Provost Greg Dewey, computer science professor Seta Whitby and professor of psychology Aghop Der-Karabetian are holding a contest for seniors to create a new four-year curriculum based off existing courses.
The contest began March 1 and will run until May 14.
Students are being asked to create a 128-unit curriculum, not including general education or prerequisites, so they can concentrate on the major they are designing a curriculum for.
“Students know the curriculum better than anyone,” Dewey said. “We want to see what their ideal curriculum is.”
There will be three winners. The third place winner will receive $100, the second place winner will receive $200, and the first place winner will win $300.
The provost and academic deans are looking to see if students can create a curriculum that will be of value to somebody in terms of them moving on in their career.
“What I like about this contest is that it is allowing the administrators to listen to what the students like,” Whitby said.
Participants can concentrate on an existing major or can introduce a new one.
Administrators are hoping students will come up with new majors so that it will give the deans some new ideas, Whitby said.
“It is not inconceivable that some of these proposed new majors will be created,” Dewey said.
The outcome of the contest will be based off of crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is the practice of asking a large collection of users online to help gather information or produce ideas.
“La Verne is using crowdsourcing to literally find out if students are receiving the education they are looking for,” Whitby said.
Crowdsourcing will show the deans which proposals are attracting attention and will then make the final decision based on practicality and academic quality, Dewey said.
Once proposals have been submitted, students’ friends and families can vote for them on social media sites.
The same contest was held last year.
The results showed that even though contestants did not have to implement general education classes into their curriculum, most of them viewed general education classes, such as math and writing, important.
The deans discovered that La Verne’s general education is balanced, Whitby said.
Like many other students on campus, junior business major Jamar Johnson did not know this contest was going on.
“Now that I’m informed about this, it gives me interest to pursue it when I’m a senior,” Johnson said.
“I think it would be really intriguing for the opportunity to be able to create a whole new major.”
Information for the contest is on the school’s website.
Sydney Daly-Weber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.