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Gen. ed. changes

Justin Yost, Staff Writer

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Wayne State College is changing the General Education requirements to graduate. The way the program is set up now, a student needs 41 credit hours from gen ed. courses to graduate. Under the new proposal the number of credit hours would decrease to 30.

“The General Education program reduces hours, but you still need 120 hours to graduate. This allows student choice to determine what courses to take to make up the rest of the 120 hours,” said Vice President of Academic Affairs Steve Elliot.

According to Elliot, some students are graduating with more than 120 hours, and he hopes this new program can help.

“What we found was students were graduating with more than 120 hours, and this new proposal will allow students to pick up a minor or even double major. There is just enough flexibility in this to do that,” Elliot said.

Many different individuals and groups had influence in making this decision to change the requirements. Some of the groups involved are: the Nebraska State College System, Higher Learning Commission, the administration and WSC faculty staff and students who were involved in the General Studies Advisory Committee.

“This was a shared governance effort as well as working very close with the president to make sure we are in compliance with our higher education requirements,” Elliot said. “So we are working very hard together to figure out the issue and come to the best possible solution.”

Some faculty, who wish to remain anonymous, are skeptical about the way the proposed program will work. There are 10 Core Academic Tenets (CATs) in the proposed General Education Program. Some of the descriptions of the 10 CATs are worded in ways that could open up for interpretation which classes could fall in that category, with some classes without a real spot to be placed into.

The new plan will not have any effect on current students, unless chosen.

“This will be for the 2018 academic year, so all new incoming students will be on that new catalog. Then anyone who is a current WSC student has the option of going to the newer catalog as well,” Elliot said.

In March of this year the administration started looking at the changes coming to the system policy. At that time the president started the process of assembling the General Studies Advisory Committee.

“We worked with the faculty senate and the General Education Committee, at the time, to put together a group of faculty and students to review the current program and propose a new program,” Elliot said.

This proposed program is still in the works, and nothing is official. The administration would like to hear the opinions of faculty and staff to make sure the General Education Program is the best it can be.

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Gen. ed. changes