Gen Ed reform reaction

Currently in its early stages, the outcome of the General Education revision is still unclear. One prominent opinion, however, is that the program will most likely undergo some degree of change.

Director of General Education Chris LaLonde cites the faculty survey as a forewarning of possible changes.

A look at the survey issued by the GE21 Task Force has shown that most faculty would favor a Gen Ed program that “simplifies the structure and requirements of the current program and decreases the total number of credit hours currently in place,” among other expectations, according to the survey.

A key criticism of the Gen Ed program in place is that it is credit heavy. Each of the three new proposals aims for a credit load of 30-33 credit hours. The current program carries an average of 42 credit hours. LaLonde said the term “credit heavy” is subjective but, that among others, an aim of the reform is to lighten credit hours.

“If not a guiding principle, it is at least something we’re cognizant of,” Lalonde said.

Among many reasons for the attempted reform, two major reasons are student accessibility and the need to keep costs down. In other words, the objective is offering enough classes for a student to finish in four years without taking summer or winter session courses.

This big push for reform came after the realization that students were staying longer and paying extra to take or retake Gen Ed credits necessary for graduation.

John Hughes, the student representative for Gen Ed programs, said he has heard this is a problem for many students.

He also has personal experience with summer session courses. He had to take four courses while also working at an internship in order to graduate on time.

“I really didn’t want to take it,” Hughes said. “$700 a class, that was really not money I wished to take out on my loans.”

You know the story, the student who’s taking the Gen Ed three times to pass it
– senior John Hughes, political science

For my degree program foreign language is required. That was a killer for me to fit in my schedule. Even though knowledge of a second language is great, I still think we should have that choice.
– senior Matt Duncan, public justice

If you need to get school done in a certain amount of time then its very important.
– senior Brian Mulligan, public relations

The upper division science killed my GPA and now kids don’t even have to do it.
– senior Tori Quataro, English

I would have liked to catch up on credits, get away from home…but I didn’t have the money.
– senior Ed McGuire, creative writing

It cost like a grand or something, it was expensive.
– senior Andrew Zaher, history