X-College task force created

During the past year, Tech has worked to develop and initiate plans that follow in the path laid out by the five goals that were outlined in Tech’s Strategic Plan. The Institute’s academic leadership has begun the exploratory process towards the initiatives that came along with the plan.
One of the initiatives that resulted from the yearlong strategic planning process was the idea to create a “design your own major” program on Tech’s campus. Earlier this month, Provost Rafael Bras announced the creation of a committee to review the procedures, options and the formulations of strategies to create the X-College.
“For some time, our students have asked the administration to offer some kind of self-directed learning options,” Bras said.
“The X-College initiative grew from the very strong recommendations from students and faculty in the strategic planning process that Georgia Tech needs to increase student-faculty interaction and allow more flexibility in curricula,” said Dr. Richard Barke, an associate professor in the School of Public Policy and chair of the X-College planning committee, which is made up of 18 individuals, including undergraduate and graduate students.
While the committee is still in its developmental stages, some of the main objectives that have come up with redesigning education at Tech include more student faculty interaction in a more diverse learning environment, innovative teaching and learning and more undergraduate involvement in research.
Although the idea will be to encourage a flexible curriculum, the X-College environment will strive to ensure depth in at least one area in order to provide a context for problem solving and discovery. Cross-disciplinary teams of faculty would supply the necessary structure and guidance, while the curriculum would retain the capstone project element.
“The X-College ideals derive from the idea that education should be effective and adaptable for the individual,” Creel said. “We are not here simply to pass our classes and get out. We are here to get an education, to broaden our perspective, and to become active contributors to our world.”
Creel said that with adequate support, the X-College could incite a culture of undergraduate innovation that permeates the entire Institute.


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