BY HUNTER SALMON | APRIL 24, 2016
The Edgewood College tag system of general education requirements are being changed this semester, and a new system could be implemented as soon as 2017.
The general education requirements for students involve 29 course tags, such as an X tag for writing, that represents a certain area of study. As a liberal arts college, Edgewood requires its students to take a variety of courses from different areas of study regardless of their major.
Several students interviewed expressed a desire for less tags and faster graduation times. “The education program covers a lot of tags within it, and there is a ridiculous amount of tags,” said Jenny Larson. “Education majors are on path to graduate in four and a half years. The tag system now is making me stay an extra semester.” That being said, Larson also finds value in the variety afforded by the TAG system. “[It allows me] to take classes that aren’t education related when I am stressed out with my major classes”
Another student interviewed wanted a more targeted system of tag requirements. “The TAG system creates redundancies in the general education curriculum,” says Zander Yeiser. “It should be refined and possibly geared towards a student’s major. There are times that the tag system makes scheduling difficult.”
Megan Lyneis, President of the Student Government Association (SGA), said that “We [SGA] felt that Edgewood’s mission should continue to be focused on educating students about diversity and inclusion, and the world around them in order to prepare our students to go out into the world with the knowledge to make a difference.”
Lauren Lacy, Associate English Professor and Gen Ed Revision Committee member, stated that the changes “will not have a choice component for the Arts/Humanities and Perspective classes.” She went on to state that “the student’s voices were particularly important in swaying the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee’s decision on this.”
The changes being discussed, especially in the case of the choice models, could affect the arts and humanities departments most strongly. It would limit the amount of classes students would have to take from these departments. And, John Fields, the Dean of Arts and Sciences, says that it could also create “an unhealthy competition for students between the departments” and change the “dynamic” of the departments. This shift of dynamic could be harmful to the student’s education. Classes could be designed to attract students away from other departments classes.
The idea that was presented and discussed by the General Education Revision Committee to the Faculty Association had the K (Oral Communication), U (Critical Thinking), X (Writing), S (Field/Lab Science), S, V (Non-Field/Non-Lab Science), and two perspective tags eliminated. This would also allow students to finish their tag requirements quicker as they have less of them to take to graduate. Lauren Lacy commented on the proposal saying that this is a “perfectly reasonable step in the right direction.”
The voting by the Faculty Association on the changes to the curriculum will be held on April 25th, this Monday.