Discover New York needs reform

At the beginning of the Fall 2001 semester, St. John’s introduced a common core curriculum that is shared by all of the five undergraduate colleges of the University.

According to the Office of the Provost’s website, all of these core courses would include five major competencies, or “skills for leadership”: critical thinking, writing, oral presentation, information literacy, and quantitative reasoning.

All of these are included in DNY. The class is a good one already, but it may become even better if the administration was willing to make changes.

Diana Lounsbury, the sophomore senator in Student Government, is from upstate New York. She feels that “the Discover New York class should not be required for students who were born and raised in New York City.”

Even though it is centered on the city and “the freshman experience,” each professor teaches his or her class through a certain theme. Since first semester freshmen cannot choose their own classes, there is a good chance that one or more students would end up in a DNY class that has a theme that they do not have an interest in.

This is one area in which DNY might need a slight reform in curriculum.

Instead of automatically scheduling the course in a freshman’s first semester, which is the norm in the current curriculum, the Freshman Center should wait until the second semester to offer the course, making it possible for the student to choose their own section, and therefore, a theme that they would most likely enjoy more.

This, however, would have a simple fix. The College of Professional Studies offers two one-credit courses offered to their first-semester freshmen entitled “The College Experience” and “Critical Thinking Skills” in addition to a one-credit course offered in the Communications Department entitled “Career Horizons.”

The University should combine these courses into a mandatory 3-credit course with even more emphasis on transition to higher education as well as the skills needed to be successful in the “real world.” In addition, DNY should still be offered for those who want to take it or are not familiar with New York City.