New UCOR director details changes

Courtesy of the Office of Marketing and Communications
Courtesy of the Office of Marketing and Communications Darlene Weaver, a professor of theology, is the new core curriculum director.
Courtesy of the Office of Marketing and Communications

Darlene Weaver, a professor of theology, is the new core curriculum director.

Hallie Lauer | Staff Writer

Duquesne’s core curriculum is getting a makeover.

The university’s core (UCOR) classes will be getting some new changes, thanks to new Core Curriculum Director Darlene Weaver.

“[There are] no major overhauls or things like that, but ways to tweak the core [curriculum] in order to help students complete their requirements,” said Weaver, who was hired at the beginning of July.

The main goal of Weaver and a review committee newly implemented this semester is to create a more open communication system between students and their advisors, making it easier for students to schedule for the next semester.

“We’re currently making sure that there’s consistency between the guides that advisors get about courses that meet core requirements and the list of attributes that the registrar office has,” Weaver said. “We want to iron out any discrepancies.”

Weaver said she wants to create a liaison board to facilitate communication between her and Duquesne students.

“I’d like to create a student liaison board, so that there can be opportunities at least once a semester for me to hear from students about all sorts of things,” Weaver said. “That kind of student outreach, I think, is really important,” Weaver said.

Weaver is working alongside Cheryl Knoch, Duquesne’s assistant vice president for student involvement, to create the board. The goal is to hear suggestions and concerns from the board and then use those to help improve students’ experiences with UCOR.

In addition to making sure everyone is on the same page on what classes meet which requirements, Weaver wants to help students and advisors have “efficient as well as constructive” conversations.

To do that, she wants students to be able to more easily track their progress in meeting core requirements.

Weaver also emphasized that students can search for their core classes on DORI by attribute during pre-registration, as opposed to going through each department looking for classes.

Another change being made is the addition of student web pages on the core curriculum web page on Duquesne’s website. These pages will contain a list of courses that have core attributes, according to Weaver. This will make is easier for students to find specific core classes, Weaver said. The webpage will be updated regularly.

The main goal of theses changes is to improve communication with students and to portray the value of UCOR classes.

“I think too often the core curriculum is perceived as a set of boxes to check off or hoops to jump through, but it’s actually so much more than that,” Weaver said. “It’s a really valuable component of the undergraduate education our students receive . It provides the sort of intellectual formation and skill development that employers are really looking for.”