Tag: program changes
There is a difference between “good” programs and “great” programs that is revealed by how they approach criticism. Good programs may fight the news or dispute the news; great programs embrace the news and use it to their advantage.
BIMS is a great program. Just 6 years ago, the Biology Department launched its three new B.S. programs – the brand new Biomedical Science (BIMS) degree, the brand new Life Sciences degree, and the revised Biology degree. Each year since, we have participated in authentic and investigative annual assessment to identify our weaknesses and form strategies to make improvements. Our willingness to find fault and criticize our own efforts led us to ask “How can we improve our performance for the sake of our students?” Just over a year ago, the accumulation of evidence told us we needed a more extensive and universal Biology Core curriculum for all three majors. And we needed to break down the barriers that prevented our BIMS majors from taking advanced BIOL courses, and vice versa.
We have just received approval for our new curriculum. Here is a look at the BIMS of the future, starting Fall 2015:
Biology Core (courses taken by all BIOL, BIMS, and LSCI majors)
- BIOL 1306/1106. General Biology I/Gen Bio I Lab. Molecules to cells.
- BIOL 1307/1107. General Biology II/Gen Biol II Lab. Animals and plants to ecosystems and evolution.
- BIOL 3460. Genetics
- BIOL 3110. Junior Seminar. Immersion in scientific literature to prepare for senior capstones. Career counseling and entrance exam preparation. Participation in locally-produced diagnostic Junior Exams to help us assess effectiveness of our courses during their first two years.
- Senior capstone experiences. Can be either BIOL 4201/4101 Senior Capstone Experience/Scientific Literature (research with a faculty member, scientific writing to report results), BIOL 4388 Biology Internship (arranged internship with practitioners in science or health professions), or BIOL 4496/4397 Honors Research/Honors Thesis (for those pursuing the added distinction and expectations of Honors research and thesis).
BIMS Program Required Courses
- BIMS 3350 Cell Biology. Return of a course focused on eukaryotic cell anatomy and physiology.
- BIMS 3410 Microbiology.
- BIMS 3430 Human Physiology.
- BIMS 4350/4150 Molecular Biology/Molecular Biology Lab.
BIMS Elective courses.
- Ten hours of elective courses from advanced BIMS and BIOL course offerings.
The Biology and Life Sciences programs have also undergone some tweaks that promise to make them even more effective than their current versions. We are excited about how these changes position us (and our students) for the future!
This coming fall there will be a few modest changes to the BIMS program. Part of our ongoing assessment is focused on how our students are doing; the remainder is focused on how our courses and program structure can be improved. Based on feedback received, we are making these changes:
1. We are changing BIOL 4320 Molecular Cell Biology to be BIMS 4320 Molecular Cell Biology. It made no sense to us to have a course listed under BIOL when Biology majors are not required to take the course and it cannot count for credit toward their major, when that same course is a required BIMS program course.
2. We are modifying the way advanced electives are to be categorized through the addition of two new course numbers: BIMS 4X91 Advanced Topics in Microbiology and Public Health, and BIMS 4X92 Advanced Topics in Genetics and Molecular Biology. Since program inception last year, we have allowed a wide variety of courses to satisfy the 9 hrs of upper level BIMS program electives – courses from Biology, Biochemistry, Psychology, Pathophysiology from the nursing program, and Kinesiology. We believe more focus is needed to help strengthen the core of BIMS-centric courses, and so these two new course designations will be our first step in doing this.
3. We are dropping BIOL 4310 Immunology. This course will still be offered annually, but will now be a course under BIMS 4391 Advanced Topics in Microbiology and Public Health: Immunology (probably to be referred to as Advanced Topics: Immunology). Dr. D’s Cancer Biology will be offered as a 4392 Advanced Topics: Cancer Biology. So, though it would seem we are losing a very important course (Immunology), the fact is it still will be offered but under a new number.
4. We are re-designating the 3-hour requirement for Immunology as a 3-hour requirement for any BIMS 4X91 OR BIMS 4X92 offering, opening the program to be tailored more toward the interests and needs of our students.
With these simple changes, we believe we have made a small but important step in improving our program.