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Q&A on ICC Revisions

Why are we changing the ICC?

The changes approved by the faculty are intended to improve the ICC, creating a stronger and more flexible general education program. Since its rollout in Fall 2013, the ICC has undergone a number of smaller revisions in response to student and faculty input. These include flexibility for students to use study abroad courses to satisfy Themes & Perspectives, updates to learning outcomes and rubrics, and the elimination of QL Readiness. The changes that will go into effect with the 2022-23 Catalog have been developed carefully and thoughtfully, drawing on a wide range of input.

Why can't we just get rid of the ICC entirely?

This question was addressed in the ICC Program Review published in April 2019, noting that the college had three options: 1) Make no changes to the ICC; 2) Dismantle the ICC entirely and pursue a new approach to general education; or 3) Revise the ICC to address key shortcomings. The Program Review Committee voted unanimously to recommend revision. (See pages 92-93 in the final Program Review document.)

Will these changes be applied to currently enrolled students?

Changes approved by the faculty in 2021 will take effect for the 2022-23 catalog year. Because the catalog is a formal commitment to our students, we cannot retroactively change graduation requirements. Beginning in Spring 2020, however, we began to provide students under the current ICC requirements greater flexibility in completing those requirements, including reducing the eportfolio to sections completed in their ICC capstone and allowing students to easily request a theme waiver. Current students with questions or concerns about meeting their ICC requirements should consult with the ICC Director about their specific situation.  

What exactly is happening to the CLA?

The Complementary Liberal Arts as a component of the ICC will be removed. We're able to do this because of a change by Middle States to the required number of credits for a general education program. This means that individual schools, who were already responsible for deciding what would constitute the CLA in their degree programs, may now determine how best to distribute those courses currently included within the CLA in various programs. Again, this requirement cannot be retroactively waived for current students. Advisors and students with questions about satisfying their existing CLA requirement should consult their Dean's office. 

Did the Task Force or CCR consider discontinuing the ICC entirely?

The Task Force began its work by studying and discussing the recommendations made in the ICC Program Review. Members concurred with the Program Review committee that starting from scratch would require a sizable commitment from the college in terms of time and resources, and thus chose to focus on revising the existing framework. CCR's chairs also served on the Task Force, and were able to apprise CCR members of deliberations. 

WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THEMES?

As part of the approved changes to the ICC, themes will be decoupled from perspectives. Students entering Ithaca College in Fall 2022 will still be required to complete all four perspectives, but they will not be restricted to a single theme. Students may complete their perspectives across whatever combination of themed courses they desire, prioritizing the students’ intentions. Retaining the themes in this form represents respect for those important institutional values that have guided faculty development of Theme & Perspective courses. Themes will remain as attributes in Homer to assist students in identifying perspectives courses of interest in each Theme, and will continue to be part of the ICC course approval process.

If a department wishes to align with a perspective and to exempt students in one of their major programs from needing to take a course in one of the four Perspectives included in T&P couRSes, how would they do this?

As part of the changes to the ICC, departments were invited in February 2022 to request that their degree programs and/or majors be aligned with one of the four perspectives. This means that for students entering Fall 2022, their record in Degree Works may show that one of their perspectives is being satisfied through completion of their declared major. The remaining three perspectives will need to be satisfied by three separate courses (minimum three credits each). Again, this cannot be applied retroactively to students under an earlier catalog. Departments or programs may choose to designate a Perspective, but may also choose not to do so, depending on what they see as best for their students. This decision can also be revisited by these programs at a later date.

If the total number of credits required in the ICC decreases, as is proposed, how will students be sure to earn the required number of Liberal Arts credits required for their type of degree program?

Degree Works helps students keep track of the number of credits they are earning in relation to the credits that are required for their degree types.