Changes to the General Education Curriculum

17 comments

Drs. Nazli Hardy and L. Lynn Marquez

Last semester, the University faculty voted to approve four changes to the general education curriculum.  While these changes keep true to the rigor and value of general education, they have been designed to improve the flexibility of the general education curriculum. The number of credits required in the general education curriculum is now reduced, and since these changes are less restrictive, they are effective immediately (and retroactively) for all enrolled students.

The changes are as follows:

1) Within the G1, G2, and G3 blocks remove the restriction that two courses must be from the same department.  Now students will be able to take three different courses from three different departments.  Students still will not be allowed to count three courses from the same department.

2) Within the Connections and Explorations block allow the Perspectives (P) course to count within both general education and the major.  This would be like the D and W courses are now.

3) Within the Connections and Explorations block remove the open elective.  Students may still use an open elective to fulfill the UNIV 103 requirement.

4) Reduce the number of required Writing Intensive (W) courses from four to three.

If faculty have any further questions about these changes, contact Dr. L. Lynn Marquez, coordinator of general education at Lynn.Marquez@Millersville.edu, or Dr. Nazli Hardy, chair of general education review ccommittee at Nazli.Hardy@millersville.edu.

  1. Brandon Mountain says:

    Why can’t we take all three G#s from 1 department? It’s still three courses in the G block from a department other than our major.

  2. general education review committe says:

    Good question. The rationale behind it is that we want to encourage students to see a breadth of courses within each of the G-blocks.

  3. Susan DiBartolomeis says:

    Dear Brandon,
    The point of having courses from different departments is to give your liberal art education BREADTH across a range of disciplines.

    By taking out the two courses from one department rule, the concept of DEPTH in one discipline has been eliminated. Sad but true.

    Glad you made a comment. It’s important that student’s question and voice their opinions about the curriculum.

  4. Kristyn Smith says:

    Is there a reason that this wasn’t announced to students immediately to allow for changes in their schedule for the fall? I know quite a few students who are now taking courses that are now unnecessary.

    • Sherri Brouillette says:

      Kristyn, this wasn’t even announced to the faculty immediately and many faculty members are still confused as to how and when this change was implemented. However, I’d try not to think of any course as “unnecessary.” The point of a liberal arts education, after all, is to explore areas/disciplines that you might not otherwise have considered and to encourage depth and breadth in a variety of disciplines. The general education requirements are one of the aspects of a Millersville University education that sets us apart from vocational training schools.

      • Kristyn Smith says:

        My apologies, the term “unnecessary” wasn’t quite what I was trying to convey. The idea that I was trying to get across is that in this time of economic hardship and uncertainty, I’d like to be given every opportunity to make choices that will both advance my well-rounded liberal arts education and allow me to graduate in a timely manner. By not being aware of the changes being made (and I’m aware that faculty were not either – we’ve created a culture of poor communication at this university), my fellow students and I have made choices that may make it impossible to graduate, thus costing us more money.

  5. Richardson Richardson says:

    I love this.

  6. general education review committe says:

    Kristyn,we understand your point. The changes were in fact announced to the university community as soon as they were approved by the Dean’s Council, which was a few weeks into the semester.

  7. Jaclyn Thompson says:

    Sooo…we’re taking, or have taken courses, and spent money we didn’t need to?? Don’t get me wrong, having to take less math courses is awesome as a Foreign Language major but I’ve already spent the money!

  8. Timothy Shea says:

    It’s such a shame that the number of W courses has been reduced! Our changing society demands that students are more proficient writers across disciplines, not less. How does this change prepare our students for the 21st Century? It seems like a misguided move.

  9. Patricia Canela says:

    I would like to know why for our G1 block we aren’t able to take all three courses from the same department? I for example have taken a Spanish Clepp test with College Board and received 12 college credits that can count for G1. Why am I unable to use my credits for that designated block?

  10. Chelsea Beningo says:

    Will these changes affect me retrospectively? By this I mean, if I have already completed the courses affected by these changes, will I see changes to my DARS, or are students grandfathered in on the requirements that were in place when we arrived at the University?

  11. Alexandra Ketter says:

    While these changes are being made, the University should also look to changing the G3 requirements to allow BA foreign language majors to use languages outside of their major and minor requirements. For example, a double major in Spanish and French should be able to take German to fulfill the G3 requirements because it is a completely different language from a completely different family. If what a student wants to do is languages, and the University wants to be a little bit more flexible with the Gen. Ed. requirements, this should be allowed to happen. Also, I agree with Kristyn, why was this not announced sooner if it takes effect immediately and for all enrolled students? It’s already not easy to graduate in four years, even with careful planning, so why would you render some courses useless for students, thus causing them more frustration and possibly setting them back even further?
    From what I have seen, Millersville University seems to be making some very hasty decisions regarding the students of this University. A recent example is the cutting of the Men’s Track and Field Team, 14 February 2012. In case the administrators of this school have forgotten, the STUDENTS PAY for the education. AND IT’S EXPENSIVE!!

  12. Ron Frankum says:

    One of the questions that I asked when these revisions were briefly discussed at the end of the spring 2012 semester was how they would improve the General Education experience for our students. The liberal arts curriculum, which was at the heart of Millersville when it became a University in 1983, have been diminished by a series of revisions such as the one recently passed by a majority of the faculty who voted (rather than a majority of the faculty eligible to vote).

    While I would concede that the most recent revisions do allow for flexibility in the General Education curriculum for most majors (some education majors might beg to differ), I continue to maintain that these revisions provide that flexibility at the expensive of value and rigor. The removal of the two from one department in this revision and decreasing the four course requirement to three courses in the revision approved several years ago has diminished the value of General Education.

    Decreasing the writing requirement will not help our graduates obtain and maintain good jobs. The craft of writing and developing analytical skills, as an earlier commentator correctly observed, is the cornerstone of a real liberal arts education. The justification that other PASSHE schools only require three writing courses seems counterintuitive to our University goals and objectives.

    Removing the Perspective requirement that it not be a course from the major defeats one element of the perspective course, which was to provide students with experiences outside of their specific discipline.

    Perhaps individuals involved in the Faculty Senate deliberations to overturn the vote as it was announced in the spring by APSCUF could help illuminate us on that process?

    Perhaps someone could explain to me how these revisions improve our students’ academic experience, which we have been repeatedly told is “second to none”?

  13. Johan Echaniz says:

    I’m pretty furious about this mid-semester change to the Writing requirements. I am currently taking my fourth Writing course which I no longer need to graduate. I understand Sherri’s assertion that no course is “unnecessary” but I would much rather be taking a course required for my minor right now. The sad thing is that, in my push to graduate next May, I changed my entire fall schedule (school and work) to guarantee that I could take this one last “W” course. Furthermore, I’m going to end up wasting my money because it makes more sense for me to now withdraw from the course and pick up more hours at work than to take a class I don’t need. Thanks.

  14. Samson Tomar says:

    Is there any way that I can get my money back for the writing class I signed up for over the summer then. I feel like I just threw a grand down the drain since it was my forth and final writing class..

  15. Mattie Hershey says:

    Will these changes be reflected on our DARS?

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