LEP will take on new look, no change

Tamonda GriffithsNews Writer

While there have been no changes this year* to the Liberal Education Program there have been reinforcements of old rules, said LEP Co-Director Terri Bennett.

This upcoming fall, students will be required to have either finished their Tier 1 requirements or take the remaining Tier 1 courses the same semester they are registered in their Tier 3 capstone.

According to Bennett, since the beginning of the LEP, students have always had to complete six out of the eight Tier 2 areas before being able to take their Tier 3 capstone seminar; the completion of Tier 1 would be added to this previous requirement.

In addition, the LEPC is currently in discussion over whether not to implement double-dipping at the university, according to Bennett.

Double-dipping is defined as a student would be able to share credit for courses for both their LEP requirement and their major requirement.

Currently, the university does not offer this option.

During this week’s Student Government Association meeting Treasurer Devra Baxter said she and SGA representative-at-large, Isaiah Yopp recently attended an LEPC meeting.

“We moved forward with approving the changes for moving,” said Baxter, “removing the restrictions in the LEP program onto their own section as cognates.”

A cognate or course restrictions, said Yopp, is a class in the LEP that a student’s major requires them to take that is not necessarily in their major.

“I’m a COM major,” said Yopp, “but I’m required to take math 103. That’s a cognate even though it’s not a COM class, but COM requires me to take it.”

Those cognates, said Baxter, are now “more visually easier” to identify, in their own section— located right after the major requirements—and will no longer be embedded into a student’s LEP program between Tiers 1 or 2.

“[You] won’t be like blindsided,” said Yopp. “You’ll know from the beginning it has to be this class.”

Overall, the LEP itself will not change, Baxter said, but rather “the optics.”

“When you visually look at it – and these are my words – it looks as if the LEP is clean and pushes the problem that you have to the departments,” said Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Student Conduct Christopher Piscitelli, during the SGA meeting.

Bennett said students think they gain requirements when they change majors, however, that is not the case.

“The restrictions in the LEP are set by the majors,” said Bennett.

Bennett said when students see their degree evaluation for their new major and see that Tiers 1 or 2 are no longer complete it is because whatever class they had previously taken did not “fulfill” the tier requirements for that major.

According to Piscitelli, curricular decisions are made by the faculty, who are governed by the faculty senate; the LEPC, he said falls under the

“What you’re seeing happen is chess pieces moved to different aspects, but it still falls under the same umbrella of the curricular decisions made by the faculty,” said Piscitelli.

Baxter said she and Yopp recommended to the LEPC that foreign language should be added to better articulate that a major’s cognates are “interconnected” to the LEP and specific to that major’s LEP requirements.

Photo Credit: August Pelliccio

*Original reporting for this article stated there were no changes to the LEP in recent years, however, on Feb. 27, 2019 a correction was made to say that there have been no changes to the LEP this year.

**Photo has also been changed to the correct one in an edit on Feb. 28, 2019.

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