be taught, and some would remain optional.

Objectives such as critical thinking and communication skills would be required in all core curriculum subjects.

For more information, go to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board website

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