Changing Curricular Times:
As alums you recall the Foundation Curriculum--Great Ideas I & II; four liberal studies courses, including a humanities or social sciences sequence; a course in every school; and a computing course among other things. Or rather you would have taken these courses, but we replaced most of them with Honors courses. Now, however, there is a new curriculum, the Common Experience Curriculum. It is quite a different curriculum. There are 6 knowledge areas to be covered instead of 6 liberal studies courses, a technology course, a professional experience requirement, 6 communication credits to be acquired, and a required first-year semester seminar. By the way, incoming students got to choose among four themes for their seminar (no GFI!). If you want to see Common Experience Curriculum in more detail, go to: http://www.clarkson.edu/common_experience/
As you can imagine, rethinking the Honors curriculum in terms of the Common Experience curriculum was quite a task. It took up a good bit of the fall, but most of the work is done now. The result will help students, because the typical Honors student will get more benefit in terms of courses replaced than you received. As importantly, we are doing much more work with communications than we have ever done before. But there will likely be one more change as well, another problem course. It would be a reconfigured version of HP101 and would focus on social problems and issues. Together with the problem-based MatLab modules in HP100 and HP101, this course should give us a much stronger foundation for the courses to come, both in terms of Honors and in terms of the many university courses that use MatLab now.
There remains one course we want to rethink and rework, HP300 the Science Seminar. It still does not count for something that benefits every student. Also, we continue to struggle with the seminar model for a scientific topic. So if you have any brainstorms, send them along. That is the course that will be the subject of our efforts next year, the focus of our annual quest for the new and improved Honors Program.