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Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

University 101 to convert to 1 credit hour courses over three semesters

Photo by Caleb McCartney
Students cross Boulevard of the Allies as a bus approaches.

The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCG) approved a proposal to change the three credit University 101 course to three single credit hour classes over three semesters. Before its official approval, the course will operate solely as a pilot, according to April Fridges, associate professor and UCG chair. Further information on the change is limited, as the course proposal is underdeveloped.


According to Fridges, full time faculty will not be participating in the pilot, as their incentive for participation “…seemed inadequate to the workload required to run the course.” The previous three credit course required a professor to conduct a single course prep for their class. Instead of preparing material for one single course, the three separated credit hours would require professors to prepare material for three.


“We approved the progress with the amendment that the course content go through the CORE committee for assessment for the following three years as a review period,” Fridges said.


Arden Adams, a junior theater arts major, took the University 101 class toward the tail end of the pandemic. They said that they didn’t feel strongly about the class separation.


“I think having a semester-long crash course about Pittsburgh and what it is was beneficial,” Adams said. “I think having one semester to lay it all out was good. As someone who was new to Pittsburgh I found it engaging. It would then persuade the student to go out and explore Pittsburgh on their own.” 


They are glad that they took the class, but do not think that students who are from the city would find it as engaging as they did. 


Bethany Vennel, a senior forensic science major, took University 101 during the “peak” of the COVID-19 pandemic. She said that she felt that bits and pieces of the previous course curriculum were redundant, since she was already taught things like time management and smart goals in her charter school.


“I feel like one [three credit class] is plentiful, especially with a lot of majors I know who already have four credit courses,” Vennel said. “So having multiple seems definitely redundant. Maybe for COPA kids that could be a good thing, but not for the arts and science kids and math majors.”


She said that if the university does switch up University 101, she hopes that it has the same presence as when she took it by creating a sense of community and engaging students. 


According to Fridges, the pilot courses for University 101 will operate for one calendar year until March 2025. Before the course is offered university-wide, the pilot will await a final UCG approval and vote to “define plans of implementation when all three courses are offered university-wide.” 


These changes are part of the continued implementation of Pioneer Vision 2030, the unversity’s next strategic plan led by President Chris Brussalis. Reassessing the university core curriculum is one of several initatives set to be completed by 2030. 

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