Core requirements, including focal studies, are currently under review by a group of faculty members.
Their goal, according to Interim Dean Mike Geraci, is to find alternative requirements that are more closely aligned with Pacific University values.
“We explored other universities and their curriculum inside and outside of the conference,” Geraci said.
Geraci also added that he likes the idea of a having a requirement that encourages personal health and exercise.
This could be something where students are required to take human performance classes.
“The faculty voted on Sept. 15 to form a task force of faculty and staff of four to five people to figure out what to do to the core to improve it and make it easier on students,” Geraci said. “And we are almost certain that means changing focal studies.”
He gave various examples of what focal studies could change to, but they have not yet decided.
Some ideas that have been floating around are getting rid of focal studies, having students’ do one focal study, or having a minor count as a focal study.
Over the summer, a group of faculty including Geraci, were tasked with studying the core requirements of 20 schools, inside and outside of the conference, to compile a report that can be used to improve upon the university’s core requirements.
“Focal studies is one of those areas that is unique to Pacific [because] we came up with it 10 years ago and it didn’t play out as well as it could have for various reasons,” Geraci said. “The main reason is students aren’t getting out of them what we really hoped.”
Geraci said the task force has found many models that other schools use that he believes could be implemented at Pacific.
An idea that Geraci shared was similar to focal studies, but instead of six total classes, there would be four.
The four classes would encompass the same main idea but look at the topic from a different mode of inquiry.
While these are all great ideas, Geraci urged that this process would take time and is not something that can happen over night.