Ad Hoc General Education Committee

A General Education Proposal from SGA

Written By: Robert Wolff - Jan• 26•12

Posted for Eric Bergenn, Student Government Association President, eric.bergenn@my.ccsu.edu

A PROPOSAL FOR GENERAL EDUCATION

Goals

-To provide a well-balanced, quality education to all undergraduate students who attend CCSU.

-To further the mission of the university:

Central Connecticut State University is a community of learners dedicated to teaching and scholarship that emphasizes development and application of knowledge and ideas through research and outreach activities, and prepares students to be thoughtful, responsible and successful citizens

Requirements by Law:

40 (39.6) Credits of restricted electives. [120 minimum semester hours * 33% = 39.6]

Section 10a-34-15. Curriculum and Instruction.

-(b) General education. The general education component of associate and baccalaureate degree programs shall include a balanced distribution of required courses or restricted electives in the humanities, arts, natural and physical sciences, mathematics, and social sciences comprisingat least 25 percent of the minimum requirements for the degree and, by September 1987, at least 33 percent of the minimum requirements for the baccalaureate degree, as prescribed in subsection (e) of Section 10a-34-17 of these regulations… (Education, 1999)

Section 10a-34-17. Graduation Requirements.

(e) Minimum total credit requirements for each degree level shall conform with the following guidelines: associate degrees – completion of at least 60 semester hours of college-level work; bachelor’s degrees – 120 semester hours;… (1999)

Current System:

The Study Areas are:

I.      Arts and Humanities (9 credits)

II.     Social Sciences (9 credits)

III.    Behavioral Sciences (6 credits)

IV.   Natural Sciences (6-7 credits)

The Skill Areas are:

I.      Communication Skills (6 credits)

II.     Mathematics (6 credits)

III.   Foreign Language Proficiency (0-6)

IV.   University Requirement (2-3 credits)

Other requirements: PE 144, one course in MATH, STAT, CS, or FYS 106, totaling 6 credits, Foreign Language Proficiency, Students who have not completed ENG 110 prior to earning 61 credits are required to take both ENG 110 and ENG 202, A laboratory experience is required, At least 3 credits required in history, At least 3 credits required in 200-level literature…

Why are our 4 & 6 year graduation rates low? It’s not incompetent students.

The problem: Breadth of education is a major benefit to any individual; however, the most important factor is the value gained of education.  Having 8 required fields takes away from a student’s academic freedom, requiring them to take more courses in which they have a lack of interest.  This has a multitude of effects including an immediate and aggregate negative economic impact on the individuals attending the university, higher cost of education, lower grade point averages, lower 4 & 6 year graduation rates, and less education in the fields students wish to pursue, which will demonstrate more value to the individual over the course of her or his career.  There are also many possible residual effects, but for the purpose of refraining from speculation, those won’t be listed.

The Solution: Follow CT law and allow for the most courses possible in the general education program. (See reverse)

General education is divided into 4 areas (minimum of 40 credits):

  1. Arts & Humanities (Minimum 6 credits, Maximum 12): Literature, Writing, Law, History, Languages, Performing/Visual Arts, Philosophy, Religion, etc.
  2. Natural, Physical & Computer Sciences (Minimum 6 credits, Maximum 12): classes in Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science, Computer Technology, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Psychology, Physics, Mathematics, etc.
  3. Social Sciences (Minimum 6 credits, Maximum 12): Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, etc.
  4. Personal Development (Minimum 6 credits, Maximum 12): Health and Wellness, Financial or Personal Accounting, Financial Literacy, Construction Management, Logic, Languages, Graphic Arts, Reading Efficiency, Moral & Ethics classes from any field, Social Justice, Economics of the household, Regional Economics, Technology Systems, etc.

Some of these subjects of study repeat.  This is due to the various methodologies within particularly broader fields where there may be some quantitative analysis in some subfields, and more qualitative in others, such as Psychology (e.g. neuropsychology vs. cognitive psychology), and in other cases where they can be considered both a science and a reflective analysis. This doesn’t include the CIS course, but it can exist within this plan. It should be a 1 credit course taken first 2 semesters for freshmen, first semester for transfers.

Notes & Graduation Requirements:

Any Classes in the Personal Development category may not be from within a student’s major area of study.  No class can count towards more than one study area. A student cannot graduate without either passing (with a c- or above) or “testing-out” of a college level math and composition course. Up to 6 credits from areas 1-3 can be “double-counted” towards a student’s program, or as an elective there within.

Keep in mind before suggesting mandating any particular classes:

-Do you teach that class? (Let’s be objective/ethical)

-Can you confidently say that you can go through every other class and explain why that class is not as important? If you can, can you get a majority to agree?

-Do you honestly think that a student can get through this Gen Ed program without the skill they would learn in the mandated class? (e.g. Could a student get through a Philosophy or Law class without the necessary proficiency to get through Literature?)

 


CT Department of Higher Education (1999, December ). Regulations for Licensure and Accreditation of Institution of Programs of Higher Learning. Retrieved from State of Connecticut Department of Higher Education: http://www.ctdhe.org/regs/RegsAcad.htm

 

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