LA series to see change

As part of Baker University’s general education program, professors are beginning to send in proposals for pilot classes that will substitute for LA 101 and LA 102.

Associate Professor of Psychology Marc Carter said these classes will each have a special topic which will be left up to the professors teaching them, and will introduce and build written and oral communication skills as well as critical thinking, forming arguments and ethical principles.

Associate Professor of French Erin Joyce said these classes will teach a list of skills that all first-year students should know and be able to do.

Carter said Baker students are good writers and speakers, but these classes should help advance that.

“We want to continue that, but we’d like to make it better,” he said.

The General Education Task Force hopes these classes will one day be a permanent part of the general education program, but will serve next year as a gauge to see how well the classes serve their purpose.

“You want to make sure you don’t ruin what you already have,” Carter said.

Joyce said students will be able to take a class that matches their interests.

Freshman Loryn Walrod said the substitutes for LA 101 sound a little too much like the FY classes currently offered to freshmen, but thinks the substitute for LA 102 will work a lot better than what currently is being offered because students do so much writing.

“You don’t get to really enjoy what you’re learning,” Walrod said.

Joyce said she wouldn’t have room in her schedule to teach a class in the fall, but has considered teaching one in the spring. She said she likes the idea of focusing on the ethics of globalization.

Walrod said the biggest downfall to these classes could be that students wouldn’t be able to take a course that interests them if it’s scheduled at a bad time.

Carter said a maximum of 10 pilot classes will be scheduled for next year, and these classes will be interchangeable with LA 101 and LA 102, so students who take one of the pilot classes in the fall will still be able to take LA 102 in the spring.

Joyce said the faculty seems excited about teaching these new courses and many have shown interest in teaching them. At least three professors have already turned in proposals. The task force will be taking proposals until May 4.