Students start classes with new core system

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This academic year begins the implementation of new core requirements and gets rid of focal studies for incoming and transfer students and current students who wish to switch to the new catalog.

Basic requirements have largely stayed the same with a few changes to writing requirements.

Required writing courses now have a greater focus on research and can be taken as a freshman and all majors have an additional writing requirement suited for that discipline.

However, the biggest change is the removal of focal studies.

Focal studies were a frustration for many students that felt the requirements were too specific and confusing.

“Students found themselves taking classes only to satisfy a focal study as opposed to following any sort of intellectual interest,” said the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Sarah Phillips.

“So, what we’re trying to do with the new core is to stop that as much as we can by streamlining the core and giving students clusters of classes from which, they have to choose something but with less specificity.”

Additionally, students had to declare focal study clusters and the individual courses within each grouping and had to file another form if they wished to change which courses they planned on taking.

Focal studies, and the courses required by them, could not be looked up within Boxer Online while registering and not all the courses were still offered.

Under the new core system, students can look up descriptions on Pacific’s website of each general requirement and the courses that fulfill it. They can also filter classes by a specific general requirement when registering for classes through Boxer Online.

Current students looking to change over to the new core have to first meet with Gretchen Potter or Mike Shingle to make sure they would still be on track to graduate.


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