Contact: Frances Black
The Curriculum Committee is responsible for keeping the student senate and the campus at large informed of curriculum concerns and changes. The committee publishes ASPECTS, assists the administration with the college's mandatory faculty teaching evaluations and holds forums to discuss timely educational policy issues. The Curriculum Committee serves as a resource for academic representatives, department liaisons, and the student body at large, traditional and non-traditional aged students alike.
Criteria for courses included in the social justice course inventory: (as of April 3, 2013)
Courses with a social justice designation ask students to reflect upon the ways different communities (historical and contemporary) have defined a just society. Through coursework students will address one or more of the following areas in order to develop an analytical, critical understanding of societies in the past and the societies they live in:
- How have different historical, contemporary, cultural and environmental contexts shaped questions about a just society?
- What groups historically or in the contemporary world have not participated fully in society? How and why are certain groups privileged or disadvantaged regarding access to power, social goods and/or decision-making?
- How have individuals or groups addressed policies or practices that they think cause injustice?
Status Update: After a drafting process the Curriculum Committee began in October 2012 and based on extensive conversations between students and faculty, the Committee on Academic Priorities formally endorsed the criteria the first week of April 2013. Professors are now beginning to review the criteria in conjunction with their own courses so they can decide on an individual level whether they’d like them included in the inventory. A version of the inventory should be available sometime in May 2013.
Proposal to add a social justice component to the Latin Honors distributions
- One of the 7 courses a student completes in order to be eligible for Latin Honors (in the areas of the arts, foreign language, historical studies, literature, natural science, mathematics and analytical philosophy, and social science) must also be one designated by Smith professors as being related to social justice and in the college’s inventory of social justice-related courses. This means that students will be able to double count one course for both a discipline distribution and Social Justice. Note: nearly all courses offered at Smith are designated as satisfying Latin Honors distributions.
Status Update: As of April 3, 2013, the initiative has been formally tabled by the college, the Curriculum Committee, in consultation with students, is beginning conversations about what to do with the proposal in the 2013-2014 academic year. Please be in touch with Curriculum Committee Chair Liz Rich (firstname.lastname@example.org) to share your opinion on the question of whether the committee should continue with the proposal.