While students continue to register for next year’s courses, they will find some new additions to the curriculum.
Several new Computer Science classes have been added under the direction of Mark Vellinga and Mike Wallinga. Three of these classes all fall under the heading of CSC100, Computing Topics. Within this title are three half-semester classes: Introductory Spreadsheets, offered first half; The Internet & World Wide Web, also offered first half; and Advanced Spreadsheets, offered the second half of the fall semester.
Wallinga says that this is a good set-up because students can choose “if they want to learn about the internet or learn about spreadsheets. Students can choose to skip the introduction course and go right to Advanced Spreadsheets if they feel they’re ready.”
Business majors are required to take Advanced Spreadsheets and Computer Science 102 for their major, but other students are welcome to take these new classes.
“We’re able to give the students flexibility in their schedule and give them the ability to take the courses they need,” says Wallinga. Vellinga adds, “We’re offering a smorgasbord with even more options available in the future.”
Along with the new computer courses, there will also be a higher German language course at NW for the first time in several years. Michael Kensak will be teaching German 201 in the fall.
Kensak plans on teaching mostly conversation skills and German literature in his class. The class will be all in German so that the students will become accustomed to speaking in German. The class will also involve more learning about the German culture.
Kensak is excited to teach this class because he feels that “having lots of language classes is crucial for a serious liberal arts college. Plus, I get a parental kind of joy from bringing students to fluency in a language.” Kensak, as a linguist, is looking forward to getting people excited about language, culture and words.
A new cross-cultural opportunity for students will be the preparatory course for the study abroad program to Oman. Scott Monsma will be teaching a 2-credit class for students who sign up to visit Oman over Christmas break.
Monsma is very excited about this opportunity for students, saying, “Who would want to freeze their body parts off when they could be sitting in the desert listening to Bedu music?”
The class will focus on anthropology and culture of Oman, including the religious freedom in Oman, the development of the culture and practical issues concerning the trip. Monsma is excited about this class because “it puts a human face on Omanis.” Monsma says that too often people generalize about the Middle East, saying they’re all this way. He compares that to saying Americans, Mexicans and Canadians are all the same.
In Oman, students will be taught by Monsma and Michael Bos. The students will be able to meet Muslim clerics at a mosque and see things unique to Oman. “We’re going to go places you never go as a tourist,” says Monsma. “We’re going to have an experience you can never replicate.” The deadline for applications for the Oman study abroad program is April 7, 2004.
The music department is also shifting some classes around. Greg Scheer will teach World Musics as a half-semester class next fall. Until recently the class has been alternated with Music of the Twentieth Century, taught by Dr. Holm. World Musics is required for all music ministry majors. The students will study different ethnic and indigenous styles of music around the world and how that music is used in worship. They also re-work hymns to resemble different styles of music from around the world.
Scheer is excited about this class and encourages students to take it. “This is something you can actually use in missions,” he says.
All the new classes will be available next semester. Northwestern is expanding its curriculum to benefit people in new and different ways.