Changes in LEP Program Stir Controversy


Alex PalmieriNews Writer

    There will be a change in the Liberal Education Program at Southern Connecticut State University in the fall 2017 semester. At the end of last year, it was decided that students would only be required to take six out of seven classes in tier two, instead of all seven classes.

    Deborah Weiss, chairperson in the department of communication, said via email that the change will go into effect next fall. She said the decision to reduce the LEP by three credits followed a lengthy period of deliberation on campus by students, faculty and staff.

    “A major impetus for this change,” said Weiss, “was the desire to give students a greater degree of flexibility and choice in their programs.”

    Weiss said the change is into effect so late because the catalog was just finalized for this academic year. She added that students at a level of junior or below should take this change into account when they plan their academic programs.

    “This change may provide some relief to students who have credit heavy programs, or who switched majors because of the additional flexibility it offers,” said Weiss.

   Michelle Johnson, a senior history major, said she was not particularly happy when she heard the news. Being a senior and having just one semester left, she said it is not fair for the people that have been here already. Johnson added the incoming freshmen in the fall might have it a little easier dealing with one less required class.

    “It’s less money and it’s less time consuming for freshmen in 2017,” said Johnson. “They do not have to pay for an extra class and they don’t have to spend the time in it either.”

    Johnson said she finished the tier two in her program, so this does not affect her at all. She said if she were a freshman in 2017, it would be a bit easier than it was when she was a freshman.

    “If I had one less class to take,” said Johnson, “school might have been a little easier for me to deal with.”
    Kevin Vrabel, a junior history major, had a different outlook on the situation. Since he is a transfer student, Vrabel said it did not affect him at all. He said he has no objections to the new outlook of the LEP program starting next fall.

    “I do not find myself cheated,” said Vrabel. “Things change all of the time.”

    Vrabel said the time and money that were spent by people who had to take the full seven classes can be used for more knowledge. Even if people are upset about spending money, Vrabel said to take it as a learning experience.

    “I have credits from Housatonic that did not transfer over to here,” said Vrabel. “So I can definitely see where people are coming from if they’re upset that you only have to take six instead of seven classes.”

    Vrabel said it is not the end of the world for people that have already took extra class in tier two. If it is for a good cause, Vrabel said it is good for students’ future.

    “The classes you take will gear you into the right direction regardless of the situation,” said Vrabel. “So it is worth it in the end.”

Photo Credit: Palmer Piana – Photo Editor

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