By DANIEL PINEDA
Amarillo College’s First-Year Seminar class, EDUC 1100, is changing. AC officials say the curriculum changes will help prepare students for life after graduation.
Becky Burton, the associate vice president of academic learning, said: “that this course has always been updated to meet the needs of students.” Successful schools have to learn to adapt to new situations and ideas, to be able to be the best that they can be, she said. “FYS was originally a study skills-based course, but what we have found out over the years is that students need opportunities to do more career-related research and exploration. So, over the last year, it has transitioned to a career-focused course.” She also added that they are “still including some skill-based learning skills.”
One of the opportunities students in this class will learn is the skill of computer coding. “Exposing all students to the idea of coding is a goal AC has set for our 2025 strategic plan. At this time, we are still exploring coding and adding it to the curriculum, and how it will be embedded into FYS is still under consideration,” Burton said. With technology becoming more intertwined within different careers, students will have to learn about how it works, and how they can use that knowledge within their chosen career path. Burton said she hopes that “it gives all students a baseline of what technology will look like in their chosen field of study.”
Burton said all changes in the class will be based on preparing students for the future. “We will use our partnerships with various industries, and local career data to help inform our decisions on how and what we implement in our course.”
Amy Pifer, the first-year experience coordinator, said that changes for FYS are coming, but as of this moment, things are still a work in progress. “I think the first initiative with FYS is that it becomes an institutional requirement for all degree programs. That’s the first thing that happened this fall,” Pifer said. She also added that “The course was a redesign, to a more education-focused career versus a study skills college prep kind of course. It became more of a kind of self-efficacy course that solidified the educational pathway and personal growth.”
Pifer said adding coding to the curriculum will make the class even more helpful to the students. “We’ll be writing, and looking at our part in meeting the strategic plan of every student having a coding background of sorts, or on their curriculum at Amarillo College. That way they have an understanding of coding when they leave Amarillo College,” Pifer said.