Story by Lindsay Hillstrom, News Editor
Photos courtesy of Aquinas College
You have probably heard the phrase “news travels fast” before. This has certainly been the case at Aquinas College, where many classrooms are abuzz with the news of a shift in course formats to a four-credit academic system.
This change has been a frequent topic of discussion in recent weeks among students and faculty alike. One common misconception about the new four-credit model is that the Aquinas administration is responsible for the change in curriculum. While the administration participated in discussions about the proposed change, it was in fact the Aquinas faculty that made the final decision to switch to a four-credit course system. According to interim president Dr. Stephen Germic, as much as 85% of the faculty voted to get rid of the old course system in favor of the new four-credit model.
“The overwhelming majority of the curriculum will be adding an extra credit hour,” Germic said. “It simply allows for a better and more in-depth learning experience. That’s what we’re trying to achieve and the four-credit system is an important way of facilitating that achievement.”
With the intention of providing students a more well-rounded yet focused education, this system allows students to take fewer classes per semester and graduate with adjusted requirements.
Germic pointed to Hope College and other liberal arts schools in the Grand Rapids area as examples of institutions that have effectively moved to a four-credit model.
“Most small liberal arts colleges use a four-credit base, and the more elite you go in liberal arts colleges, the more common it is,” Germic said. “When you look at the top tier schools, they’re all on this four-credit based system.”
Dr. Germic expressed confidence that this change will serve the Aquinas College student body well in the years to come.