The University of Utah may overhaul its undergraduate education by embracing universitywide requirements that replace the current requirements for bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees.
The possible changes are included in a report by the U. Undergraduate Cabinet that was given to the U. Institutional Council Monday.Representatives of the Undergraduate Cabinet, which was established in 1987 to study undergraduate education, said a year of data gathering, discussions and hearings will be undertaken before an attempt is made to implement any of the recommendations. The cabinet includes deans of the U. colleges, faculty and students.
"A necessary feature of any high-quality undergraduate program is a curriculum that is rigorous, focused and carefully designed," the report says.
The new set of core requirements would encompass fundamental skills in writing, mathematics and language; studies in the world's civilizations; and studies in fine arts, humanities, science and social science.
Requirements for each major should specify 45 to 60 hours of work in the major department, plus 24 to 36 allied hours in related disciplines, the proposal recommends.
Hannah Horsley, a student cabinet member, said the requirements grew out of discussions on what kind of education the ideal U. graduate should have. She said in trying to move toward a more structured and rigorous curriculum, the report recommends increased emphasis on course sequencing and prerequisites.
Among the other recommendations are a mentoring program where volunteer faculty would meet periodically with freshmen to discuss academic and personal concerns and an indepth study of course demand, availability, enrollment restrictions and registration procedures.