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Monday, May 27, 2024
The Eagle

Our Take: Salvaging General Education

Mentioning the General Education (or Gen Ed) Program to students around AU's campus will usually result in moans and groans. It seems a majority of students currently see the classes as more of a chore than a privilege. Taking these complaints to heart, the University has been talking about changing the program. To fix the program, however, the university is taking the wrong approach.

The administration seems to have interpreted the complaints from students about the General Education Program as meaning that students want more options. Therefore, the University is trying to change the program by increasing the number of classes students can take to fulfill each area of study.

Attempting to improve the program by increasing the options available to students goes against the primary reason why these set of classes are required of all AU students. According to the administration, the purpose of the General Education Program is to give AU graduates a broader knowledge than simply what is in their major.

This was, and still is, a good idea. Encouraging (or forcing) students to take a variety of classes can only help in the long run. As the administration repeats time and time again, there are students who actually change their major after taking a class for the General Education Program. This is, of course, not to mention all those who come in with undecided majors and have to make up their minds in a relatively short amount of time in order to graduate in four years.

Yet, by increasing the number of options, the University is not only making the program less practical, but more and more general. Students are not craving more options, in truth; they crave better options. We want general knowledge classes that aren't so overly broad and simple that there's no reason to attend. We're not asking you to make school harder; we're asking you to make classes more interesting. Some students will always have a "take your medicine" attitude about GenEd classes; improving the current curriculum, instead of tacking on a few more vague intro classes, could make it seem less like jumping through hoops and more like obtaining a real liberal arts background.

The program can be a positive part of the basic AU curriculum, but for the most part the classes end up being seen as a waste of time by students. What is needed, therefore, are not more options but rather better classes. The administration should look at the course evaluations and talk to students and professors of these courses to help them improve the current program before increasing the options available to students. If fixed correctly, the General Education Program could become one of the most positive aspects of AU's academic offerings.

Section 202 host Gabrielle and friends go over some sports that aren’t in the sports media spotlight often, and review some sports based on their difficulty to play. 

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