Biology04_Annual - Biology - Science I Prepared by Mary C....

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Biology - Science I Prepared by Mary C. Nolan-Riegle, Lead Discipline Faculty, Fullerton College Summary of Identified Issues This year the Biology Discipline completed its work to define a core curriculum. (Please see Appendix A of the Statewide Meeting Minutes for the accepted core.) At each of this year’s meetings the last remaining questions raised at the meetings last year were addressed. 1. Should the core curriculum be 2 or 3 semesters (3 or 4 quarters) in length? There are some institutions that do not have a 9-unit lecture/3unit lab lower division core requirement. These institutions mostly teach two 5-unit classes made up of a three-hour lecture and six hours of lab. These institutions will not meet the requirement of the core if it is changed. This may represent a problem to some institutions that feel they may have to change their curriculum in order to meet the requirements. However, these changes to core requirements and CAN sequences will not require institutions to change their curriculum. There are articulation agreements in place between the community colleges and the four- years that allow differences in unit number while still allowing courses to transfer. This lower division core outline will not change those articulation agreements so institutions need not revise their core. Outlining the core in this manner will set the standard for transfer to the maximum number of four-year institutions for students. 2. Should the core have any defined lab components? Should the core have a minimum number of lab hours? Many community colleges teach a one-unit laboratory section with each of their core lecture courses. This is not necessarily true for the four-year institutions, many of which require one laboratory experience as a part of the lower division core. However, over the past several years, the UC and CSU requirements have changed many times concerning this requirement. It was agreed that more experience would give transfer students a wider range of institutions to which community college course work would transfer. As a result, the consensus was that the core requires three semester units of lab. It should be noted as in question number 1 that there are community colleges that already have transfer agreements in place that do not require their students to have this much laboratory experience and this recommendation in no way requires any institution to change their curriculum. There is also the problem of students who have taken more units at the community college than are required by the transfer institution. Extra qualifications are not usually a problem for students. If they have too many units, these units may qualify for electives if they don’t qualify for the major preparation. In addition, over-preparation by a student is more desirable than under-preparation. In the current system, there are many more under-prepared students who must make up whole years, semesters or quarters due to under-preparation. There are other issues that arose in the meetings such as the different class offerings at the
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Biology04_Annual - Biology - Science I Prepared by Mary C....

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