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U of Alabama Gen Ed Curriculum Under Debate Could Strip out English, Humanities Requirements

Students at the University of Alabama could soon be required to take fewer writing, humanities and history courses as faculty vote on a major change to general education requirements this week.

The new proposed curriculum, projected to roll out in the fall of 2025, is shaved down by about 16 credit hours, expands math options and reduces the amount of writing, fine arts, history and literature courses that are currently required. Students also will no longer have to complete a foreign language requirement if they took similar courses in high school. All told, if faculty approve the current proposal, some students may be able to graduate without taking a college-level history, literature or language course.

The revisions also come as colleges around the country continue to downsize liberal arts programs and shift their focus toward STEM-oriented curriculums – a trend that’s worrisome to several faculty members.

“I already have too many seniors who are not able to write well,” Peter Brummund, an associate professor in the economics department, wrote in a feedback form. “Even in the information age, the ability to communicate your ideas in writing is a critical skill that all of Alabama’s students should develop.”

In order to graduate, UA students – with the exception of those in the College of Engineering – are currently required to take 53-55 hours of core classes, which include at least 36 hours of combined writing, humanities and history courses.

The new curriculum requires courses to be woven throughout a students’ college experience, including freshmen orientation classes and advanced writing, cultural and experiential learning classes. The university is also working to create a teaching hub, which aims to improve the quality of general courses and track student outcomes.

Read entire article at AL.com