By Maxine Ardelean
After developing a panel to review the General Education Program for students, KU has decided to completely redesign the gen-ed requirements. The new program will be implemented in the fall of 2018, applying to incoming freshmen.
The new program entails eight different Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). Each SLO describes what the university would like for students to take away from their gen-ed courses throughout their time at KU, one of which reads: “analyze the role of values, ethics, diversity, and multiple perspectives in local and global society.”
From these learning outcomes, students will take away key knowledge that will benefit them not only throughout their educational journey but in their careers following college.
There are five general education categories, each requires a certain amount of credits that must be fulfilled before graduation. The previous gen-ed program required, only one English composition course and 60 credits from gen-ed courses. The new program, however, will now require students to take two English composition classes at minimum and the amount of required gen-ed credits will decrease from 60 to 42.
Incoming students will now be required to take a First Year Seminar course. This has been created to help students adjust to college and give them the best chance of success in their years at KU.
Mary Eicholtz, a professor in the communication department, was a member of the New General Education Proposal Plan board. She said that students would come into their first year at KU and take gen-ed courses that often times were a mix of students from all levels; with the first year seminar, students will be in a class made up of freshmen only, making it easier to get accustomed to college.
The new program is intended to help students’ overall academic success. KU Junior Allie Metz says she believes the first year seminar is a great addition to the reformed program and will allow for freshmen to transition smoothly into their first year at college.
Although the program will only apply to incoming freshman at first, starting fall 2018, currents students may switch to the new gen-ed program starting fall 2019 if they feel it better fits their academic schedule.