January 26, 2012
Writer: Hayden Coombs
At the recent General Faculty Meeting, Bruce Kusch outlined a three phase process on rethinking the curriculum design at BYU-Idaho, which will be implemented over the coming years.
The first phase of this process will consist of repackaging the existing curriculum. New degree options that will be available to all students will include: a Standard Degree, an Integrated Standard Degree, a Specialized Degree, or the Interdisciplinary Studies Degree
The Interdisciplinary Studies Degree is an innovative option for students looking to prepare themselves for entrance into a specific field or specialized post-graduate program. It will focus on 30-36 credit concentrations that will prescribed by each department. Overtime, the Interdisciplinary Studies Degree will replace the University Studies Degree.
In an interview with Brother Kusch, he said, "One thing that gets us really excited about phase one is the Interdisciplinary Studies Degree, which will provide students with a level of flexibility to customize their degree in a way that will better prepare them for post-BYU-Idaho careers and graduate school."
For example, with this new Interdisciplinary Studies Degree, a student who wanted to go to medical school could plan a pre-professional approach by taking courses in a concentration designed to satisfy all of the required pre-requisites.
The primary outcomes of this three phase process focuses on: student learning and improving the quality of the student experience, increasing consistency in degree and program offerings and introducing greater modularity into the curriculum, fostering the academic self-reliance of students by reducing specified and required hours and giving them more flexibility in creating their own academic experience, effectively transitioning from a teaching center to a learning center approach in curriculum design, and reducing the number of accumulated credit hours upon graduation.
For more information on the new degree options and Brother Kusch's presentation, you can follow this link to his slide show.