CAA changes music, history courses

Elias Albert, Staff Reporter

The Council on Academic Affairs made changes to curriculum in the sections of music and history during its meeting Thursday.

In the music department, revisions were made to the course MUS 4980 Workshop in Music, which will now have online and hybrid options for students who wish to take it.

Shellie Gregorich, a professor in the music department, gave the proposal in favor of the course adjustments.

Gregorich said the music department was looking to change the way that the course was delivered and give students additional leeway in choosing the course.

“This is really part of a larger revision of two of our Master of Arts concentrations,” Gregorich said. “We’re looking to increase our enrollment by just expanding our availability and flexibility.”

Gregorich said the course will involve work over two different summers during six-week sessions. She said it will start online then translate to classroom-based classes.

History saw revisions by way of the course HIS 3950. This course will incorporate aspects of popular culture.

Malgorzata Rymsza-Pawlowska, a professor in the history department, spoke on behalf of the course.

Rymsza-Pawlowska said the class will be known as History of U.S. Popular Culture. She said the class was something that both students and staff in the department wanted to see.

“I’ve taught this class before at my previous institution,” Rymsza-Pawlowska said. “It’s exactly what it sounds like and students seem to like it a lot.”

The class will be based on American popular culture from as late as the 1830s. It coincides with the influence that industrialization had on the popular culture of the country.

Rymsza-Pawlowska said the class will feature case studies from historical events, music and film.

The meeting also saw presentations in favor of Africana studies and art.

James Ochwa-Echel, chair of the Africana Studies Program, presented on behalf of the Bachelor of Arts in Africana studies and gave the current outlook for the associated classes.

“The classes are always full,” Ochwa-Echel said. “We’ve seen cuts in personnel who can teach the classes and so far we’ve been managing, but it is getting difficult.”

Ochwa-Echel said his work load has increased as of late and he hopes that the program can remain despite the recent cuts. He said the studies give students essential skills like integrated learning.

David Griffin, chair of the art department, presented his stance on Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

Griffin gave the presentation in a dual matter to best describe the two similar programs. His presentation included reports for the program and some aspects that the program hopes to offer.

“We’re seeing some increased degree production,” Griffin said.

Griffin also gave some input on the Doudna Fine Arts Center building itself, which houses the art department.

Marita Gronnvoll, chairperson of CAA, said the meetings were relatively routine and free of any controversy.

The next CAA meeting is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5.


Elias Albert can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]