As a second-semester freshman at Penn State, I have taken two General Education courses that I believe are beneficial to all students regardless of which major they ultimately pursue: English 015 and Economics 102. Not all General Education courses seem as relevant as these two courses to students and to their prospective futures. This is the reason why General Education reform is a must, but it must be done with meticulous care and attention.
The proposed 30-credit template appears to be a great alternative to the other options of Exploration, Integration, and Skills. There is much more freedom for students to decide what interests them. By requiring students to choose 9 credits each from both Themes and Exploration, this leaves 12 credits (about 4 courses) for them to decide if they want to continue with a theme or try different courses.
My only concern is that not all students will fully understand the changes made to the entire structure of the General Education program here at Penn State. The amendments must be sensible and clear to all students before they can be implemented. This discussion of General Education’s revolutionary reform and adoption of a committee called “General Education Task Force” sound quite restricting and imposing for the average student. It is contradictory what General Education should be about; General Education should prepare students with the necessary skills and knowledge required to succeed in an ever-changing global society.