- SUNY Buffalo and the University are Virginia are developing pilot programs to redesign required general education courses to better reflect needed skills and theoretical knowledge for today's job market.
SUNY Buffalo will launch its UB Curriculum this fall, with a new liberal arts focus on communication literacy, math and quantitative reasoning, scientific literacy and diversity learning. UVA is in development on a program for course options in engagements, literacies and disciplines, which officials say will launch in the next three years.
- Officials with both universities say the new courses will boost job readiness and improve student experiences, while maintaining a mission of creating a well-rounded, knowledgeable citizen.
Higher education has long passed its usefulness as a pipeline for aristocracy, and these course redesigns show a commitment to the nation's industrial imperative to make a more skilled workforce which will require less on-the-job training after graduation.
Both schools are among the nation's most highly-selective public institutions and are working with faculty to create a new vision for how its high-capacity students may personally benefit from core requirements that may challenge curiosity, but offer little knowledge about career choice or vocational skill.
With more institutions focusing on issues of affordability and diversity, its important for all schools to consider the best ways in which they can increase the value of each class while reducing costs by encouraging degree completion in four years. For-profit and community colleges have already figured out how to streamline these requirements and stay competitive and attractive to students with growing options; four-year institutions must evolve in similar ways if they are to compete in the landscape.