As some Gonzaga students continue to prepare for their registration day by anxiously creating more than a few schedule options, they might see some new class options lingering around ZagWeb to take a look at. 

“Curricular changes are a dynamic and necessary part of academic offerings to ensure that the students’ educational experience prepares them for their many paths after graduation as much as possible,” Associate Vice President Jolanta Weber said. “In addition, it is especially important to ensure alignment with the institution’s mission.” 

Each new class, program or degree is taken through an approval process. The first step is the curriculum committee which reviews the items being proposed and gathers the signatures and the approval from the departments and the corresponding dean. After that, the academic council approves the documents. 

 “The creation and offering of the academic curriculum of the university is entrusted to the faculty,” Weber said. “In other words, the faculty, given their expertise and role in the academy, are in the best position to guide and create our academic offerings.” 

A newer minor that appeared in the integrated media department is visual literacy, a program that began in fall 2018. 

“We understood that film and photography are becoming more and more prevalent in professional fields across the spectrum,” assistant professor Matt McCormick said. “Plus, we believe film and photography can serve as a valuable tool in the pursuit of social justice.” 

The minor circles around film and photography, and while it may sound exciting, students should not forget to come prepared to work hard. 

“We design courses to better equip our students to succeed both as people and professionals, and to create opportunities and tools for students to pursue Gonzaga’s mission of social justice,” McCormick said. “We understand that it is often the more difficult and challenging courses that truly prepare students for success after college.” 

Coming into the modern languages department is a limited offer to the 2019-2020 academic year: Irish Gaelic. The class will be taught by the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Deirdre Murphy and it fulfills the College of Arts and Science language requirement. 

In the religion department, students who have been wanting to enrich themselves in a variety of religions may have gotten their wish. 

“Students have expressed a desire to have more diversity in terms of course offerings,” Department Chair of Religious Studies Kevin McCruden said. “We now offer classes like Buddhism, Islam, Interreligious Dialogue, Native American Religions, African Traditional Religions, etc., in an effort to round out our traditional Judeo-Christian and theological offerings.”

The academic council sends out a newsletter with the curriculum changes published in them. Other departments with new classes are leadership, philosophy, chemistry, nursing, environmental science, political science, psychology, English, civil engineering, human physiology and criminology. 

“We want our students to find Gonzaga’s course offerings to be of interest and also to meet our students’ educational goals,” Weber said. “The faculty do an amazing job of balancing their desire to offer courses that will also prepare them for the next phase in their lives, and to do so within the context of Gonzaga’s liberal arts core and overall mission.”

Jordan Gonzalez is a contributor.

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