Future academic reforms shouldn’t slow students down

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Illustration by Liz Coffee

Illustration by Liz Coffee

Provost Belle Wei’s resignation brings up questions about the new academic plan’s status. As the plan moves from its brainstorming phase to implementation, Chico State and the new provost should consider these recommendations.

This new academic plan is meant to modernize the university’s educational focus. Its purpose is to give students practical preparation for life in the 21st century.

Many of the new potential changes sound like welcome additions to a current system that offers little real-world experience beyond college.

Requiring internship work from students in every major is the most important change the university can make. Hands-on work experience has become increasingly necessary as a bachelor’s degree steadily loses its clout in the real world.

Many students cower from taking on internships in fear of compounding a heavy workload onto schoolwork. If every major required and gave credit for internships, graduating with practical work experience wouldn’t come at the expense of a respectable GPA.

More opportunities for one-on-one interaction between students and faculty is another great idea. As classes fill up, it’s important for both students and professors to have space for personal interaction and mentoring.

Other suggestions, however, seem counter-productive and burdensome to students who are already struggling with graduating on time.

Requiring professors to incorporate group work into their curriculum is a terrible idea. Group projects are the bane of a student’s existence and often leaves a bulk of the work to the student who actually cares.

Student work ethic is one of the faculty’s main concerns for this new plan, so students shouldn’t be forced to team up with their less-than motivated peers.

Mandatory courses on resume writing, interview etiquette, and professionalism sound useful on paper, but actually just adds more fluff and micromanagement to students’ workloads.

If the university wants to streamline course requirements and help students graduate on time, stacking up required courses is the wrong approach.

With resources like the Writing Center and the Career Planning and Placement Office already available, there’s no need for mandatory classes that take more of students’ precious time.

If this new plan is meant to prepare students for the 21st century, we need to be able to graduate before it ends.

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