The Daily Gamecock

"Carolina Core" to update general education requirements

Forum outlines new general education goals


For the first time in 20 years, USC is updating its general education requirements.

The new general education philosophy, called the “Carolina Core,” was outlined during a forum inside the Russell House Theater Thursday afternoon.

The change will update curricula for all of the traditional classes — like English 101 — and explain them to students and faculty in an effort to boost their importance on campus, according to Helen Doerpinghaus, the vice provost and dean of undergraduate studies at USC.

Other changes included new “overlay” courses, which will allow students to earn credit in two areas with one class. For example, a student can take one course and achieve both history and ethics responsibility credits. Students will be able to take a maximum of two overlay courses during their time at USC, according to the new plan.

The university also plans to implement a new electronic course proposal program that will go live Oct. 1. Online course proposals allow faculty to submit a new course for department chairs to review via the internet. The courses must meet the new general education requirements to be approved, according to Krista Finnigan, director of academic programs at USC. The course proposals cannot be for terms prior to Fall 2012, and faculty are required to select from the nine Core learning outcomes and justify how their course will meet these outcomes.

A syllabus will also be required and added in plain text before submission can be completed.

“We are beginning the online proposal system with Carolina Core as a kind of pilot,” Finnigan said. “This will be the first program where all courses will be proposed completely electronically and we are planning to move the entire university to this system.”

According to Doerpinghaus, the program will increase transparency at the university, as a list of new classes will be posted online for all students and faculty.

System beta testing began on Thursday and will run until Sept. 30.

“It’s going to be terrific,” Finnigan said.