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Ponnada: Passport to learning

BY SRI PONNADA | NOVEMBER 30, 2012 6:30 AM

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In a city such as Iowa City, where students at the University of Iowa are surrounded by so much science, art, and culture, it is a shame to not delve into and make full use of the multiplicity of offerings that we have. Furthermore, an interdisciplinary approach to education has become an important and challenging technique in the in the modern curriculum.

Understanding this, a UI group consisting of individuals from various centers and organizations around campus has paved the way for “Passport Project” — an exciting new first-year program seminar that is being offered in the spring of 2013.

“It [the Passport Project] broadens the students’ horizons,” said John Logsdon, the director of the Pentacrest Museums and supervisor for the seminar. “I think that there are a lot of things to do on campus, and it’s hard for undergraduate students to understand what things they might be interested in.”

“We’re not aware of something that tries to engage all areas of the university, especially for first years,” said Jon Winet, the director of the UI Virtual Writing University and supervisor for the Passport Project.

Currently, the course is only open to Honors students, unless special permission is granted. Winet noted that the program, however, is not intended to be exclusive.

“This is like the pilot version, and we expect to have somewhere between 20 to 30 students this time,” he said. “When we get fully up to speed, we expect to have 650 students.”

That’s basically the size of Macbride.

We are at college to learn and earn a degree — but what a lot of people seem to fail to realize is that knowledge knows no boundaries. As of Thursday night, there are three of 50 students enrolled for the course. On Dec. 3, when I register, there will be four, and I definitely think there should be more.


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