October 21, 2019

Gen. eds are not as complicated as advertised

In the last two weeks, the Webster University Faculty Senate has met twice already to discuss the changes to student general education. During the last year and a half, the senate has met numerous times to discuss this issue and has failed to come to a final decision.

The school has even appointed a special task force to officially moderate general education requirements for students. Currently, gen. eds are mostly dictated by the school with a few interdisciplinary courses thrown in for good measure and a “wellrounded education.” However, the most controversial of the topics discussed during this forum are the possible requirements for students to study abroad or a language requirement and become “global citizens.”

The Journal agrees with the Faculty Senate’s decree that students should actually take steps to become global citizens, and it makes the school look hypocritical if its mission states: “ensures high quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship.”

Several faculty members at the senate meeting agreed that a language requirement would help students to be more adequate global citizens. Several more faculty members stated that forcing a study abroad experience on students would put non-traditional students and transfer students at a disadvantage since they couldn’t necessarily study abroad due to logistical issues.

The Journal has had several staff members and editors study abroad in various locations throughout the world, and understands the importance and character building that it would entail. However, forcing study abroad requirements on students isn’t fair to those who could not necessarily afford the fiscal or time commitments it would require.

However, the final provisions for general education requirements have not even come close to being ironed out yet because the Faculty Senate keeps talking in circles about the same topics.

Faculty members complained about the complexity of the plan, and that if they can’t understand it, how will students? To The Journal, the issue of gen eds seems relatively straight forward. The school will be forced to make one of two choices – change the general education requirements or change the school slogan.

Perhaps the senate should take a step back from this issue for a while – but not for too long. A year and a half discussing issues that will seriously overhaul the structure of every class, department and school at the university shouldn’t be postponed until all the professors originally discussing the issue are too old to get up on their soap box and all the students are too jaded to care.

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