EDITORIAL: New Gen Ed proposals sound promising

Feb. 14, 2012 Editorial Cartoon

Herald Staff

THE ISSUE: WKU’s General Education Review Task Force has proposed changes to the general education curriculum, that, if passed, could go into effect as soon as 2014.


OUR STANCE: The Herald thinks the proposed changes are spot-on and would provide a new dynamic to an otherwise unexciting list of required classes.


Just about every college student is familiar with general education requirements — classes outside of a student’s major or minor they’re required to take in order to give them a more well-rounded education. 

Often, the general education requirements become more of a nuisance than an asset for students in pursuit of a degree. But it looks like things could improve if the proposed changes are passed. 

One of the most notable changes is reducing the number of general education hours from 44 to 39. 

This change would decrease nearly half a semester’s worth of required credit hours and should serve students well as they attempt a more timely graduation. 

As staying around an extra semester or year has become more common at universities, the Herald believes the reduction would ultimately allow for students to meet their degree requirements sooner as the general education changes would now be proportional to the number of total hours required to graduate. 

Other changes include splitting the 39-hour program into three categories, the first two of which would include the traditional humanities, communications, math and science classes.

The proposals call for a third category called “Connections,” which would allow students to take nearly any class they want and was created to help students examine the link between general education classes and their major. 

Although the Connections category is still in the preliminary stages, the Herald thinks it sounds promising and could provide help to students who question the value of general education courses.

It has taken the task force nearly four years to come up with the proposed changes and the time looks to be well-spent. Overall, the task force seems to have put together a well-thought-out set of changes that would drastically change the look of WKU’s general education curriculum. The Herald backs the proposed changes and hopes they see the University Senate floor and ultimately the light of day.  

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 10-member editorial board.