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College Implements 4-Credit Hour System

New Academic Areas of Sustainability, Political Science and Special Education to Start This Fall

August 14, 2013

Angela Mitchell, associate professor of business administration, works with junior Corbin Hellwarth during the 2012-13 academic year. Beginning this fall, most courses will be four credit hours to increase the depth and breadth of the subject matter.

Angela Mitchell, associate professor of business administration, works with junior Corbin Hellwarth during the 2012-13 academic year. Beginning this fall, most courses will be four credit hours to increase the depth and breadth of the subject matter.

Students are experiencing wide-ranging changes in their academic curriculum designed to broaden their knowledge and skill sets.

Starting this fall semester, the College has implemented a four credit hour system and begun a new general education curriculum that utilizes infused skills.

Erika Goodwin, vice president for academic affairs, said these should ultimately make graduates more marketable as they embark upon careers.

“These two changes will allow students to take fewer courses during a semester yet go into more depth with each course,” she said, adding that the infused skills — oral communication, information literacy, critical thinking, writing and quantitative skills — are ones that employers report nationally are lacking in recent college graduates.

“These ‘soft skills,’ as they are called, are a critical piece to education that our faculty and administration believe are essential — I wholeheartedly agree,” she said.

WC’s required general education curriculum will place a greater focus on global awareness and the first year experience, the latter of which exposes students to success strategies for their transition from high school to college.

This year the College also has started new majors in political science and special education (K-3), and a sustainability minor. New faculty hires in English, sport management, special education and mathematics will “enhance” these programs, she said.

The College is phasing out its Graduate Education program in response to new state regulations that no longer require a master’s degree for public school teachers. WC will continue to offer select graduate courses. It’s new undergraduate special education offering will start with a focus on training early childhood intervention specialists.

Looking to the future, Goodwin sees a potential for adding more concentrations in agriculture, as well as looking at master’s level programs in agriculture and the allied health field.

“I think there are many good things in store for the College,” she said, noting that her own personal evolution — from WC student to adjunct instructor, to tenured faculty member to senior level administrator — is a testament to the “truly transformative” experience Wilmington offers its students.