The year is 2020. You are back at Ithaca College for the annual Fall Splash alumni reunion weekend.
The Textor Hall statue stands round and still abstractly fish-like; the fountain still sprinkles and illuminates colorfully. No longer a student, you are enjoying the end of Ithaca’s ‘nice weather’ season.
But something is different; something has changed.
On the academic quad sits a group of students; they seem to be experiencing a lecture given by a student. The group of students is predominately Asian and African-American. This is not the Ithaca College you remember.
Classes taught by students and a diverse student population are only two aspects of the college’s 10-year transformation plan, “IC 20/20 – Focusing Our Vision on Student Learning.”
“Every institute has to have a core curriculum that incorporates all of its values,” Robert Sullivan, co-chair of the Liberal Education and Integrated Learning section of IC 20/20 task force, said.
“So we asked ourselves, what is our core? What would come to people’s minds when talking about Ithaca College?” Sullivan said. He also pointed out that Ithaca College is a well-known regional institution and has been for a long time. “So what’s next?” he asked.
With these questions in mind, task force members have the goal of moving Ithaca College into the national limelight.
“Ithaca College is in the transition of becoming a nation-wide, famous institution for its integrative, professionally applied, and inquiry-based study programs.” Sullivan said.
After a year of planning, IC 20/20 will be put to the test.
The plan is a series of task force documents. Below are 10 major changes that will be in effect by 2020:
1. Students will graduate with a major and a minor:
For a student to graduate with a BA or BS, a major will no longer be enough. A new requirement to complete at least one minor will be added to each curriculum.
2. Creating an online portfolio and reflecting college education will be part of a mandatory course:
Sullivan said the purpose of this course is to teach the students how to create their own online resume and to give them a chance to reflect on what their college education has given them.
3. Students will be sometimes taught by their roommates, friends, peers:
Peer-to-peer curriculum was implemented this fall and will continue to grow. For example, the Environmental Studies and Science Department offered a course “How to Grow Your Own Food,” designed and partially taught by students. However, these courses will all be presented in special modules, as 1-credit pass/fail classes.
4. More major options through collaboration between different departments:
Addicted to Facebook? Tweet every five seconds? Want to exceed Mark Zuckerberg? The new Emerging Media major will provide students the advantage of classes in both the department of Computer Sciences and the Park School, and more major combinations are planned.
5. Every student can study abroad:
The 20/20 plan will “create curricular flexibility that makes it possible for all IC students to participate in an international program, including semester abroad, winter or summer session study and travel, foreign institutional exchange, international internships, or civic engagement projects,” according to Task force Document #1. This means students can expect an expanded study abroad program with more options and more flexibility for a four-year college schedule.
6. Studying a second language will be mandatory:
Globalization is the trend, and one of the most powerful tools to have is the ability to speak a second language. In order for students to be strong competitors after graduation, Ithaca College will require everyone to take a second language.
7. An all-freshmen residential experience:
For now, only Rowland, Boothroyd, Talcott, and East Tower are the First-Year Experience residential halls, and living there is a choice. In 2020, all freshmen will be enrolled in the First-Year Residential Experience, and an academic coach will be available to help ease students’ transition.
8. Five-Year Master’s Program:
Terrified of GRE or GMAT, but still want to go to a graduate school? Ithaca College students in certain majors will be offered a five-year program to speed up the path to becoming a “master.” Students will need to maintain a certain GPA and complete all undergraduate study at Ithaca College to participate.
9. Take a class anytime, anywhere in the world:
More courses will be offered online, so, from Singapore to South Africa, on the bus or in the airport, a student can take out a laptop and take a class at Ithaca College.
10. Ithaca College Center in NYC:
In Spring 2012, students from certain majors in the Communications and Business schools will have the opportunity to spend a semester in the “Big Apple.”
In the next few years, students who are planning to study abroad will have more satellite campuses to choose from. A program is also being developed in China.