June 26, 2019 | 82° F

Dance Appreciation will no longer fill core requirements

The Dance Appreciation and Dance Appreciation Online courses, commonly referred to as "GPA boosters" among students, will no longer fill core learning requirements starting in the fall.

The Core Requirements Committee, a group of Rutgers faculty representatives from all New Brunswick-affiliated schools, voted in December to retire Dance Appreciation and Dance Appreciation Online from the School of Arts and Sciences Core Curriculum after the spring 2016 term, according to a statement sent by the School of Arts and Sciences to The Daily Targum.

According to the statement, the committee decided that the two courses did not meet the Arts and Humanities learning goals. Under the curriculum, students are required to take six credits in two of the three Arts and Humanities learning areas: Philosophical and Theoretical Issues (AHo), Arts and Literatures (AHp) and Nature of Languages (AHq).

The statement reads:

"... Evidence did not demonstrate that Dance Appreciation and Dance Appreciation Online significantly increased students ability to meet Core learning goals; specifically, to (1) "examine critically philosophical and other theoretical issues concerning the nature of reality, human experience, knowledge, value, and/or cultural production" [AHo] or "analyze arts and/or literatures in themselves and in relation to specific histories, values, languages, cultures, and technologies" [AHp]."

Dance Appreciation was at the heart of former Football Coach Kyle Flood's firing last year. Former Rutgers cornerback Nadir Barnwell failed the course in the spring 2015 term and became ineligible to play football the following fall semester. Flood stepped in to change the grade. 

The three-credit course, prominently featured on lists of easy Rutgers courses, involves watching live in-class dance performances and writing reaction papers. David Hughes, president of the Rutgers American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers, spoke to NJ Advance Media last year questioning the University's offering of a course with a pass rate of nearly 100 percent.

"Why would any school put on a class where almost everyone gets an A?" he told NJ Advance Media.

The two classes were among 12 courses retired from the list of courses meeting Core Curriculum learning goals after review in December. Theater Appreciation remains on the list of classes that fill core requirements, though Theater Appreciation Online has never been certified as meeting core curriculum goals. 

The curriculum is required of undergraduate students in the School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers Business School and the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. 

Avalon Zoppo is the managing editor of The Daily Targum. She is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in political science. Follow her on Twitter @AvalonZoppo for more stories.

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