The current General Education program at Penn State should have a main focus on Exploration and a secondary focus on Skills. The Themes option offers a list that is not comprehensive for the enormous diversity of students of different races, ethnicity, religion, and countries of the world. For upcoming high school seniors that are transitioning to college, Exploration allows the most flexibility in terms of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary courses available for students. Even for those students who have completed their first year, Exploration encompasses a broad spectrum of courses that can lead students towards a specific major, minor, or even double-major in particular areas of study. A secondary focus on Skills can teach students the basic tools sought by employers such as proficiency in EXCEL, coding, and computer programming. The General Education outline should be represented by about 75% Exploration and 25% Skills.
We, as a collective student-body, must be open to new ideas and opinions that can further our university’s standing in the nation as well as the world. This means that we should not limit our students’ academic paths with a Theme-based General Education curriculum that is represented by the ideas of an elite minority “General Education Task Force”. General Education cannot and should not turn into a restrictive academic plan for students that complicates and confuses the students. The last thing that University officials want to do is create opposition to a newly established General Education plan. Ultimately, students must feel comfortable and at ease with the final revisions agreed upon by all parties.