CAA approves program, course changes


Rob Le Cates

Don Pakey, physics professor, represents the Physics Department for the addition of adding a course called Plasma Physics at Thursday afternoon’s CAA meeting. The Council voted unanimously in favor of the addition.

Luke Taylor, News Editor

The Council on Academic Affairs approved revisions to the astronomy option of the physics major during their meeting Thursday afternoon.

In the process of correcting errors in course requirement listings and electives for astronomy, the physics department decided to make changes to electives under that option.

The revisions added the Plasma Physics class to the options for electives, added Planetary Geology to the list of required courses, made the Astrophysics class a singular requirement, and changed the Classical Dynamics and Differential Equations from electives to requirements.

The rationale explains the reasoning behind the changes is to further students’ knowledge of cosmic phenomena.

“Stars, interstellar gas, nebulae, and even the Van Allen Belts are composed of plasma,” the proposal read. “It makes sense for anyone studying these and other cosmic phenomena to understand how plasmas interact with electric and magnetic fields.  Therefore, Plasma Physics will benefit the students in this concentration throughout their careers.”

CAA made punctuation and clarity edits to the proposal before approving it. These changes will be put into effect in Fall 2022.

The council approved a proposal to allow the Political Science capstone course and the History capstone course to be used as replacements for senior seminars.

The council also approved a new educational psychology course and a revised educational psychology course.

“Topics in educational psychology including individual growth and development, motivation, learning theories, intelligence and personality, classroom management, student evaluation, and best practices in the classroom” will be the focus of the new course, Educational Psychology/Foundations for Teachers.

Changes in EDP 2330, Educational Psychology/Foundations for Teachers, were also approved because of the crossovers between it and the above course.

Similarly, the council voted on two history classes, one of which was a new course and one of which was revisions to a course.

The new course, Methods, Theory and Pedagogy for History and Social Studies, would focus on students “(building) a foundation for their work as a social studies educator and reflective practitioner through study of pedagogy, instructional strategies, resources, lesson and inquiry unit design, and technology appropriate for the teaching of history, civics, and other social studies courses at the middle and secondary level.”

The course will focus on reading and analyzing “current literature on topics related to historical thinking, social studies pedagogy, and culturally responsive and anti-racist social studies practice.”

Luke Taylor can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].