Academic Senate Approves New Humanities Courses

The quarter is fast approaching its end, and the Academic Senate has been very busy discussing the various initiatives and course proposals on the table for senate’s approval. The last Academic Senate update of this quarter will be going over some of these proposals.

First, the Council on Undergraduate Admissions and Relations with Schools (CUARS) discussed the UC’s plan for increasing transfer student rates. According to CUARS, President Napolitano has requested for a UC-wide move to increase admission rate of transfer students to 30 percent in compliance with the California state law. This move is aimed towards the UC’s goal of admitting one California resident transfer student for every two California resident freshmen that is admitted.

The council also reported that the admissions office is almost done reading freshman personal statements.

The Humanities Executive Committee approved an array of amendments, including the addition of new courses.

Italian and French language courses both saw the addition of 1AB and 1BC courses. These intensive fundamental courses condense the usual three quarters of the introductory language classes into two quarters.

Spanish 3H, a Spanish class for heritage speakers, is an alternative to the regular 3A class. The heritage class, in addition to teaching the language, also explores Latino issues.

French 10 is a peer tutoring class designed for advanced students to provide students who are taking the language at a lower level.

These classes will all be available during the fall 2015 term.

HEC also brought back History 11, which was previously titled “Introduction to Peace and Conflict” and was last offered in the fall of 2011, as a new course titled “Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity Since WWII.” It will be offered during fall, winter and spring quarters starting spring 2016.

The committee also approved a proposal to add a graduate emphasis in Latin American studies.

“While there is a graduate emphasis in Chicano/Latino Studies in the School of Social Sciences, there were no formal mechanisms in place for the creation of a graduate student cohort working on Latin American studies. The significance of this program is that it will allow students to engage in interdisciplinary study,” read a report from the committee.

The emphasis would require the completion of a year-long foundation course, Humanities 265ABC and two graduate seminars dealing with issues related to Latin America. Humanities 265ABC would discuss significant texts on Latin America from a range of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences and the arts.

The committee also made modifications to the Visual Studies Ph.D Program and Summer M.A program in English.

For the visual studies program, the committee equalized the language requirement deadline for both candidates entering with a B.A. as well as those entering with an M.A. The change requires that they fulfill their language requirements before they are advanced for candidacy for the Ph.D. Previously, those who entered with a bachelor’s had to complete the requirement by winter of their second year while those who had a master’s had until the spring of their third year. The change was approved in order to correct presumptions that those with a master’s degree completed a language requirement at their previous school, which was not always the case.

For the summer master’s program, the change would institute an independent study course for candidates to complete their final essay.

The candidates usually complete this essay during their third summer in the program, following two summers of taking courses. However, they are not formally enrolled in any classes during that third summer. As a result, they do not have access to university facilities that facilitate the completion of the essay.

The 4-unit course, because it is independent study, will cost only half of what a regular 4-unit summer course costs. Students will retain complete access to UCI facilities and resources.

The Subcommittee on International Education reported an increase in the number of students enrolling in the Study Abroad Program, with more than 900 UCI students participating as of December of 2014, and with the expectation of these numbers to increase. SCIE also discussed the goals and plans of UC Mexico Initiative, an initiative that came out of President Napolitano’s recent trip to Mexico. This program, which had its first formal meeting last Tuesday, aims to increase partnership and collaboration between UC and University of Mexico and increase to student and faculty exchange and as well as foster collaborative research opportunities.

This wraps the final update to the regular, biweekly Academic Senate updates. Future updates will be covered on an as needed basis.