VCU postpones decision to make courses on racism university requirement
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -Virginia Commonwealth University is postponing its decision to make racial literacy classes a university requirement for the 2023-24 school year.
VCU says the two courses that offer the requirement’s criteria alone cannot meet the class seats needed for more than 4,000 first-year students.
The two courses, Introduction to Race and Racism in the United States and Reading Race, are in the university’s “Diversities in the Human Experience” Area of Inquiry (AOI) general education category.
“This decision is not a referendum on current courses. It is about implementing a university-wide requirement. The two are separate matters,” said Interim senior vice provost for academic affairs Andrew Arroyo.
Arroyo says by extending the implementation, they are creating an opportunity for VCU’s academic community to scale course capacity needs while ensuring students are not held responsible for courses they cannot access due to demand.
“We encourage and support the efforts of faculty members to create additional courses and to continue collecting data for assessing the impact and learning outcomes of their courses,” said Arroyo in a statement. “Such data will allow the university to examine implementing this new requirement while ensuring sufficient capacity for our learners to meet the obligation being placed on them.”
VCU already offers a major in African American studies and has classes in other departments that address the history and implications of racism. But they aren’t part of the university’s required curriculum.
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