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Faculty alter new first-year requirement because of continuing pandemic

The new two-course Civic, Liberal and Global Education Requirement for undergraduates approved in May has been reduced to one course for one year by the faculty because of disruptions caused by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Steering Committee, acting on behalf of the Senate of the Academic Council, voted Tuesday to approve a one-year delay in the implementation of the two-course Civic, Liberal and Global Education (CLGE) requirement for first-year students. It will instead, be a one-course requirement.

The delay, which was approved during an administrative session, was requested by the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Stanford Introductory Studies because of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic disruptions.

Tuesday’s action delays a measure approved in May 2020 that would have required first-year students to take two courses – each course in two separate quarters – in the CLGE requirement as part of a pilot project. The two-course requirement will instead go into effect in AY 2022-23.

That new requirement is designed to provide a unifying intellectual experience that respects the diversity of the Stanford student body through inclusive curriculum and teaching; establish a foundation and capacity for exploration of the full range of academic disciplines and opportunities offered to undergraduates; and develop the critical and ethical thinking skills and knowledge base for responsible local, national and global citizenship.

“The proposal that the Steering Committee approved still maintains the switch from Thinking Matters to CLGE,” said Dan Edelstein, professor of French in the School of Humanities & Sciences and faculty director of Stanford Introductory Studies.

“So, to put it simply, this is still the last year of Thinking Matters,” he said. “The first-year requirement that students will be taking next academic year will be called CLGE. But they still will only be required to take one course in 2021-22. We’ve simply delayed the implementation of the two-course requirement until 2022-23.”