Fairfield University’s Student Association senators discussed implementing autodidactic learning into the Fairfield educational experience at their General Senate Meeting on March 16.

A resolution introduced by Class of 2019 Senator Chris Merrill, called the Refocusing Education Project, discussed a program where those students involved would essentially teach themselves, with the guidance of a faculty advisor.

The program would be known as the “Fairfield Scholars Program,” and would consist of a maximum of five students who would be enrolled in the program at the start of their second semester at Fairfield. All students would be able to apply for the program during their first semester as a freshman.

Students enrolled in the program would study one topic for the duration of the semester and would present their knowledge on that subject to their academic advisor during finals week.

Several senators shared concern, however, when the resolution was initially presented at the March 2 meeting. Some of this concern arose once more, as many senators pointed out that this program would prevent these students from fully participating in the core curriculum, something that is an important part of Fairfield’s educational experience.

As a solution to this conflict, Class of 2018 Senator Jack Daniels proposed that students complete this program over the summer, as he expressed that he doesn’t “want to take any students out of the classroom.”

Many of the senators agreed that the program is a good idea, but that there are a lot of details that still need to be worked through in order to make this program a reality. Thus, the senate voted 9-5 in favor of forming a committee comprised of Merrill and two other senators that will be elected by Chair of Senate Zoë Ferranti that’s purpose will be to edit and revise Merrill’s plan for the Refocusing Education Project.

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