President Tom Rochon met with students at noon today to discuss his integrative learning initiative, which aims to bring the resources of different schools on campus together, making it easier for students to take classes and work on projects in different fields.
The conversation centered on IC Net, a proposed program by senior Eddie Lemonier, that Rochon said fits well into the strategic visioning plan.
IC Net aims to organize activities campus wide by allowing students to post projects they are working on to a database, similar to Craigslist. Other students can then express interests in helping with these projects, so that students can work outside of their major.
“[We’re] basically trying to simulate what’s going on in the real world, in those real industries, and bring it here to Ithaca College,” Lemonier said.
Lemonier headed a panel of juniors and seniors who discussed their experiences working across schools and addressed possible ways to make that process easier. In addition to IC Net, the panel suggested incorporating extracurricular activities into course curriculums.
“Students are involved in all sorts of ways, whether it’s working on projects in their classes or in extra curricular activities,” Lemonier said. “What we’re trying to do is [give] students credit for participating in these types of things.”
Other panelists voiced similar concerns. Tatiana Sy, a senior culture and communication major, was in charge of the SGA fashion show and said her assistant creative manager received credit in her choreography class for working the show. She said students should be able to get credit for the work they do outside the classroom.
When the panelists had finished speaking, they opened it up to the audience as Rochon took notes.
Freshman Cat Nuwer, a journalism major, said she was frustrated when she couldn’t get into a photography class this semester.
“It’s true that it’s really hard for someone in a certain major to take classes outside that major in a different school,” she said.
In addition to the work with IC Net and making it easier to take classes outside a student’s major, Rochon said his plan includes funding faculty proposals to increase and improve interdisciplinary work. He said staff members submitted 30 proposals to the provost’s office, and he plans to fund some of them using the $200,000 he allocated for new interdisciplinary initiatives.
Rochon said he is pleased with the way his vision for interdisciplinary work has progressed.
“It’s only since the end of February that we’ve been talking about this on campus, and if you realize that it’s three months later and we have faculty visualizing what they can do, and you have students coming together and talking about the possibilities, I think we’re making great progress,” he said.