What is New and Revisited? Curriculum Reform
What is New and Revisited? Curriculum Reform
  • Reporter Lee Sang-min
  • 승인 2011.03.02 20:56
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It is 11 years since the last big changes

As it was predicted in The Postech Times last year, an overall change of the university curriculum is happening with the start of the 2011 class, after the last change in 2000. The gist of the reform is a stressing of education in humanities and leadership, and promoting comprehensions on other majors’ subjects. In detail, the change includes a launching of the Activity-based General Education Curriculum (ABC), a reorganization of the educational system in the fields of humanities, arts, and social sciences, and shortened term for degrees.

Under the new curriculum, students who show advanced progress relative to others can acquire a Ph.D within three years through an optimized integrative program. That means that POSTECH undergraduates can complete a Ph.D within a total of seven years, skipping an M.S.

▲ A table represents how the curriculum is revised.

ABC, called Extra-Curricular Units in the previous issue, is an exclusive program used at a selected few institutions like POSTECH. It is a well-organized education program that emphasizes activities of students which cannot be trained in ordinary courses. New freshmen are now required to take 10 ABC units (almost equivalent to 10 credits) for graduation. Essential units are composed of Planning for College Life and Future, Freshmen Seminar, and Social Service. Other units include various activities related to cultural, artistic works and sports.

Any student from other than the Class of 2011 can participate in programs with a permit of the professor. The programs are basically operated in Korean, but international students are expected to also join, for those not requiring much use of language.

Lectures designed by the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences now belong to new course classification whose number starts with HASS (Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences) and four new essential HASS courses for general understanding in several topics have been prepared for the Class of 2011. Students should register one of them each semester. The Division is planning to employ eight more professors until 2014 for more efficient education.

The revision of curriculum was commonly called ‘POSTECH College’, but the term is not used currently. POSTECH College was first suggested as an integrated administration system for freshmen and sophomores, but the suggestion was discarded after internal discussion. Thus there is no change in administration.

The actual change in University Cores (UC) is not so big, besides a three-credit demonstration course, tentatively called ‘Earth Environment’. It will be later announced whether it will become a UC or not. In addition, ‘Differential Equations’ now becomes a required course for all students. Science and Technology Cores (STC) was initially designed as an integrated basic courses delivered by professors from different departments, but now it seems to be a simple 15 credit requirement which is composed of credits from other major courses.

Still, some parts of the reform are not finished and are in progress. About that, Seo Won-seok of the Office of Academic Affairs noted, “After more than a year of consideration, the new curriculum has been designed. We will make no confusion among freshmen by completing all undecided details in the near future.s’