Ithaca College’s contentious Integrative Core Curriculum program will be undergoing a program review to determine its effectiveness for students at the college. This is a blessing, as the campus community has been critiquing the ICC for the last four years, and this opportunity to share our criticism will be helpful. That is, if we actually engage in this feedback process.
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 School of Health Sciences and Human Performance, and Susan Witherup, professor in the Department of Biology. Students and faculty will also be selected to serve on the program review, representing all five schools at the college.
The college’s plans to assess the ICC are exciting because the curriculum has faced significant opposition from students essentially since its implementation. Multiple times in the past, students have voiced their grievances about the ICC, some of which even drove the Student Governance Council to pass bills suggesting changes to the program. However, these amendments did not fully address the concerns of the student body. At the time of the Middle States reaccreditation review in Spring 2018, both students and faculty brought up concerns about the ICC.
Beginning the process of making changes to the ICC is long overdue. The earliest complaints of about the program were that its requirements were convoluted and unclear, which resulted in many students facing difficulties with graduating in 2017. The college tried to better educate its students on the ICC that same year, which they partially accomplished through the implementation of the ICC Advisory Committee. However, even with those changes, the ICC has remained a source of stress and confusion for students in the subsequent years.Students should make an effort to be actively involved in the process of adjusting the ICC now that they have the opportunity to. Students can complain about the ICC as much as they like — however, if they do not take the opportunities that this program review offers, their arguments quickly become invalid. Considering the SGC’s current lack of student involvement, students should take the opportunity of the ICC review to get more involved with their campus community. Since the ICC impacts the entire student body, it is the campus community’s duty to be proactive in finding a resolution to the issues that remain with the curriculum.