One of the things we noticed both through the formal surveys and in our informal conversations with students was a need to increase the range of courses. In response to this we have created four new courses within the last two years.
- LANG 3570 Narrative Ethics in Asian Literature & Film. This course is taught in English which allows any of our majors to take it and we received very positive reviews on our initial offering of this course.
- CHIN 3540 Translating Into and From Chinese. We received multiple requests to add a translation course and we have. The students have responded very positively and we expect it to be a valuable part of our course rotation for years to come.
- LING 3100 Language in Context. This course is taught by our Arabic language professor, but is taught in English so any of our majors can take this course. The examples and foundation of this course are particularly relevant to those students who are studying Asian languages. It has been full both times we have offered it.
- JAPN 3560 Studies in Japanese Film. This course is taught in Japanese, though we are considering changing it so that any of the students in the Asian Studies major can take it.
A second concern when this major first joined our department was that students felt the language requirement was a little weak and, if you look at the initial alumni survey, you will see that the lowest score was related to the objective focused on increasing language skills. The original requirement was only tied to the intermediate level language classes. We increased the language expectation, requiring students to take at least one advanced, upper-division language class and moved cultural and occupational advanced courses in the language over to the core requirement area. The most recent surveys have all suggested this was an improvement as this objective went from having the lowest score to having the highest score in our alumni survey.
A third item that we are in the process of working on is giving the program greater clarity by having a tenured faculty member serve as the director. Professor Li Guo who has received tenure starting in Fall 2016, has agreed to work in this capacity. The details related to this responsibility are currently being worked out.