Student Senate held their first meeting of the fall semester on Sept. 7 to discuss the release of a statement of support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and to watch a presentation by the General Education Reform Committee concerning new requirements for the 2018 bulletin.
The proposal for new general education requirements—which haven’t been changed since 1987—was presented by Dr. Darin Ellis, the associate provost and the vice president for undergraduate affairs, and Dr. Monica Brockmeyer, the associate provost for student success.
The proposed general education requirement consists of 32 credits and is a reduction from the previous 46-credit requirement, which saves students a semester’s worth of credits.
“We do expect that this will promote more timely graduation,” Brockmeyer said. “It’s our great hope that this lays the foundation for a lot of other curricular innovations.”
The new requirements fall under three main pillars: Foundational Competencies, Inquiries and Wayne Experience/Wayne Focus.
“Part of rolling [the new requirements] out is not just getting a new curriculum, but doing whatever we can to make sure the whole student experience is as positive and smooth as possible,” Brockmeyer said.
Foundational Competencies consists of nine credits of communications classes—basic composition, oral communication and a choice between intermediate composition or a writing course within a discipline—and the new Quantitative Experience.
Quantitative Experience brings back the math requirement in a new way. Students will now have a choice between algebra, statistics or a quantitative reasoning course. Quantitative reasoning courses are mathematics courses that are specific to students’ majors or programs.
Ellis said this provides students with “different flavors” of math by giving them a variety of options depending on their interests and ensures the relevancy of the course in the long run.
“The more relevant it can be, the more engaged the learning is,” Ellis said.
The Inquiries pillar requires students to select six courses, one from each of these categories: natural science, cultural science, first year seminar, social science, civic literacy and a choice between diversity, equity and inclusion or global learning.
Brockmeyer said the first-year seminar is expected to be a highly-engaging, multidisciplinary course designed for freshmen.
The third and final pillar of the new requirements is Wayne Experience, a one-credit extended orientation of sorts meant to create deep connections between students and university resources, Brockmeyer said.
“This is about becoming a Warrior in all of the best possible sense, but with the additional support and advising and orientation that students may need during their first semester,” she said.
Current students have the chance to roll forward into the new bulletin or adopt the new requirements for general education only. Requirements for transfer students will be handled by the General Education Oversight Committee.
“I want this to be as graduation-friendly and student-friendly as possible,” Ellis said. “As long as I’m in this job, I’m the person that signs those waivers. I give you my commitment that we will follow the spirit of [general education].”
Nourhan Hamadi, the president of Student Senate, said she supports the proposal as it currently stands because it allows for less stress and lets students dive into their major sooner.
“We do definitely support what they’re trying to change. The [general education] requirements have just been a little bit over their time,” Hamadi said. “Less blocks on the way to graduation.”
The proposal presented at the meeting is subject to change depending on feedback from the Board of Governors and any edits that may take place during Academic Senate meetings.
Dean Strauss announced the launch of a website for The W food pantry and a site dedicated to Title IX. Pages for women’s resources and commuter success have been added to the Dean Of Students Office (DOSO) website.
For more information on graduation requirements, visit bulletins.wayne.edu.