LEP explanation added to syllabi

Joseph Vincenzi – Reporter

LEP course syllabi will feature a new section in the fall semester of 2020, according to university staff.

The new section will contain an explanation for why students are placed in classes that might not be related to their majors. Professor Barbara Cook, who is on the LEP committee, said that the purpose of the new section is to make students aware of what they are getting from taking certain courses.

“We wanted an approach that could highlight for students the learning outcomes that are specifically related to the area of knowledge that the course is meeting within the LEP,” said Cook.

She said the new information to be placed in the syllabi “will include a summary of the area of knowledge and the key elements that are instructed during the course.”

While some courses can count towards a student’s major, minor, or an elective, she said certain courses will contain an area of knowledge in the LEP program. That area of knowledge, as Professor Mike Shea of the LEP committee pointed out, is part of the general education requirements of the university. “

There is a structure to general education,” said Shea. “It is so people know what they are getting out of their college education.”

According to Shea, certain courses count towards the university’s requirement of 40 credits in general education. Those courses are part of Southern’s Liberal Education Program or LEP, and the new syllabi will signal which general education requirement they fulfill.

Both committee members are confident that the new section will only benefit students. Cook stated that the new section of the syllabi is “one of many steps that support student understanding of our LEP as a general education program.”

Some students approve of the new section, claiming that it helps to clarify placement in the LEP courses.

“I would assume that some students are unaware of what the LEP is and how it affects the courses that they need to take,” said education major, Sam Martin, a freshman. “I do think that students will be less confused about why they are in certain classes once this addition is added.”

Other students believe that the new syllabi are helpful, but that the name “Liberal Education Program” is what causes the confusion. “Other schools don’t call it LEP,” said business administration and management Gabriel Tenkorang, a senior. “The name is the problem.”

Tenkorang said the LEP courses create a “double standard” among students. When students are placed in classes not related to their major, those students struggle and their GPA will be affected accordingly.

Others said they feel that some of the responsibility lies with the students to know what classes they need to take. Resident Adviser Nick Wheeler said students “know what they are signing up for because it’s a liberal education school.”

However, Wheeler is ultimately in support of the change.

“It doesn’t hurt to know about the school you are attending.”

Photo Credit: Tamonda Griffiths

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