By: Avi Strauss  | 

Yeshiva College Core Updated Again with Expanded Exemptions for NAWO and EXQM

The Yeshiva College Core Curriculum received another update today, with changes made to the Natural World (NAWO) and Experimental and Quantitative Methods (EXQM) requirements. The change was made after a YC faculty vote, and means students will be able to fulfill those requirements with a broader range of courses.

For NAWO, this means students can satisfy their requirement with either a specific NAWO course-offering or a college-level natural science course. Students will be able to fulfill their EXQM requirement in a similar fashion, either with an EXQM offering or one designated college-level course in experimental and quantitative methods.

"I was pleasantly surprised to hear that they lifted the NAWO requirement for science-majors,” commented YC Junior Akiva Schiff. “Although, in general, I have enjoyed the Core courses, most science majors seem to have considered this one as an unnecessary burden given their strong background in the subject. With one less requirement, I plan to take an elective course which, otherwise, I would have been unable to take."

Both NAWO and EXQM are the more science-heavy interdisciplinary requirements of the seven-course secular studies Core, which also includes requirements in areas like contemporary world cultures, the creative arts, and social institutions, all of which sit at the intersection of multiple fields of study.

This update is just the latest fine-tuning to take place in regards to YC’s Core. Last spring, several changes were made, including updates to the Bible requirements and the substitution of the First Year Seminar requirement in favor of a writing-intensive course within a student’s chosen major.

While the news was welcome among students yet to take NAWO or EXQM but now in position to gain exemptions from those requirements, other students felt the decision came too late for them.

One YC Senior, majoring in Biology, explained, “It’s great for future students who won’t have to expend extra credits on a redundant class. I only wish this happened sooner so I could have taken an additional advanced science elective.”

From the time of the Core Curriculum’s inception, many science majors felt that the NAWO course was redundant and merely a simplified version of their other courses. Conversely, non-science majors complained that the science majors, many of whom had already mastered these science concepts at much more advanced levels, made the caliber of the courses too demanding and exceedingly difficult by driving up the grading curve. This attitude has persisted, so the recent NAWO policy update will surely soothe these common complaints about the course.

To combat this problem while it still existed, several semesters ago NAWO course-offerings were split -- one section for non-science majors and one for science majors. This change, however, proved short-lived in light of the latest revision to the Core.

During the current semester, there was only one NAWO course offering. According to MYYU, that section is at capacity with ninety students.  


The Commentator will provide updates on this story as information surrounding these changes becomes clearer.