Nov 062007
 
Authors: Aaron Hedge

Colorado’s 2004 legislative effort to ease transfer of credits between universities and colleges forced CSU to shuffle core requirements into different programs, one university official said Tuesday.

The state mandate required CSU to scramble and enhance classes that previously couldn’t be transferred to schools like CU-Boulder, where the curriculum for the same course is more rigorous.

The Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) push spawned a program called Colorado’s Guaranteed Transfer Program for Higher Education, or gtPathways, that took effect last year.

It requires schools to have a certain amount of credits for every academic area. For example, the new baseline requirement in the state for written communication is six credits to receive any undergraduate degree.

Before gtPathways was implemented, CSU only required students to complete three credits of written communication. Many applicants tested out of CSU’s 100-level course and didn’t even have to take a composition class.

CSU vice provost Alan Lamborn said the measure “didn’t work with particular wrinkles we had in our curriculum before, like logical and critical thinking and oral communication.”

The new state requirements, which impose a baseline of 31 state-imposed core credits on each student regardless of their major, make students in majors that previously required more than 31 core credits unable to fulfill the requirement set by the program in 120 credits.

So CSU had to move certain courses to different programs and, in some cases, create new courses from scratch.

Faculty Council meeting minutes say the university took logic and critical thinking, second language, U.S. and public values and health and wellness courses from CSU’s core curriculum and pooled the respective courses into the Arts and Humanities Department.

The university also took away the 100-level composition course applicants were testing out of, replacing it with an intermediate written communication class and an advanced writing class to fulfill new state requirements.

The university also moved all 200-level core curriculum courses to fulfill the Arts and Humanities category in the All University Core Curriculum (AUCC), which all CSU students must complete before graduating.

Oral communications will serve as core curriculum until fall 2008, when it will go to Arts and Humanities as well, the minutes said.

What this does, Lamborn said, is eliminate logic or speech class as a core requirement, making those courses only electives.

But Madlyn D’Andrea, assistant director of the Center for Advising and Student Achievement, said CSU ensured the changes will not affect student progress.

Every course that was struck from the AUCC requirements will still count as core credits for students who took the courses before the changes were made — before fall 2007.

“They grandfathered it in well,” she said. “They did a good job.”

Some of the classes would be missed as core curriculum, she said, but since students can still take them as electives, there will still be many course options to appeal to a variety of student interests.

Assistant News Editor Aaron Hedge can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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