Academics

Breaking Barriers:

    Academics undoubtedly play a central role in the lives of Hoyas on campus. Unfortunately, students often face a lack of transparency or information by the administration due to different priorities. Lobbying for academic changes faces the barrier of intense hierarchies via existing institutions such as deans and departments. The administration has not lived up to the optimism of its goals set in 2010’s Diversity and Inclusiveness Initiative, drafted by by President DeGioia and the former Provost.

Due to the niche of academic interests, advocacy often stagnates due to the hurdle of building a critical mass of students necessary for the administration to act on the demands for change. Furthermore, students that do advocate for their fellow Hoyas are often still confined to silos of advocacy on their respective Academic Councils, dependent on specific people and projects within their purview.

Policies:

Academic Program Expansion:

  • While the Diversity Requirement passed last year, it is critical to engage students in the implementation and explain its purpose and clearly publishing the options incoming students have for these cross listed classes
  • Promote the expansion of academic programs such as:
  • Asian Studies minor/major with concentration in South Asian and East Asian Studies
  • African-American Studies major and department
  • Latino/Hispanic Studies program
  • Promote the expansion of language offerings, such as establishing a Hindi and expanding the Swahili program
  • Explore establishing programs in both statistics and film studies in the College
  • Establish programs for interdisciplinary engagement with nutrition or health classes in the NHS
  • Expand sophomore and junior options for liberal arts seminars
  • Expand credit programs for internships
  • Expand innovative classroom structures and test-class modules (e.g. experimental bioethics course)
  • Advocate for greater recognition of AP credit (particularly science credit)

Academic Experience:

  • Open up a conversation about credit-counting for labs for science majors, with the goal of ensuring fair representation of work hours
  • Clarify the rationale behind, and more consistently implement, the mean grades reporting policy on transcripts
  • Explore further options for establishing platforms for informal language practice (example: “Tandem” Facebook group at the University of Edinburgh)
  • Advocate for more cross-listing course opportunities across schools
  • Continue advocating for personalized academics:
  • Expand conversations about a potential 4 for 4 course plan –– CAC has begun the conversation by hosting a townhall
  • Explore alternative personalized credit offerings, including an option for online courses, while engaging students in the conversation
  • Explore the possibility of live pre-registration & engage students via the February referendum
  • Open up a dialogue with administrators about how make qualitative and quantitative evaluations more accessible
  • Advocate for greater transparency on departmental, adjunct, and faculty salaries
  • Explore creation of a faculty diversity fund

Academic Resources:

  • Better centralize informal academic support on campus through the Academic Resource Center (ARC)
  • Evaluate funding needs and uses of ARC for program expansion to meet diverse student needs
  • More tutoring services and/or tutoring referral service to department programs
  • Better marketing for ARC academic skills workshops, and engage students in tailoring workshops to specific student interests
  • Extend the hours of the Blommer Science Library to better reflect student study schedules
  • Support skills tagging in pre-registration (e.g. “I learned web design and empathetic education in this class)
  • Make the ICC more conducive to studying
  • Continuing transformation of the ICC Galleria
  • Adding tables and “study lounges” on each floor by the elevators
  • Work with Lau to expand course reserves for commonly requested textbooks
  • Push for the comprehensive inclusion of supplemental course materials (i.e. art supplies, online course packs, medical tools for nursing/healthcare students, etc.) in students’ financial aid packages.
  • Advocate for renovation of Lau for more accessible study space

Building Bridges:

We will strive to formulate an inclusive and holistic academics advocacy team that includes the Presidents and members of all four academic councils, creating a structure for institutional continuity so academic advocacy can continue to grow in strength. This team should informally partner with Designing the Future(s) and the Academic Councils to include a diversity of students across majors, years, experience, and backgrounds. We will push for increased access directly to the Deans, the Registrar, and the Provost’s office to cut through administrative bureaucracy and better advocate for student interests and foster direction communication with the student body.