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Q&A on the Proposal to Revise the ICC

If your question is not answered below, please email iccrevision@ithaca.edu.

Why are we changing the ICC?

The changes proposed 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 proposed now 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.)

What are Integrative ENGAGEMENT (IE) courses?

Integrative Engagement courses, if IE is approved as an attribute and added to the ICC, present an opportunity to offer structured practice in reflective thinking and writing. The IE courses would serve as part of the "Pathways" portion of the ICC (ICSM + IE + Capstone) and would offer students an additional opportunity to reflect on interdisciplinary approaches in their studies, in their programs, and/or in relation to their professional goals. 

Will these changes be applied to currently enrolled students?

Changes recommended in this proposal will take effect for the catalog year 2022 (or later).  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 may now determine how best to distribute those courses currently included within the CLA in various programs. (For example Humanities & Sciences, which offered students options for completion of the CLA, is currently discussing how to structure this if and when the CLA is eliminated.)

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?

Under this proposal, Themes will be decoupled from Perspectives. Students will still be required to complete Themed course in each of the four Perspectives, but students will not be restricted to taking all of their Themes and Perspectives courses within a single Theme. Students may complete their Perspectives courses 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. Further 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. The Task Force has intentionally retained the current Themes as a structure within the ICC and advises that they be revisited in 5 years once robust program assessment data are available for consideration. 

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?

The Task Force has proposed that departments or degree programs responsible for majors be permitted to formally designate one of the Perspectives to be satisfied by the major itself via an expedited process of application to CCR or the committee in charge of administering the ICC.

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?

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