The Washington State University Faculty Senate approved a new course designation on Oct. 6 called “Inquiry into Equity and Justice (EQJS)” that will expand the University Common Requirements (UCORE) general education curriculum for the first time in a decade.
The new UCORE designation, which will not impact UCORE credits necessary for graduation, goes into effect in fall 2023. Courses in EQJS will equip students with intellectual tools and social contexts necessary to critically examine power dynamics, and to recognize, question, and understand structural inequities and privileges, according to the UCORE website.
A set of EQJS courses will be determined over the coming months and, will also provide students vital intellectual foundations, tools, and literacies to assess and evaluate ideologies and narratives to ethically pursue inclusive and just societies.
“This is the first major change to UCORE requirements since they were put in place ten years ago, and the committee feels it represents a much-needed engagement with issues of utmost importance in today’s society,” said Clif Stratton, UCORE director and professor of history.
“It is critical to note that the addition of the EQJS designation to the inquiry set is credit neutral, meaning it adds no additional UCORE credit requirements to graduate,” said Stratton. Some colleges, however, such as the College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Arts and Sciences, are planning to implement a college-level requirement that students complete courses in all UCORE inquiry designations. UCORE course requirements to graduate, then, could be determined on a college-by-college basis, as necessary.
“The UCORE committee thanks those colleges for their ongoing commitment to a broad educational experience at WSU,” he said.