With the New Lasallian Core Curriculum’s (NLCC) framework already approved by the Academics Council and President’s Council, final revisions on course syllabi are being made just in time for next academic year. The new curriculum must be piloted by AY 2016-2017.
General education courses will be trimmed down to 36 units from the current 114. Originally, a Lasallian humanities and social sciences major must accomplish a total of 63 General Education Curriculum (GEC) units. On the other hand, science, engineering, and mathematics majors must take a total of 51 GEC units.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (AVCAA) Dr. Raymund Sison, who leads the NLCC initiative, says that the courses to be taught under the new curriculum will be compressed and interdisciplinary in nature to compromise for the change in required GEC units. For example, one of the new courses under the NLCC, Understanding the Self, will be taught using psychology, philosophy, and business concepts, among others.
The formation of the NLCC was initiated due to the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) proposed changes in the GEC, which distributes different GE courses to be taught in college and in the K-12 program’s senior high school. De La Salle University (DLSU) also had to comply to the academic standards set by the upcoming 2015 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) integration.
Behind the NLCC
Two committees have been formed to ensure the University’s smooth transition to the NLCC. The NLCC Framework Committee, which is composed of faculty members nominated by the different college deans, is mainly responsible for setting the rationale, goals, and principles of the NLCC. The committee is also in charge of the final approval of the NLCC syllabi.
The faculty members were selected based on three criteria: they must be established instructors in their respective fields, have had experiences in interdisciplinary collaboration, and they should be committed to the Lasallian story and mission.
On the other hand, the NLCC Course Design Committee is in charge of mapping the actual coursework and requirements of the new courses. There are several design committees to cater to the twelve NLCC courses, including the aforementioned Understanding the Self, Purposive Communication, and Life and Works of Rizal, to name a few. The college deans also nominated the faculty members who will be designing the new courses.
The Academics Council and President’s Council have also approved the creation of the Lasallian Core Curriculum Academy, the oversight unit that will be in charge of ensuring that the NLCC will be implemented as specified and designed. It will act like an academic department that will have roles and objectives specific to the NLCC, but it will be independent of any college affiliation. All 12 NLCC courses will be taught by the Academy.
As soon as the members of the Academy will be identified, the oversight of the NLCC will be transferred from the NLCC Framework Committee to the Academy. The Academy will then delegate each NLCC course to the Professional Learning Community (PLC), a group composed of faculty members that will be responsible for assisting the Academy. Members of the PLC are required to undergo continuous training in interdisciplinary teaching, the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), and Lasallian formation.
Filipino in the GEC and NLCC
The GEC proposed by CHED, which removes the teaching of Filipino subjects in the college level, was met with complaints by various Filipino language advocate groups, such as Tanggol Wika and Pambansang Samahan sa Linggwistika at Literaturang Filipino. Since last year, CHED has been undergoing consultations with these groups, but their efforts fell short as CHED remains firm with its decision.
In a statement by CHED, it said that the reason why general education courses in Filipino were being removed is that these will be transferred to Grades 11 and 12 of the K-12 curriculum. As of press time, Tanggol Wika has already seeked support from the Supreme Court and Congress to retain Filipino subjects in college.
Meanwhile, the NLCC is currently developing a course that will integrate concepts of Filipino identity, culture, and society, to the history and current developments of the ASEAN, which includes the opportunities, principal issues, and challenges in the ASEAN region.
“The NLCC follows a distributed approach to developing in students love for country. In this approach, multi-faceted aspects of Filipino identity, culture, and society are discussed with experts from various disciplines, in the varied contexts provided by the NLCC courses,” Sison explains. In the course being developed, he adds that it will deepen the students’ understanding of Filipino identity before being introduced to the developments of the ASEAN integration.
Moreover, the Life and Works of Rizal will be taught in Filipino, with an English version available for foreign students. All the other NLCC courses may be taught using Filipino as the medium of instruction, provided that the faculty members are qualified to do so as designed by the NLCC Course Design Committees.
The University is set to shift to the NLCC between AY 2015-2018. With the ASEAN integration fast approaching, DLSU is also looking into ways to improve its international linkages with foreign universities.