Today: Jun 17, 2024

The Liberal Education Program changes

Jay’Mi Vazquez – News Editor

The Liberal Education Program has made some changes that can have some benefits to students.  

The Director of the Liberal Education Program, Braxton Carrigan, explained what changes were made to the program.  

“What we realized is that a large percentage of our student body was coming in needing English 110 and Math 100p. Those two courses were considered as prerequisites to the program. In 2010, the majority of the students were coming in having already completed that in High School. Now, we’re seeing students come in needing these courses,” Carrigan said. 

Carrigan and others involved with LEP decisions realized that it was difficult for students to complete these prerequisites that were not originally in the general education curriculum. So, English 110 and Math 100p are now a part of the general education curriculum. 

There have also been changes made to the multilingual communication requirements. 

“There is also a reduction of the multilingual communication requirement from the 200 level down to the 101 level,” Carrigan said.  

There was also some reconfiguration done on what courses fit in certain categories. Carrigan explained now that English 110 and Math 100p have been added into the general education curriculum, six other courses had to be removed from the LEP.  

“With some research we found, that was not really working the way it was intended to work from the beginning was the tier three course. That was a course on the backend, so we basically took that requirement completely away. Another course that we took away was critical thinking,” Carrigan said.  

The tier-three course and critical thinking category being taken out of the LEP were two of the major changes that happened Carrigan explained.  

Faculty Director of Academic Advising, Meridith Sinclair explained how these changes also impacted academic advisers on campus. 

“I provide support for all of our faculty advisers on campus; helping them understand the changes to the LEP,” Sinclair said. 

Sinclair explained how depending on what year a student started, that would be the catalog year available to them. 

“All students who started this Fall are in the Fall 2023 catalog; which means they will only see the new LEP on their degree evaluation. Students who were at Southern prior to Fall 2023, will still see the old LEP in their degree evaluation because that’s what it was when they came to Southern. However, they do have the option to change their catalog term,” Sinclair said. 

Both Sinclair and Carrigan explained how students changing their catalog year can be beneficial or hurtful to students; the changes vary based on what courses a student has already completed at the university or other schools. 

“For some students, this would be a benefit in the sense that maybe you would have to take one less course. For other students, it wouldn’t make a difference at all,” Sinclair said. 

“Every student can change their catalog year. The problem is based off of where they have progressed in the program, it may or may not benefit them. This is completely a student choice,” Carrigan said. 

Both Carrigan and Sinclair advocate that students consult with their academic advisers on what decision works best for them.  

Students can create a “What-If Analysis” to see what differences can be made between their current catalog year and a different year.  

“I would encourage students to really working with an adviser on seeing a What-If Analysis. Sometimes it’s very helpful when you are looking at them side by side, to have someone walk you through what the differences are,” Carrigan said.  

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