By Allison Mayes–
Gen. eds.: we’ve all taken them. But just how important are they to our curriculum?
According to the university’s website, general education requirements focus on critical thinking, communication and understanding of cultural diversity.
Julia Dietrich of the Dean’s office said the U of L faculty votes on the structure of the General Education Program.
“In designing our program, we must align with the requirements of our accrediting agency and with the statewide education program,” Dietrich said. “A faculty committee called the General Education Curriculum Committee votes on which courses will fulfill a particular requirement.”
Students are required to take courses in arts and humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, oral communication, social and behavioral sciences and written communication. Additionally, U of L students must fulfill two cultural diversity credits.
Dietrich said the structure might change soon. In the Nov. 1 SGA meeting, Academic Vice President Meredith Cooksey said some changes could be changing the name of GEN 101 and adding a three-credit course meant for students to explore fields of interest.
“We haven’t changed the structure of the program for over a decade, but a proposal to do that will be coming to the faculty sometime this academic year,” Dietrich said.
They’re intended to create well-rounded and informed individuals, but some students argue these required courses negatively affect their GPA. This is seen as unfair by some, because it is not their chosen field of study.
“I do think that they should affect your GPA,” U of L student Chris Molony said. “I feel that some gen. eds. are necessary but that some are rather pointless. I think that a lot of them are not treated seriously by both the student and the professor. They end up wasting the time of an already busy college student.
“I think that some of these gen. eds. are better suited outside of the classroom. Cultural diversity shouldn’t be taught in a classroom but outside in the community,” Molony said.