Previously, students had to take one of three different #math courses offered before being eligible to earn a degree.
Depending on their major, students may be able to squeak through college without taking math. The university is leaving it up to the individual departments to decide whether math will be a required part of a degree’s curriculum.
That means the nursing program will be responsible for setting one level of math students must pass in order to graduate, while the journalism department could set a completely different standard.
“We felt the math requirement was better left to the various programs and majors to decide and to decide what levels of mathematics would be needed,” Monica Brockmeyer, associate provost for student success, told the Free Press.. “We still continue to support mathematics at Wayne State.”
Indeed, in a note sent out late last month to students announcing the change, the university said it “strongly encouraged” students to take mathematics as an elective. The note said two of the foundation classes are still important to take for students looking to go into STEM fields and that the Mathematics in Today’s World class “does an excellent job in introducing students to many important applications of mathematics.”
The note said the university was dropping the general #education math requirement for students until fall 2018, or until a new general education program is adopted by the university.
“This decision was made largely because the current (math) requirement is at a level already required by most high school mathematics curriculum,” the school wrote.
Walt Coleman, 54, of #Detroit, and the parent of an incoming freshman at Wayne State, said he thinks the move is good.
“I think it’s good as long as the various programs are still requiring math,” he said, while waiting for his son on campus Thursday. “It does make sense to have different standards for different programs. Engineers need a lot more math and different math than a social worker, I think.”
Other universities, including the University of Michigan, follow this model, Brockmeyer said.
Wayne State’s general education requirements requires students to complete classes in writing, oral communication, critical thinking, natural science, humanities and society and institutions, along with math. Students can test out of the required classes.
The dropping of the math requirement is part of an overall review of how the university handles general education requirements. That conversation will continue into the fall semester, Brockmeyer said.
“General education provides a shared educational experience that imparts knowledge and expertise essential for all undergraduate students regardless of their major or interests,” Wayne State’s website says about the change. It says the general education requirements help “students develop a sense of social responsibility, as well as strong and transferable intellectual and practical skills … and a demonstrated ability to apply knowledge and skills in real-world settings.”
Wayne State isn’t the only university revamping its general education requirements. A survey conducted on behalf of the Association of American Colleges & Universities and released in January showed that “the majority of AAC&U member institutions continue to say that general education is more of a priority than it was five years ago, and they are much more likely to say they are placing greater emphasis on integration of knowledge, skills and application than on broad knowledge acquisition in their general education programs,” the survey said.
It’s most common, according to the survey, for a school’s general education program to have requirements in writing skills, critical thinking and quantitative reasoning skills, followed by knowledge of science, mathematics, humanities, global world cultures and social sciences.