Faculty Say “Yes” to the New Curriculum

Brendan W. Clark ’21

Managing Editor

The faculty of Trinity College passed a significant revision to the undergraduate curriculum at the Faculty Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12, including the creation of a new distinction in credits between “academic” and “co-curricular.” The curriculum passed with 126 in favor, 6 in opposition, and 3 in abstention and will require 32 academic credits, 3 co-curricular credits, and a wellness requirement for graduation. The new system will be effective for the Class of 2025.

Under the new system, academic credits would include courses with the designations of “ART, HUM, NAT, NUM, and SOC,” together with First-Year Seminars, Gateway courses, and department/programmatic academic internships. Co-Curricular credits would include approved teaching assistantships, peer-teaching, first year mentorships, and short-term study away options such as J-term. Co-curricular credits may also be earned for paid or unpaid internships, summer research, and fellowships. To satisfy the wellness requirement, students will complete four “wellness experiences,” including two before the end of their sophomore year.

The curricular revision also seeks to afford opportunity for innovation, with a process in place for departments or programs to propose “3-credit, integrated experiences,” which will provide students with “experiential certificates” upon their successful completion.

Another significant change is the addition of “Honors in Liberal Arts,” to be awarded to those students “who graduate with a minimum 3.667 GPA in each of two majors” in different academic divisions.

The proposal also includes a provision that issues of faculty workload will be revisited by an “implementation and oversight subcommittee” two years after the program is implemented. The revised proposal does not make any changes to the College’s foundational and distribution requirements, though the proposal’s rationale does indicate that the Committee will “be considering the rationales of all these requirements over the coming year.”

The Tripod spoke with Interim Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sonia Cardenas, who added that “we are grateful to the Curriculum Committee and the faculty for their thoughtful work and commitment. It’s a distinctive, forward-looking curriculum that advances our mission and prepares students for the future.”

The Tripod previously reported on the changes in an Oct. 1 article. The full proposal, together with the rationale, will also be available on the Tripod’s website.

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