Students were invited to discuss block classes and major requirements with TU faculty.
The University of Tulsa is currently undergoing an initiative to evaluate its core curriculum, which is comprised of the block class system and general education like the English, math and freshman experience classes.
Last Wednesday, an open forum was held in Helmerich Hall for undergraduate students to discuss their own experiences with TU’s curriculum, as well as to offer any feedback on what they would like to see modified or improved.
According to Rick Arrington, Assistant Dean of the Collins College of Business, the committee has met with students two times prior in the semester. It began its audit of TU’s curriculum over the summer and hopes for the process to be done within two years.
The participants at Wednesday’s forum, which was comprised of students from all four academic years, spoke non-stop through the hour-and-a-half session. They stressed that they wished to get “skills necessary for my career,” “interpersonal relationships” and “exposure to different fields of knowledge” out of their TU experience.
Many of the students expressed dissatisfaction with ENG-1033, saying that it failed to provide the adequate research skills that the course is intended to provide. Most were of the opinion that AP English classes in high school did a better job of preparing students for the rigor of research in college. Writing for the Professions was also criticized for providing essential skills (such as resume and email writing) too late in the college experience.
The block courses were generally praised for helping to provide a well-rounded education, but several students voiced their desire for the classes to be entirely optional, or at least GPA-exempt. One said that “students are trying to find the most efficient way to finish their degree,” and blocks prove to be an inhibitor in that regard.
Finally, Arrington stressed that the committee desired to create a “shared experience” on campus, something that most students would be able to look back on at their TU experience as a highlight. Some proposed ideas included a second orientation weekend for upperclassmen and a mandatory course that would involve interaction with the Tulsa community.