Students will benefit from CSU executive order that cuts general education requirements

In Opinion

Executive Order 1100 was changed by the California State University Chancellor’s Office in August, allowing general education requirements to count toward major requirements and taking out the D2 requisite, a world civilization and cultures course, along with some other changes.

The new changes may not seem like much but ultimately, the executive order will be beneficial for students trying to find out which major they feel most attached to instead of spending time completing frivolous general education courses.

Undergraduate students will have fewer general education requirements getting in the way as general education classes could now count toward their major class requirements.

GPA analytics show that GPAs from lower-division classes are consistently lower than upper-division GPAs where most major classes are located, according to Cal State Fullerton Institutional Research and Analytical Studies.

Most general education courses account for the lower division courses students take in college. Although these courses challenge students to diversify their interests, many students find these a nuisance to deal with and tedious to fulfill.

This change in structure shows that the administration is listening to students; Cries of boredom and busywork don’t go unheard.

If students were interested in the courses and saw them as important to their major instead of just busywork, they could have a better mindset for these courses like they do with upper-division classes that reflect more of their interests and ambitions.

Senior Director of Public Affairs for the CSU Chancellor’s Office Mike Uhlenkamp said that this new executive order will open up new pathways for students, allowing them to cover different courses for the same requirement specifically within math requirements.

Uhlenkamp also stated that for majors that need a math class, any math course will now cover that requisite so they don’t have to take an irrelevant math class to fill a graduation requirement.

Students can progress quicker and stop taking classes that won’t benefit them.

In the year 2012, only 22 percent of students were able to graduate in four years, according to Cal State Fullerton Institutional Research and Analytical Studies.

Instead, it takes most students six years to graduate. Double counting can help determined students graduate in the expected four years.

“We want to make it so that a student can graduate in the time that they want to graduate. If they want to graduate in four years, we absolutely want to provide them with every opportunity to graduate in four years,” Uhlenkamp said.

More importantly, students can benefit from Executive Order 1100 by strategically planning the extra courses they will have to take because of double counting. Despite these courses counting for two sections of the Titan Degree Audit, students still have to obtain 120 units to graduate. That hasn’t changed.

What will change, however, is the possibility of having more courses that interest students — courses that can be based on a person’s hobbies or classes from another subject a student enjoys. These courses can also count toward a double major or minor.

“GE is an exploration area. GE is about breadth across your experience, but I also believe that double counting, which allows you more space in the pockets of your major, might give you an opportunity to explore something on the back end that you might have never thought of,” said CSUF Interim Director of Undergraduate Studies and General Education Brent Foster.

By being able to explore other classes, or even a minor, students can create a unique educational experience instead of sticking to a cookie-cutter formula for every student.

As soon as students graduate, they join their peers in the workforce with the exact same educational background — a bachelor’s degree, but with a minor, students can have a more diverse skill set to show future employers.

Though the changes made to Executive Order 1100 may not seem groundbreaking or extreme, these little modifications will help students in their first years of college by shifting priorities from general education courses to help them graduate quicker.

One commentOn Students will benefit from CSU executive order that cuts general education requirements

  • Does it occur to you that the reason upper division grades are higher is because students chose the correct major for them because of the general education courses they had to take?
    Since you rely on anecdotal evidence, let me provide some of my own, as a professor of 15 years: I cannot count how many students I have had come to my office hours and told me that now that they’ve taken my social psychology course, they want to change their major, how their major is different than what they thought it was going to be, and if they had “only known.” Does that sound like academic success to you?
    GE vs. just pick your damned major already without a grasp of what’s really out there. I guess we have different definitions of “frivolity.”

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