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January 13, 1987 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-01-13

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 13, 1987 - Page 5
LSA may axe high school language privilege

(Continued from Page 1)
the University.
According to a letter written by Cliff Sjogren,
'director of undergraduate admissions, only 20 percent
of the students who completed four years of high
school language could equal the competency of the
students who completed their language requirement
here.
THE COMMITTEE recommended that in -
coming freshmen be given placement exams drawn up
by the various language departments. The tests would
not be administered until fall, 1988 in order to allow
the admissions office time to alert high school
- counselors and foreign language teachers of the
,change, according to Sjogren's study.
Jack Meiland, the dean for long range planning in
LSA, said admissions "would not seriously be
affected" by the change.
John Mersereau, chairman of the Department of
Slavic Languages, added "The advantage (of placement
tests) is to the University because if a person is
disinterested in foreign languages, then he's not
interested in a liberal arts education."
If the placement exams are implemented more
teachers and classrooms will be needed to handle the

expected increase of language students. At the
faculty's December meeting LSA Dean Peter Steiner
stressed that if the proposal passes the additional costs
will be met.
PSYCHOLOGY PROF. Wilbert McKeachie
expressed the concern that high schools will focus
their curriculum on satisfying the University's
placement test rather than concentrating on overall
language competence.
MKeachie predicted that if the placement exam
concentrates on reading comprehension, high schools
will neglect oral skills in order to prepare students for
the University placement exams. He also said many
students who suffer from testing anxiety will not
perform as well on tests as they can.
But Sjogren thinks the new test will have a
positive effect on high school curricula, saying that
schools which have neglected their language program
will have an added incentive to improve.
"WE WILL BE telling (the high schools) that if
their language programs are strong their students will
satisfy the University requirement... Responsible
secondary school personnel should welcome this in -
itiative," said Sjogren's letter.

Faculty members also discussed LSA admissions
standards. In its report, the Admissions Steering
Committee stressed the importance of maintaining
the same admissions standards for winter and summer
terms that are used for the fall term.
The report also suggested reducing the number of
LSA freshmen accepted from 3,200 to 3,000.
Sjogren said reducing the size of the freshmen

class would not affect admissions standards as much
as shifts in student interests. The reduction in class
size was proposed to last until the various problems
in LSA are dealt with. These problems include
classroom space, size of the faculty, study space in
the libraries, and student housing.
This issue will be discussed further in the faculty's
next few meetings.

GE

TITI
EUORTfl - -

The Personal Column
MICHIGAN DAILY CLASSIFIED ADS

Puderstadt solicits
ideas campuswide
(Continued from Page 1)

I

p.

What's Happening
Recreational Sports

do the most good.
A letter officially announcing
the initiative will get final
authorization from the executive
officers today. It will then be sent
to all departments, schools, deans,
and many student organizations.
According to Robin Jackoby, an
: assistant to the provost, Duder-
, stadt's office has worked on the
initiative since September when the
idea was generated by Duderstadt at
a meeting of the executive officers.
Improving the quality of the
entire undergraduate experience has
been one of Duderstadt's priorities
since he began as vice president for
academic affairs and provost last
May.

said. "I'm not sure of exactly how
to do that, and at this point I'm
ready for suggestions."
Because for every hour spent in
class a student will spend seven to
eight hours outside of the
classroom, Duderstadt has stressed
improving the quality of life, and
not just improvements needed in
instruction.
Emphasizing student input has
been one of Duderstadt's themes
since assuming his current position
after being dean of the College of
Engineering. He often visits
dormitories and student haunts to
get input.
Duderstadt has also begun a plan

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"In past years the undergraduate that he hopes will involve small
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Duderstadt said. "The improving like to use this to involve students
quality of our students now de- as much as executive officers," he
mands some of that attention, said.
"WE HAVE TO FIND a
way to make our professors who are Duderstadt has assumed the
on the cutting edge of technology interim presidency while University
in their fields- want to geti volved tresident Harold Shapiro is n
with freshien and sophoiiores," he 91Wo-ImonflIVsabbatical.

I ,

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