The General Education changes in 2013, took both HUM 2454, African American Humanities, and HUM 2403, Middle Eastern Humanities out of the General Education program, and left both HUM 2410, Asian Humanities, and HUM 2461 Latin American Humanities in the program. The Humanities faculty held a forum on 10/14 to discuss the inclusion or exclusion of all four culture courses in the General Education program. The results were split 9 in favor or adding HUM 2454 and HUM 2403 to General Education versus 9 for the removal of HUM 2410 and HUM 2461 from General Education. The issue is one of values. Those supportive of adding the HUM 2454 and HUM 2403 courses have a stronger value of the importance of diversity, and those supportive of removing the HUM 2410 and HUM 2461 courses have a stronger value of ease of transferability.
Colleagues: One of the Humanities faculty members has changed his vote from a “NO” for inclusion to a “YES,” thus brining the forum vote from a tie to 10 voters approving inclusion and 8 voters opposing inclusion.
The following are “points to ponder” from Kevin Mulholland:
- Is there a demonstrated problem with the current situation?
Mythology has been one of our most popular classes for years. Critical Thinking has a high enrollment. Our non-western classes have been in in GenEd for years. What data do we have that taking these classes has been a real detriment to students who transfer to UCF? We have a given number of students who go to UCF. We subtract the number of graduates, and then subtract the number of students who have completed their GenEd here at Valencia. Take away the students who were only here for 12 hours and only took the core classes. Finally get rid of those who had special major requirements or who have already maxed out on B1 classes. How many do we have left and what have they had to say to let us know there is a problem?
- Can we really predict what students will need?
We talked about “not getting in the weeds” on transfer issues, but I suspect that is exactly where we need to be.
It is by no means simple to try and anticipate what a student will need at UCF. The generic requirement is to take 9 hours in Cultural and Historical Foundations, with at least one class from both the B1 list and the B2 list. Many majors require specific classes to be taken from those lists. I surveyed the first 10 majors in UCF’s list of degrees offered. 6 of them were fine with the generic requirement, while 4 of them had specific requirements that would make it essentially irrelevant if they had credit for HUM 2210/2230. For example, Advertising majors needed 2 classes from B2. Assuming they had HUM 1020, students would find more B1 classes (like HUM 2210/2230) to be redundant. Aerospace majors need one humanities class but two history classes.
In addition, because UCF combines cultural and historical courses in their 9 hour requirement, it is quite possible for our students to have taken a history class that falls into B1, which again makes their choice of a second HUM prefix class irrelevant (assuming they already have HUM 1020).
- If there is a transfer problem, why are we focused on the smaller enrollment classes?
I have never believed that the non-western classes transferability issues are the real reason to exclude non-western classes from GenEd. Putting aside Twentieth Century, we have a much bigger problem with Mythology and Critical Thinking, neither of which transfer into UCF as GenEd classes. In Fall 2016, there were 60 sections of these classes – there were 20 sections of Asian & Latin American Humanities. Why are we only worried about 25% of ours students?