General education classes sparse


Nicole McAllister

Since the change in the general education program in Fall 2012, there have been some problems with students who have not been able to get all of their writing intensive courses completed.

Kate McCarthy, a member of the curriculum advisory board, said the new general education plan puts an emphasis on feedback.

“The new GE was designed carefully,” McCarthy said. “The new program is not about how many or what kind of writing intensive classes are being taken, it is about getting feedback and improving.”

Nicole McAllister, the A.S. director of university affairs, said the new general program created a bottleneck for students.

“What is happening right now is that there aren’t enough writing intensive classes for students to take,” McAllister said.

Currently, there are not enough seats for students in the writing intensive classes, which is starting to become as issue, said Kim Dufour, an academic advisor.

“Every year that we admit students, we have to be mindful of the number of classes that are being offered and to remain consistent with the number of students,” Dufour said.

The writing intensives courses are very significant to each student’s education, McCarthy said.

“There is not a single career path that will not require writing.”

– Kate McCarthy

“There is not a single career path that will not require writing,” McCarthy said.

Steps are being taken to improve this situation. Some of them include  increasing class sizes, Dufour said.

“We went to academic senate last fall and increased classes from 20 to 30,” she said. “We also got approved substitution and those things are currently in the works to help.”

The university is also trying to make writing proficiency classes in major programs count toward the writing-intensive requirement.

“We have had some departments come forward to do it, but not as many as we would like,” Dufour said.

The curriculum advisory board is brainstorming more ideas to help solve this problem, McAllister said.

“We want students to have the most fulfilled degree,” she said. “It is not fair to students that their degree integrity has to be diminished because they can’t get into the classes they need.”

It is very important for students to keep track of their degree progress report make sure that they are on track to graduate, she said.

“Students should definitely have their voices heard,” McAllister said. “If you can’t get into that class it is something to speak up about.”

Lindsay Pincus can be reached at [email protected] or @lindsaypincus on Twitter.