Possible Changes in Graduation Requirements Ahead

In a reflection seminar with students, which was among a slate of Martin Luther King Jr. events held at WCU in late January, Chancellor John Bardo made a call to students to become involved with community service. He stated that this should be a requirement for every major.

As the Chancellor put it, “it’s one thing to serve soup; it’s another to know why.”

So far, however, there are no definite plans to change the requirements for graduation. As part of Western Carolina’s new Quality Enhancement Program, the undergraduate Liberal Studies program is being reviewed, and this could eventually lead to some changes. Whether or not volunteer service will be an effect of the QEP on curriculum is still speculation, and students may see other variations in undergraduate programs as well.

No changes will be made for at least a year or two.

Also, any changes made to curriculum would not have an immediate effect on students who have already declared a major, unless they chose to implement those changes in their own course of study.

Associate Provost Beth Tyson-Lofquist explained the procedure in this way: “When a student declares his/her major, the requirements for graduation are reflected in that year’s catalog,” said Lofquist. “Unless a student chooses to move to a more recent catalog with different requirements, the requirements for graduation would not change for that student.

“In other words, the new graduation requirements would not be in effect for a student unless he/she declared their major under a catalog with the new requirements or chose to move to the catalog with new requirements.”

So students who are up for graduation in the next few years would not be required to adhere to the new policy. No changes in any major curriculum will be made without a vote from the Faculty Senate.

Students can continue to be informed about this issue (and many others) by checking out the minutes of Faculty Senate meetings at http://www.wcu.edu/facsenate/index.html.