Gen ed fix helps students plan future

Editorial by Kernel Staff. E-mail [email protected].

UK’s new general education requirements herald a fresh phase for the university in which constructive thinking, not academic credit, will take precedence.

In an article published on Feb. 2, the Kernel reported that the incoming freshman in the fall 2011 school year will be the first students to experience the new general education requirements.

The Kernel lauds UK for undertaking the lengthy process of reforming a requirement system that clearly needed to be changed.

The new general education requirements will consist of 30 or more hours of coursework — ten hours less than the old general education system. This means that students will be able to more quickly enroll in courses that will give them experience in their fields of choice.

While the Kernel supports the idea of a diverse course load that requires proficiency in the major genres of educated thought, it also approves of a system that allows students to begin seeing if their chosen field truly suits to them earlier.

Too often under the old system, students would not begin to delve into coursework that would give them an accurate perspective on their chosen major until their upperclassmen years.

Because of the large number of required general education hours, students could not take their specific major classes until later in their academic careers, and thus often felt that it was “too late” to make a decision to change majors.

Hopefully the new system will permit students to make educated decisions about career choices earlier, and thus graduate with degrees that actually interest them.

The Kernel hopes that another positive side effect of decreasing the number of required general education hours will be to improve four-year graduation rates.

With fewer hours to take, more students will be able to afford to graduate.

The lessened number of hours does not suggest, however, that the new general education system will be less effective.

On the contrary, the Kernel hopes that the new program will be more mentally stimulating and challenging than the old system.

With more emphasis placed on reasoning ability, the Kernel is optimistic that future Wildcats will be more fit to be competitive job applicants, influential leaders, constructive citizens and innovative creators than ever before.