A panel from the Faculty Senate General Education Committee answered questions about the future of university-wide course requirements at an open hearing Monday night.
Charged with creating a new plan that will more effectively “capture learning outside the classroom,” the committee has developed new changes to the university’s requirements.
John Pelesko, who moderated the panel discussion, said a significant reason for the revisions was to allow students to abandon the “check-the-box mentality” that currently dominates course selection.
Pelesko said under the current breadth requirement system, students have no academic reason for choosing one course over another.
The goal of the revisions to the general education requirements is to create a developmental curriculum with developmental advisement, which embraces multicultural and experiential learning.
The new general education requirements would create two new core courses that each student at the university would need to take in order to graduate. The committee has proposed a pilot program for the implementation of these two courses to determine their feasibility.
Some faculty members have raised questions about the feasibility of forcing students to take two mandatory classes in addition to the required English 110. The scalability and consistency of the classes remain a concern.
Political science professor Stuart Kaufman said it would be very difficult for the university to create a course with 150 sections and objects to the process of the General Education Committee and General Education Task Force.
“Making everybody take the same class is a bad idea, for both teachers and students,” Kaufman said. “We could better use faculty expertise by building this from the bottom up.”
During the hearing, he also asked the committee why academic departments, and students especially, have not been consulted during the General Education revision process.