This piece was published in the August 2016 print edition of the Prep News.
This past spring, many students may have been overwhelmed by the amount of classes that were available during course selection. This year, a multitude of new classes and electives have been added. The communication arts have added Advanced Competition Speech and Debate, Introduction to Graphic Design and Broadcasting II. The fine arts have added Visual Art Foundations and Drawing and Design for Industry. Additionally, Software Application Development, Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science are the new computer electives. Creative Writing is one English class that has been added. Multivariable Statistics and AP Statistics are new math classes. History of the Catholic Church and Service in the Ignatian Spirit are new theology classes.
Creative Writing instructor Mr. Sean Lawlor is very optimistic about his new course this year.
“This is a class that invites students to dive deeply within themselves and learn about how they process the world,” he said. “I’m going to help provide them (students) a map and series of parameters to form their unique worldview into a well crafted story.”
While Creative Writing is the first English class to only focus on writing, other classes, specifically the new computer based classes, are expanding on old classes and clubs.
According to Mr. J.W. Clark, the goal is to raise awareness about computer science as an academic discipline and provide students the opportunity to try the role of software developer.
According to Mr. Clark, the new classes are meant to equip students for experiences in the real world. Through the STEAM initiative, classes have been pushed to develop the cornerstones of a student’s education. Mr. Clark also envisions more student-led and student backed technology projects.
“The manpower is certainly there,” Mr. Clark said. “All we need is direction and coordination, particularly student-led. In a given 45 minute class period with 28 students, there is potential to deliver 21 man hours of work, more than enough to build something substantial.”
The new classes are meant to expand on Rockhurst’s departments and allow teachers to capitalize on student interests and opportunities to refine important skills needed in the future.
Mr. Brian Bruce, Broadcasting teacher, wants to have students participate in the field.
“My eventual goal is to have students be an actual part of live sports events play-by-play. I am picturing a freshman coming into Rockhurst with an itch to get into broadcasting, and then I can see that same young man as a mature senior who is leading Rockhurst broadcasts as a News Director.”
“St. Ignatius tells us to set the world on fire. We want to equip students for the world,” said Mr. Clark.