BRUNSWICK (AP) – Students entering Bowdoin College next fall will see some changes in their curriculum, as the college implements a curriculum that spells out the skills students are expected to develop over their college careers.

The new curriculum will stress the sciences, with lab classes where students will learn scientific principles and methods replacing survey lecture courses.

“We still want well-rounded students, but we want to be clear about what well-rounded means,” said Craig McEwen, Bowdoin’s dean of academic affairs.

It’s increasingly important that Bowdoin graduates understand science and technology and have the skills to understand a fast-changing world, he said. “Understanding that complexity is fundamental to success in the world.”

The new approach calls for students to interact more often with professors, beginning with a faculty-led freshman seminar in which students focus on writing and analytic thinking.

The college will launch a fund-raising campaign to hire the additional professor the new curriculum will require. It will be implemented in stages, beginning with the class entering in the fall of 2005.

Bowdoin’s change is part of a national push to revise programs to ensure undergraduate students get a rigorous education.

Harvard University made national news this spring when a committee recommended faculty be made responsible for defining what students should learn and how.

Many of the changes being instituted at Bowdoin were introduced at the University of Maine in the mid 1990s, said Ann Leffler, dean of liberal arts and sciences, as U.S. colleges redefine liberal arts education.

“We are all asking the question of how to become educated rather than merely trained,” she said.

AP-ES-06-28-04 0218EDT



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