New curriculum offers more to students

New curriculum offers more to students

Posted on Friday, September 27, 2019

Stacey Erntsberger stands at the front of a classroom to teach

With the goal of offering students the best education possible while utilizing modern tools and methods, the college introduced a new general education curriculum called Ethos in Fall 2018.

“Just like any educational program or curriculum, a general education curriculum should be re-examined periodically,” said Dr. Jon Ernstberger, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Director of General Education. “By 2014, the Core Curriculum had been in use for 15 years here and had been through more than one revision. It was time.”

The process started in 2014 when then-Provost Dr. David Garrison issued a charge to an appointed General Education Research and Development committee to begin an investigation into modern research about general education, and to provide multiple frameworks for the faculty to consider. 

Weighing research with regular conversations and feedback from the faculty, staff, students and alumni, the committee put together three possible frameworks and presented them to be voted on by the faculty in 2016. The new framework, called Ethos, was approved by the faculty that fall.

In the spring of 2017, Dr. Karen Aubrey, Vice President of Academic Affairs, formed a task force to lead faculty in the implementation of Ethos.

“This program created the two-year Bridge Plan that has enabled the transition,” said Dr. Ernstberger. “Now the Ethos Council oversees Ethos to make sure the interests of the faculty and students are best served.”

 With one academic year under the books, Dr. Ernstberger said he is excited about the results.

“We are transitioning at a pace that is better than expected,” he said. “The first year served primarily to continue to educate the faculty but also to begin making the processes for courses to be certified into Ethos. But, there’s still plenty of work to do!”

Students who began classes at LaGrange College in Fall 2018 are under the Ethos curriculum, while those who started before Fall 2018 will continue with the Core Curriculum. The former curriculum should be phased out by Fall 2020.

One of the highlights of the new program is the Ethos Portfolio.

“This e-portfolio is created online for each student, and includes specific results from Ethos and Senior Capstone courses – allowing them to showcase their work to family, friends and employers,” Dr. Ernstberger said. “We use it internally to measure whether students are achieving the desired learning outcomes, and those results will influence adjustments to our courses.”

It can include papers, posters, video files, audio files, pieces of written code or software, presentations and databases. These objects are used as evidence to show completion or progress through the academic career of a student. Ethos emphasizes high-impact learning practices and culminates with integrated, project-based senior capstone experiences unique to each student’s major area of study.

It also requires fewer credit hours than the Core Curriculum.

“Academic programs will have strong representation in the general education process,” Dr. Ernstberger said. “This has been the most engaging thing for our faculty in a while. It represents a tremendous step forward in faculty leadership of the college’s curriculum.”

For more information about Ethos, contact Dr. Ernstberger at


Video of the Week

The Price Theater box office opens Oct. 7 for tickets to the comic event of the fall: “Noises Off.” Proclaimed by reviewers everywhere as one of the funniest plays ever. Here's a preview.


Campus notes


Flashback Friday returns to Wild Leap Brewery for Homecoming. Read more to learn about all the exciting things scheduled for you that weekend.

Spaces are still available for the 3D Journeys fall trip to visit the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, on Oct. 28. The group will depart from Sunny Gables Alumni House at 8:15 a.m. and is scheduled to return at 5 p.m. Cost is $95 per person due at registration and includes ticket to the museum and memorial, lunch, luxury coach and refreshments. To register, email or call 706-880-8244.

Mark your calendars for Service Saturday on Nov. 2. LC volunteers (faculty, students and staff) will be partnering with the city of LaGrange in its “Leaving LaGrange Better Than We Found It” campaign. More info coming soon.

Saturday is the first fall Preview Day for prospective students and their families. Other events are slated for Oct. 14 (Columbus Day), and Nov. 16. Encourage future students to learn more about the LaGrange experience firsthand. Details here.

The LC Sustainability Club will have a team at Saturday’s lake cleanup with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at Pyne Road Park. After the event, lunch and a free ride on the West Point Lake floating classroom will be provided. To sign up or for more information, contact Alexis Simmons at

Matt James ’14, who is pursuing a master’s in cybersecurity at Georgia Tech, recently talked with students of Dr. John Tures, Professor of Political Science. He gave a ringing endorsement for LC’s  Undergraduate Research and Internship programs, talking about how they prepared him well for business and graduate school.


