Movement towards change to Liberal Education Program

Jessica Pellegrino – General Assignment Reporter

About one year ago, the state of Connecticut passed a law stating that Bachelor’s Degree programs could not exceed 120-credits. This left the Undergraduate Curriculum Forum with a few decisions to make. Which Bachelor’s program in the sciences and education already pushing to 120-credit maximum, as a result of required classes and four credit labs, the UCF looks to the LEP subcommittee to re-evaluate the current Liberal Education Program.

Professor Polly Beals, the chairperson for the LEP committee, said the movement towards change started last November.

“This all started last November, when the Undergraduate Curriculum Forum addressed the LEP committee, asking them to study options to reduce required credits,” she said.

According to Beals, those studying included comments from faculty, student advisors, and the students, in the form of Student Government Association representatives.

“We have been having discussions, and we are looking forward to a vote sometime before spring break,” said Beals.

The LEP committee devoted hours to going over every tier requirement and weighing out the pros and cons of eliminating each option.

Currently, the committee is looking over five options for how to go ahead with the Liberal Education Program cuts. The committee is looking at three different types of options: eliminating a category in the tiers, embedding a category with another, or allowing students more choice in the program.

“The committee is leaning towards cutting a course from Tier 2, so the question arises, what is the heart and soul of the program?” said Beals.

If this option were to get voted in, one of the following class requirements would be cut: American Experience, Creative Drive, Cultural Expression, Global Awareness, Mind and Body, Social Structure, Conflict and Consensus, or Time and Place.

The science classes would not be touched under the potential changes, as the are grandfathered into the program to meet state requirements for science education.

Another option would be to waive a class depending on the major of the student, said Beals.

“For example, the nursing program has asked in the past to waive the mind and body requirement, since that is the whole point of the major. They cover it,” said Beals.

The waived class will be dependent on the department the student is a part of. Details for this option would be discussed on a department by department basis, if this option were to be voted into effect, said Beals.

“The next question we would have to discuss is whether to deplete the program by 3 credits or by 6 credits,” said Beals, “but the focus of these adjustments are to improve graduation rates, which would in turn improve the obvious student debt problem facing the college population.”

Photo Credit: Staff Photo


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