In September Northeastern will begin the full-scale implementation of its new core curriculum that will be required of all undergraduate students entering next fall in 2016.
The NU Core is a shift in focus that reflects the sophistication of students and Northeastern’s commitment to student-centered learning, said Associate Vice Provost of Curriculum Katherine Ziemer.
“Rather than requiring students to take specific courses, what’s really important is enabling students to achieve meaningful learning goals and helping them identify the best courses and experiences to do that,” Ziemer said. “And it allows faculty to focus not only on the content of their curricula, but how students learn that content.”
What it means for faculty
The Core Implementation Team, which is a subset of the University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, developed the implementation plan, and the committee approved that plan.
This month, a pilot of the implementation plan begins with four units—the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, the College of Computer Science, the Department of English, and the Department of History. Faculty and deans in these four units will review their curricula to determine which courses meet the Core 2016 requirements and identify opportunities for new or revised courses.
The NU Core website contains important information that includes the course approval process for meeting Core requirements.
“It’s the responsibility of faculty to ensure our students are prepared,” Ziemer said. “Core 2016 reinforces that the faculty own the curriculum.”
Once the pilot program is complete and the University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee examines feedback from those involved, the rest of the university’s faculty will begin the curricula review process. Colleges have until Dec. 1 to submit their course offerings for the 2016-17 academic year to ensure the course catalog will be ready for the fall 2016 incoming class.
What it means for undergraduate students
Students already enrolled at Northeastern will have the option to follow the requirements of NU Core 2016 once it is fully implemented and in place next fall. Or they can continue with the current core curriculum in place when they started at the university.
NU Core 2016 will be required of all undergraduate students entering in Fall 2016.
NU Core 2016 won’t require students to take a specific number of courses at certain levels within defined areas of study; rather, it consists of 11 criteria, each with its own learning goals. These criteria include:
• Engaging with the natural and designed world
• Analyzing and using data
• Interpreting culture
• Integrating knowledge and skills through experience.
NU Core 2016 does not have level requirements, and one course can count for more than one criterion.