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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

November 17, 2018   |   Ithaca, NY

News

ICC to undergo review during academic year

The Integrative Core Curriculum will be undergoing a program review to assess how effective it has been for Ithaca College students.

La Jerne Cornish, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, selected the two co-chairs for the program review — Christina Moylan, associate dean of the Department of Health Sciences and Human Performance, and Susan Witherup, professor in the Department of Biology. The committee will consist of student and faculty representatives from all five schools at the college, Witherup said. The students have been recommended by the Student Governance Council, and the review committee also hopes to involve an outside evaluator independent of the college in the review process.

Witherup said the committee will be meeting biweekly throughout the fall semester. The first meeting was held Sept. 24. Witherup said the committee should have a public draft made available by Jan. 15. She said the committee plans to have a final report with recommendations done by April 1.

Since the ICC has been implemented, there has been a lot of criticism of the program from many members of the college community. Both the SGC and the Faculty Council have passed numerous bills and amendments to address issues with the ICC.

After the college was reaccredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the review team gave several binding recommendations the college needs to follow moving forward. On that list, four of the six recommendations involved some aspect of the ICC. These recommendations asked that the college develop a process for departments and schools to share relevant student learning outcomes for the ICC, to re-evaluate the ePortfolio process for student learning outcomes, to create more meaningful alternative approaches to assessing student learning outcomes and to reassess if student learning outcomes are being achieved in the social sciences, natural sciences and diversity requirements. Witherup said she has not yet looked at the report by the Middle States in regard to the ICC but said she will as the committee
begins its meetings.

Moylan said the review process will include creating recommendations that will be presented to Danette Johnson, vice provost for academic programs in the Division of Academic Affairs, and Susan Delaney, interim director of the ICC, Jan. 30. They will then choose which recommendations they want to implement. In 2020, Delaney will submit a summary to the college including which recommendations they have chosen and why.

Delaney said she thinks student feedback is the best way to make effective changes to the ICC.

“I certainly will advocate for students to be a part of the process in a visible way,” Delaney said.

Delaney said she wants the review process to be comprehensive in order to address the problems that have arisen.

“What I’d really love to see is a really thorough discussion of what we’ve done, what’s worked, where the challenges are, what is misunderstanding and what are genuine problems,” Delaney said. “I want to see all of that come to light. The actual changes that might take place as a result of that come from that information.”

Moylan said student input is an important piece to the review process, which is why the review team wants student representation from all schools on the committee.

“I think having students give that feedback of what it feels like from their perspective as they try and navigate this is going to be really important,” Moylan said.

Witherup said she thinks the ICC has been successful in its implementation but said there is still work that needs to be done.

“To find a program that fits all of these schools is an accomplishment,” Witherup said. “I don’t think we are quite there yet. We need to tweak this, and I think everyone agrees that the program needs to be revised in certain ways to work for everyone. And we have to find out what those revisions are.”

Moylan said the review of the ICC looks at several student and faculty surveys about the quality of it.

Vincent DeTuri, former director of the ICC who recently left the college, said he is hopeful about the ICC going forward.

Sam Haut can be reached at shaut@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @@SamZHaut