Giving goal

Panther-meter showing 85 donors

Did you know that travel vouchers, scholarships, research opportunities and many student services are paid every year through the kindness of donors? All gifts make a difference, but alumni gifts also help raise the college’s profile, thus the value of your degree, and makes it more competitive for large grants that support programs, buildings and more. If at least 1,140 alumni join us in supporting students by June 30, 2020, it will show how passionate our alumni are about higher education, providing great opportunities for the next year. Go to or call the Development office at 706-880-8039 to make your gift.


Cultural Enrichment events


  • Addiction and the Brain, 11:15 a.m., Corn Auditorium at Lewis Library
  • Recital: Flute Duo, 4:30 p.m., Beason Recital Hall


  • Film: “The Climb,” 9 a.m., Media Lounge in Lewis Library
  • Final planting for fall garden, 11:15 a.m., garden behind Manget
  • Spring Break Service Trip 2020 Preview, 11:15 a.m., Chapel
  • Conservatives for clean energy, 4 p.m., Dickson Assembly Room



Men's soccer goalie reaching up to stop the ball

Men’s soccer

The Panthers (3-4-1, 2-1-1 USA South) defeated Averett 3-1 and tied William Peace 1-1 last weekend. Senior midfielder Errick Sturm had two goals in the win over Averett, setting a new school career mark of 31. Freshman goalkeeper Lucas Wright was the USA South Defensive Rookie of the Week for the week ending Sept. 22. The Panthers host Brevard in a USA South game Saturday at 6 p.m.

Women's soccer player with control of the ball

Women’s soccer

Visiting Mississippi University for Women blanked the Panthers (6-4) on Wednesday, ending LC’s five-game winning streak. Sophomore midfielder Sydney Dailey was selected as the USA South Player of the Week for the week  ending Sept. 22. The Panthers open USA South play Saturday at Agnes Scott beginning at 2 p.m.


The Panthers (2-12) went 0-3 in their own LaGrange Invitational last weekend. All three losses were against NCAA Division II opponents. LC plays Brevard and Piedmont as part of a USA South quad match at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama, on Saturday.

Golfer putting


The LaGrange golf team opened its fall schedule tying for seventh at the Rhodes Fall Classic in Tunica, Mississippi. Junior Sam Rogers earned a spot on the All-Tournament team with a sixth-place finish in the individual standings. LC plays in the Royal Lakes/Oglethorpe Fall Invitational in Flowery Branch, Georgia, on Oct. 7-8.


The Panthers (1-1) gets back to action after a week off at The Apprentice School (Virginia). LC returns to Callaway Stadium on Oct. 5 against North Carolina Wesleyan at 1 p.m.

Women’s tennis
The Panthers host NCAA Division II member Albany State at 3 p.m. today (Friday).


Upcoming Events

Friday, Sept. 27

  • Women’s tennis vs. Albany State, 3 p.m., LaGrange College Tennis Courts

Saturday, Sept. 28

  • Football at Apprentice, 1 p.m., Newport News, Virginia
  • Volleyball vs. Brevard, 1 p.m., Montgomery, Alabama
  • Volleyball vs. Piedmont, 3 p.m., Montgomery, Alabama
  • Women’s Soccer at Agnes Scott, 2 p.m., Decatur, Georgia
  • Men’s Soccer vs. Brevard, 6 p.m., Panther Field

Sunday, Sept. 29

  • Men’s Soccer vs. William Peace, 2 p.m., Panther Field
  • Golf at Rhodes College Collegiate Golf Classic, Tunica, Mississippi

Tuesday, Oct. 1

  • Men’s Soccer at Piedmont, 5 p.m., Panther Field

Friday, Oct. 4

  • Women’s Soccer vs. Brevard, 3 p.m., Panther Field


October faculty and staff birthdays

2 – Karen Aubrey

3 – Mitchell Turner

5 – Melissa Reeves

11 – Lee Johnson

12 – Nicholas Raszeja

13 – Jan Webb

16 – Dixie Powers

Martha Pirkle

18 – Emma Trammell

20 – Sonya Hill

John Lawrence

22 – Dan McAlexander

23 – Carlie Hinson

24 – Nikkovia Sweet

25 – Christopher Blocker

27 – Christy Vanhoose

28 – Gretta Milam

31 – Tim Fitz-Gerald

In the headlines

Panthers taking a break – LaGrange Daily News, Sept. 21-22, 2019

Panthers win fifth in a row – LaGrange Daily News, Sept. 24, 2019

Author Patricia Marchesi to speak at library on Tuesday – LaGrange Daily News, Sept. 21-22, 2019

Category: College, Faculty, Academics

Keywords: curriculum Ethos faculty student general education

Press Contact

Debby Baker

Last updated: 09/27/2019