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Jan. 10, 2016
The Northwest Missouri State University Board of Regents during its regular meeting Dec. 17 approved a series of curriculum proposals that include a reconfiguration of the University’s general education curriculum, now called the Northwest Core.
Presenting the curriculum proposals to the Board, Provost Dr. Timothy Mottet emphasized the Northwest Core and explained a need to reframe how students and faculty perceive general education courses. The changes stem from Northwest’s ongoing strategic planning and a strategic initiative to offer a more comprehensive, integrated and exceptional student learning experience.
The reconfiguration arranges Northwest’s existing general education curriculum into three meta-groups. A foundations group will include courses in written and oral communication, mathematical reasoning and digital literacy; a contexts group consists of courses in global, western and American experiences; and a connections group includes courses in literature, fine arts and the sciences.
“We’re changing the narrative of general education on campus from something students have to endure to a dynamic and engaged experience that develops both transferable skills and a scaffolding for the coursework that follows,” Mottet said. “The big change to all of this is going to be connecting general education to co-curricular experiences, allowing students to develop soft skills as well as giving them the opportunity to apply problem solving and decision-making processes. Academic affairs and student affairs is partnering to develop students in a manner that allows them to graduate from Northwest with confidence and ready to make significant contributions to their families, communities and workplaces.”
In all, Mottet brought 96 curriculum proposals to the Board that he said map to the University’s strategic objectives. The proposals ranged from the creation, deletion or revision of programs to changes in course titles, credit hours and prerequisites.
Other curriculum changes include the addition of a master’s degree program in strategic communications in the School of Communication and Mass Media; the creation of bachelor’s degree programs in writing with professional writing and creative writing emphases in the Department of English and Modern Languages; and the replacement of a pre-requisite remediation math skills course with a co-requisite remediation model for general education mathematics courses in the Department of Mathematics Computer Science and Information Systems to align with national data and trends.
In other business
The Board heard the results of the University’s annual financial audit, conducted by accounting firm RubinBrown, LLP. The audit provided Northwest with an unmodified opinion and identified no material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in the University’s financial reporting.
The Board also approved revisions to the University’s policy regarding free expression on the campus. Prompted by the Missouri Legislature’s passing of the “Campus Free Expression Act,” the revisions bring campus policy and practice into compliance with state law.
The Board also approved faculty appointments for the spring trimester, the addition of a grant-funded part-time financial literacy coordinator in the TRIO Student Support Services program, and a modification to the 2016-2017 academic calendar that changes the 2016 Homecoming Walk-Out Day to Friday, Oct. 28.
The Board of Regents is responsible for sound resource management of the University and determining general, educational and financial policies.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468