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Changes to LAS Courses Scheduled to Begin Next Semester

By Ryan Ellis
On April 24, 2017

Photo by: Ashley Alonzo 

First-Year Seminar, Research Techniques and Technology, Intermediate Writing and Group Problem Solving (Senior Core) have been completely revamped, and the changes begin next semester.

For the past few years, many students have expressed their less-than-positive review of the Liberal Arts Studies curriculum, focusing heavily on the faults of Group Problem Solving. Some students said that the capstone LAS course did not effectively reach what its intended goal was: To accurately express the liberal arts skillset that should result from eight semesters of undergraduate studies.

Ottawa University students also heavily criticized the Research Techniques and Technology course. Not every major requires the course to graduate, and the majors that do require it did not establish a time when each student must complete it.

Many students were either left with no database skills or those skills were developed too far into their college career when they should have been used in research papers throughout their experience.

Another critique from the student body was the lack of knowledge of the requirements of their major. Most students rely exclusively on their Adawe adviser to discuss their major requirements, but the students themselves have no clear understanding on what courses they must complete to graduate.

All of these complaints are now addressed with the new course changes.

Instead of taking a First Year Seminar, freshmen and transfer students will take an eight-week pass/fail LAS course called “Seminar: Orientation to the Academy,” where students will be introduced to important tools to use throughout their time at Ottawa University.

Intermediate Writing and Research Techniques and Technology are being replaced by a course called “Writing in the Disciplines,” a three-credit-hour seminar that focuses on teaching students how to access the online databases and rudimentary writing skills that will aid them as they experience college.

Group Problem Solving is being replaced with various capstone courses that will be co-taught. The new liberal arts capstone requirement will be a three-credit-hour course, instead of the five that was available for Senior Core.

For the students that have planned to use the five credit hours offered from Senior Core, that option still exists. There will still be opportunities for students to enroll in Senior Core for the credit requirement, but any new students entering the program next semester will be required to enroll in the new LAS required courses.

The final change to the LAS program at Ottawa University is the requirement to complete two physical activity courses. Students may enroll in physical activity courses at their leisure, but it is no longer required in order to graduate.

If any of these changes will impact your schedule, make sure to discuss your academic plan with your Adawe adviser as soon as possible. They can walk you through the new program and help you develop a potential plan of attack for your academic future. 

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