Dean Mary Ann Rankin of the College of Natural Sciences has filed with the secretary of the Faculty Council the following changes to the Bachelor of Science in Biology in the College of Natural Sciences chapter in the Undergraduate Catalog, 2010-2012
. The faculty of the college approved the changes on September 18, 2009, and the dean approved the proposed changes on October 5, 2009. The secretary has classified this proposal as legislation of general interest to more than one college or school.
The Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review recommended approval of the change on November 23, 2009, and forwarded the proposed changes to the Office of the General Faculty. The Faculty Council has the authority to approve this legislation on behalf of the General Faculty. The authority to grant final approval on this legislation resides with the executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.
If no objection is filed with the Office of the General Faculty by the date specified below, the legislation will be held to have been approved by the Faculty Council. If an objection is filed within the prescribed period, the legislation will be presented to the Faculty Council at its next meeting. The objection, with reasons, must be signed by a member of the Faculty Council.
To be counted, a protest must be received in the Office of the General Faculty by December 14, 2009.
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty and the Faculty Council
Distributed through the Faculty Council web site
on December 9, 2009.
NAME OF DEGREE PROGRAM(S):
Bachelor of Science in Biology
EXPLAIN CHANGE(S) TO DEGREE PROGRAM:
There are four college-wide changes being made to the prescribed work and special requirements for this degree: (1) A statement that students must satisfy the University-wide core curriculum requirements has been added and redundant line requirements have been stricken; (2) Honors course options are listed as satisfying the introductory chemistry requirement in the degree; (3) The foreign language requirements have been modified to reflect the change in the foreign language curriculum in the College of Liberal Arts; (4) The GPA requirement statement has been modified to reflect the change to +/- grading.
Option-specific changes to degree requirements:
Option I: Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
Addition of BIO 438L to the list of courses that will satisfy the behavior requirement and removal BIO 376 that will no longer be taught.
Option II: Human Biology
Addition of new courses (BIO 320L, 349L, 446L, 360M, 365S, Architecture 359R Topic 1) to the lists of courses that will satisfy particular degree requirements, and the removal of courses (SOC 308 and GEO 339K) that are no longer applicable.
Option IV: Microbiology
Addition of BIO 160L, which was omitted in error from the 08-10 catalog, and removal of BIO 368L that will no longer be taught.
Option V: Cell and Molecular Biology
Reorganizing the list of courses that can be used to satisfy degree requirements, adding new courses to appropriate areas, and removing courses (BIO 331L, 368L, 337 Topic: Molecular Immunology) that will no longer be taught.
Option VI: Neurobiology
Addition of new courses developed for this discipline (BIO 320L, 321G, 366C, 366D, 366F, 366L, 366P, 366S, PSY 353K) to course lists, and removal of BIO 323L which is a lab that is less related to this degree.
Option VII: Plant Biology
Addition of new lab course BIO 320L to course list.
Option VIII: Teaching
Addition of numbered topic (BIO 337: Topic 2) to course list.
Option IX: Biology Honors
The breadth requirement was revised to ensure that previously “hidden” lab requirements were visible and to add the option of an honors-level statistics course. The physics requirement was given its own line as all majors must complete the eight-semester-hour sequence of physics as a prerequisite for other coursework. The number of required semester hours in biology was corrected (changed from 6 hours to 12 hours) to be consistent with line 3. This was an oversight in the 2008-10 catalog. The total hours of approved elective coursework was reduced from thirty-two to twenty to correct for a mathematical inaccuracy in the 08-10 catalog and to reflect the specification of the physics requirement. Three statements have been added in special requirements to clarify that students must be in good standing in the Dean’s Scholars program to graduate under Option II, to specify that AP credit may not be used to satisfy the breadth requirement in the degree, and to remove the requirement that a grade of A must be earned in each half of Biology 679H.
Option X: Computational Biology
The list of mathematics and computation courses that satisfy the major has been updated to align the curriculum with the college’s Certificate in Scientific Computation as opposed to the Elements in Computing program. Specifically, SSC 329C is now listed as an alternative to M 340L or M 341, and the elective course lists have been revised to specify courses in programming, numerical methods, statistical methods and applied computational topics. In addition, the computational biology course has been given its own course number (BIO 321G) and this has replaced the topics course Biology 337 as a degree requirement.
