As students at a university, we are consumers of education. As consumers, we should leave with a product that we are happy with, one that serves its purpose and gives us the results we desire.
The core curriculum for the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) is one that takes up a significant amount of time for every student with a major in the college. On average, students spend at least two years finishing their core classes before they can move on to classes that are more relevant to the job they will be pursuing in the future.
A&S is currently in phase four of a seven-year process of potentially revising the core curriculum, one that has not been changed since World War II. This considered, taking a critical look at our core curriculum is much needed. The world around us is rapidly changing, and the rise of the digital age is bringing in new technologies and ideas daily. This requires us to take a step back and consider what skills we need to come out of college with, and which skills should probably be condensed.
On Aug. 18th, the Baylor Council of Chairs received the recommendations for the curriculum changes. They include that the four core curriculums, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Science in Aviation Studies, are all condensed into one list of core requirements. This brings every A&S student’s core curriculum to 49 to 50 hours, compared to the 41 to 79 hours of core classes students in the college currently have to take. This would significantly lower the amount of core classes most majors have to take, with the exception of some Bachelor of Fine Arts majors. Their core classes might increase, but only slightly. In addition, even though the hours are being condensed, there are also some replacements the college is considering. These include one three-hour course from “Communication and Media Literacy,” a cultural events experience requirement and a civic engagement seminar.
This is a good change for the students of A&S, one that will give students a chance to explore their interests more thoroughly in college. While we understand that a liberal core curriculum such as the one we have right now is vital to making sure we leave school well-rounded, we currently are not able to take all the electives we would like to.
We applaud the college for recognizing that it’s time for a change and that we must keep revising and updating our coursework. This would give us the best of both worlds by exposing us to a liberal education in addition to allowing us to focus on classes that pertain to our specific major. If the proposed changes are adopted, we would have the ability to acquire as many job skills as possible before we graduate, which is vital to success in the global workforce.
As we look to the future of our education, we know more revisions are likely as society continues to grow. We ask that the college keeps us, the students, in mind as they move forward on this change process as we are the ones who will be directly affected.
Overall, we are excited that these ideas have been proposed. While a decision has not been made yet, we hope that the College of Arts and Sciences will seriously consider revising this core class schedule. It’s time for a change; it is time to grow as a university and time to attain the skills that we have come to college for.
Editor’s Note: This piece has been modified to replace CASA, which stands for the College of Arts & Sciences Advisement, with A&S. The latter is the most accurate reference to the College of Arts & Sciences.