At the University of La Verne, every student is required to take a certain number of general education classes to open his or her eyes to a world outside of major courses. Many departments offer classes, which contribute to this GE requirement. So many departments contribute, in fact, that the bloated GE is under revision – and has been for a few years.
We support the notion of shrinking the GE, as it will help us to graduate on time and might even allow us to take some non-required electives.
However, we understand that the faculty is having a difficult time coming to agreement about what courses to exclude from the General Ed. Not surprising, particularly for departments with small majors. If these very important programs – including some of the arts and humanities – are removed from the General Education, the departments could shrink or disappear completely. So it’s no surprise that well meaning faculty, who know the GE needs to be trimmed are nonetheless agonizing over what to cut.
Instead of criticizing the faculty for not getting the job done, we at the Campus Times – with our honed journalistic objectivity – have some suggestions for those charged with shrinking the General Education:
First of all, the core classes are perfect where they stand. They offer a variety of options in terms of combining disciplines and providing opportunities to do the sorts of things we probably wouldn’t do otherwise.
As for the sciences, we believe that movement sports science and the natural and physical science departments should join forces, since both departments offer classes on the health and well being of humans and the world around us. That way, we as students would be able to learn the same amount of material in less time and have a better understanding of life and our place on earth.
Now math on the other hand is a whole different story. Yes, math is used in our everyday life, but how often are you going to be using the quadratic formula unless you become a mathematician?
We are not saying that math should be removed, but maybe lower the requirement to a less intimidating course.
For those of you who believe that English should not be a requirement for math majors, well, it’s up to you how you want to present your theories. English obviously needs to remain a part of the general education requirement because, after all, the official language of this country.
But let’s face it: Today’s society is full of different cultures. We don’t have a choice but to learn about those who surround us. Foreign languages and intercultural requirements should remain the way they are.
All majors need to have some type of background in a different culture because you never know whom you may encounter in your career.
All in all, the requirements need to be updated to the modern career-oriented student. We want a well-rounded education, but we need the skills to get ahead in a competitive workforce.
And for those of us who might want to double major, a smaller GE would give us the opportunity to do so and still get out in four years. Sure, that would mean fewer tuition dollars, but the sooner students graduate and get out into the real world, the sooner they can start making big fat donations to their alma mater.
With ULV’s GE roster bursting at the seams, some students who need certain courses for their major may be getting shut out by non-majors, and that simply isn’t fair. It’s time all the departments quit their power struggle and streamline the general education requirements to save themselves and, more importantly, their students time and energy.