Indicate pages in the undergraduate catalog where changes will be made.
pages 493, 504-510
GIVE A DETAILED RATIONALE FOR CHANGE(S):
The college is adopting the University-wide common core for its B.S. degrees for the 2010-12 catalog. Our degree plans are being updated to reflect this change.
||Honors Course Options:
For the past two years, qualified natural sciences students have had the option to complete an honors biology sequence (BIO 315H and BIO 325) and an honors chemistry sequence (CH 301H and CH 302H) to satisfy their introductory biology and chemistry course requirements. The degree plans in the college are being updated to reflect this option.
The college has created a two-semester calculus sequence for science majors (M 408N and M 408S) that will emphasize the science-related applications of calculus. The curriculum in this two-semester sequence will be collaboratively informed by the mathematics faculty and the science faculty and is expected to better prepare science students to be successful as they progress through their calculus-based science and laboratory course work. Data in the college has shown that students who progress as a cohort through their required coursework tend to be more successful. Given the low success rates of natural sciences students in M 408K and M 408L, it is expected that these new courses will decrease the repeat-rate of science students taking first and second semester calculus, thereby reducing the impact on the college’s instructional budget as well. Natural Sciences students will continue to have the option of completing the traditional two-semester sequence for calculus-ready students, M 408C and M 408D. The majority of students are expected to complete the M 408N and M 408S sequence.
The college’s adoption of C- as the minimum grade required for course credit raises the possibility that students may satisfy all degree requirements with grades of C- but simultaneously fall short of the minimum 2.0 GPA required in the major. Therefore, the college is implementing a common GPA statement for all degrees in the college to clarify that students must have a grade of at least C-, and a grade point average of at least 2.0 in the math and science courses required in the degree.
Specific courses were added and deleted from course lists to ensure that the course lists reflected new courses and no longer referenced courses that have been retired.
Option IV: Honors Biology
The changes proposed in this degree are reflective of the changes being made across all honors degree plans in the college. 1) The breadth and thesis requirements in the honors degrees have been revised where necessary to either clarify eligible courses, add “hidden” lab requirements, or ensure that students would select course combinations that would satisfy the university core requirements for Natural Sciences I and II. 2) The degree plans now specifically state that AP credit cannot be used to satisfy the breadth requirement because the intention of the degrees is to provide students with an honor-level course in these areas. 3) The hours of additional approved electives were modified where necessary to accurately reflect the number of elective hours that students had available. It was discovered that there were mathematical inaccuracies in the 08-10 catalog and these are being fixed. 4) It was deemed necessary by the faculty to clarify that students must be in good standing in the Dean’s Scholars program to obtain the honors option of a degree. This was an implied requirement that was never officially stated in the catalog. It is now being added. The grade requirement of A in Biology 679H has been removed from the special requirements for the degree. The honors project is completed in the student’s last semester of course work. Removing the grade of A requirement will allow for a grade to be awarded based on actual merit rather than a belief that the grade of A must be awarded to ensure the student’s eligibility to graduate.
Option X: Computational Biology
When the computation degree options were originally created in the college, the only computation courses available to students who were not computer science majors were courses in the Elements of Computing program. Over the past two years, the curriculum for the Elements of Computing certificate has changed substantially and is no longer viewed as being appropriate for students who are seeking to develop substantial skills in the area of computational science. Students who are interested in computational science are now being directed to the Division of Statistics and Scientific Computing which has increased available course offerings in this area and, through a campus-wide collaboration of faculty from several schools and colleges, developed an undergraduate Certificate in Scientific Computing. Departments with computational degree options have opted to revise their computational degrees to align them with the new curriculum. The computational degrees will now require that students complete a set of courses that is more academically appropriate and closely aligned with the Certificate in Scientific Computing. This change will improve the intellectual value of the degree and, at the same time, allow students the opportunity to complete the certificate should they choose to complete the additional independent research requirement.