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Davis, California

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Editorial: Topical breadth, core literacies, what?

Beginning with the class of 2015, all students are required to take general education classes under the GE3 framework. This framework increases the units necessary to fulfill requirements while adding additional and more specific requirements than what was required under the GE2 framework.

GE3 was created to address GE2’s inability to fulfill its objective, “to create people capable of living and working in an increasingly international society,” according to the task report on GE3.

A year after its implementation, GE3 has only served to convolute the general education process. While it may serve lofty goals, GE3, in reality, has only confused and pushed students off track from graduating in a timely manner.

When tuition is already so expensive, it does not make sense to make it more difficult for students to graduate. The increased unit load pushes students closer to the unit cap, and for those of us still unsure what we want to major in — it could be the difference between graduation and a sixth year.

There is a problem when advisors are confused and have trouble implementing a general education framework. Students rely on advisors to guide them through an increasingly bureaucratic system. When students already face two-week waiting periods just to see their advisor, a general education framework that is as intuitive as multivariable calculus is ludicrous.

A feature of the GE3 framework is that double-dipping is limited between topical breadths and core literacies (confused about this? The California Aggie’s editorial board is too and would love for an adviser to explain this to us — but we’d rather not wait two weeks). This only makes it harder to graduate on time.

There is an easy solution to these problems. The fog of general education can be cleared through easier access to advisors. An annual checkup, to make sure a student is on track, should be done to prevent confusion.

Instead of laboring through countless pages to see which courses we have taken fulfill which requirements, a simple Sisweb program could be developed to tell students which requirements they have fulfilled and which requirements they must fulfill. This would allow for students to take classes efficiently and alleviate the burden on advisors. While we already have the Degree Navigator program, it is generally unclear and hard to use.

If it is too much for us to be able to see an advisor to have our questions answered, then at least a computer can do it. This is the 21st century, right?

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