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Hillsdale College faculty voted last Thursday to approve basic details for the Senior Cap­stone’s structure. Planning will con­tinue through this semester and summer. Nolan Ryan | Col­legian

The Hillsdale College faculty will begin planning course schedules and other details for the Senior Cap­stone course after approving basic details of the class in a vote last Thursday.

The Class of 2020 will be the first required to take the course, which was first pro­posed in 2011. The cap­stone will be a one-credit course, offered every semester, com­prised of five class-wide lec­tures from Pres­ident Larry Arnn and five depart­mental lec­tures in a student’s own major, according to the pro­posal crafted by the provost’s office and the aca­demic deans. The course will offi­cially be offered starting in the Fall 2019 semester, Stephen Smith, pro­fessor of English and dean of human­ities, said in an email. Smith said the course will con­clude with written exams cov­ering both sets of lec­tures.

In an email to The Col­legian, Arnn said a one-credit course seems to be what faculty and stu­dents can manage with their schedules. He added it was also deemed a suf­fi­cient amount for the course. His lec­tures will focus on “liberal edu­cation, human nature, and ethics,” according to the pro­posal.

“The cap­stone will seek to review and asso­ciate the few best things in each part of the core,” Arnn said. “I will probably use readings from each of the core courses with an attempt to define the meaning and reason of each course and its rela­tionship to the whole.”

Sched­uling for Arnn’s com­ponent of the course will be worked around his schedule, and the lec­tures will likely take place outside reg­u­larly scheduled class periods, maybe on Sunday nights, according to Paul Moreno, dean of social sci­ences and pro­fessor of history.

“The pres­i­dential lec­tures will be video­taped so that people who can’t make it will have access to it,” he said.

The depart­mental lec­tures, however, will most likely be scheduled for regular class times. The goal, Moreno said, is to get as much of the senior class together for Arnn’s lec­tures, which will probably be held in a large space such as the Searle Center, according to the pro­posal.

Planning for each department’s involvement in the cap­stone course will con­tinue throughout this semester and the summer so that the cap­stone will be fully pre­pared for next semester, Moreno said.

“The deans and department chairs are working on the indi­vidual department plans this semester,” Smith said. “Indi­vidual depart­ments will plan the depart­mental side of the course for their majors and vet the plans with their dean before the class launches in the fall.”

In regard to faculty con­cerns about the logistics of the course and having enough pro­fessors to teach the depart­mental lec­tures — espe­cially for larger depart­ments — Moreno said the hope is the one-credit structure will take away some of the burden.

“For most of depart­ments I’ve talked to in my division, we have enough people who are inter­ested in doing it,” he said. “We will have an ade­quate number of sec­tions for the stu­dents.”

Several stu­dents, who are tech­ni­cally members of the Class of 2020 but are grad­u­ating early, are cur­rently taking a pro­totype version of the course, according to Moreno. The provost’s office is working with faculty to help these stu­dents since the official launch is in the fall, Smith said.

“They just got started. They will have a common reading instead of the pres­i­dential lec­tures,” Moreno said.

Arnn said he hopes his lec­tures and each department’s lec­tures will “enrich, elevate, and instruct each other.”

“We have a lot of work to do,” he said.