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New courses increase student options

Nov. 12, 1997

By Stephanie Kugle and Kristen Eppner

Reporters for The Baylor Lariat

Baylor is offering 13 new courses this spring in departments across campus, allowing students to explore new pathways on the road to graduation.

'Degree plans are being updated,' said Anna Kay Hollon-Harris, associate registrar and director of registration. 'They want to offer students the best, most current information for different reasons, but most importantly for the good of the students.'

One class new to the university this spring focuses on early childhood intervention and is being offered through the School of Education.

'Early intervention is treating children ages two to six who are suffering from developmental disorders or are at risk of developmental disorders,' Janet Bagby, lecturer in educational psychology, said.

'The field of early intervention is interdisciplinary. Let's say you have a child born with Down Syndrome. You would immediately have a team working with that child,' Bagby said. 'They would be a group of professionals working on an intervention for that child. This course is going to be team taught, like the field itself.'

Rotating the teaching schedule with Bagby is Dr. Kathy Whipple, professor and chair of communication sciences and disorders; Dr. Carole Hanks, assistant professor of nursing and director of the pre-nursing program, Waco campus; Pamela Marcum, director of the Klaras Center and Ann Rash, teacher of blind students for Waco Independent School District and mother of a child with Down Syndrome.

'Early intervention is referred to as 'family focused' because it works not just with the child but with the whole family,' Bagby said.

'What we're hoping to do is get a real cross-section of students from all those disciplines like nursing, child development and education,' Bagby said.

The English department is establishing a new graduate-level class to train students for careers outside of traditional English literature.

Dr. Gordon Grant, assistant professor of English, will be teaching the class Studies in Rhetoric and Composition.

'It's a graduate level class and it's going to introduce graduate students to rhetorical history and offer a little of the theory of teaching writing,' Grant said. 'The department has long seen a need to expose students to other sides of the English discipline besides literature.'

The gender studies minor will also offer a new introductory course to its curriculum.

Kathryn Mueller, an instructor in sociology and gender studies, said the course will focus on the expectations of society because of being born female and being born male.

'While biology determines one's sex, society defines one's gender,' Mueller said. 'Gender is a social construction and that is what is studied in the college of arts and sciences.'

The department of environmental studies has added two courses to help their students perform environmental research.

Dr. Dudley Burton, professor and chair of the department, said the Chemical Investigation and Remediation and the Research Methods classes will help professors and students increase efficiency in researching.

'The methods class is a research analysis and guidance class,' Burton said. 'That is, how do you set up a research project and study it from the beginning to reach a valid conclusion? Research Methods is a class we found useful because we have a senior thesis requirement for undergraduates and the alternative is dealing with each of them on an individual basis.

'Remediation deals with elimination of various contaminants from soil and water. It is a course in environmental clean-up, which is something we are interested in.'

The religion department is offering Christianity in Films, which will be taught by Dr. John Wood, professor of religion.

'Students look at films past and currently showing and try and do a moral critique of 'what are they telling me of who I am and how I am to live my life?'' Wood said.

'I watch them challenge or affirm decent human life and try to critique them,' said Wood, who is teaching the class because of this personal interest in films.

Wood said Christian people ought to look at films and see how it relates to personal Christian faith.

'Films have a way of talking about the direction of society long before academic abstract books do,' Wood said.

New courses offered for Spring 1998:

*CHE 1102 General Chemistry Laboratory

*EDP 3330 Early Childhood Intervention

*ENG 5310 Studies in Rhetoric and Composition

*ENV 4315 Research Methods

*ENV 4390 Chemical Investigation and Remediation

*GEO 5377 Advanced Studies in Structural Geotechtonics

*LAT 1402 Beginning Latin

*PHI 4363 Philosophy and Medicine

*REL 3396 Christianity and Films

*SOC 2310 Introduction to Gender Studies

Truett Seminary

*CRED 7300 Introduction to Christian Religious Education

*THEO 7V85 Studies in Mission

*PRCH 7328 Preaching for the Gospel

compiled by a Lariat survey of each University department

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