It is estimated that there are 2,618 accredited four-year colleges and universities in a study done in 2005. With many different colleges and universities to choose from, students can be overwhelmed and befuddled in choosing which college is the best fit for them. In the U.S., a total of 2,617 schools compete to get prospective students to attend their college. To combat this, ORU is lowering the number of credits needed to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.
“Three years ago, we began a comprehensive review of ORU’s general education requirements. It was time,” said Chair of Computing and Mathematics Dr. Andrew Lang. “Several things have resulted from the review process, including a new 120-hour minimum for every degree program and a new set of core general education requirements.”
“Beginning fall 2018, as part of ORU’s core general education curriculum, every program at ORU must include at least three hours of ‘civics’ general education while some programs may elect to require more than the three hours minimum,” said Lang.
These civics classes include GOV 101, GOV 103, HIS 110, HIS 111 and HIS 200.
In the past, students had to take both history and government to graduate. Now, with the new degree plan sheet, students will only have to take one.
That includes three hours of a foreign language, the new biblical literacy classes that have been split into two hours and three hours of social science.
“This isn’t an overnight decision. ORU has been talking and putting input into this plan for years,” says Associate Professor of Government Sonny Branham.
According to Branham, decreasing the number of credits allows students more of an opportunity to graduate on time or earlier. The cons of cutting a history or government class is that students get less exposure to gen-ed and humanities classes.
“The review process was very thorough and included an initial period of research, a review of current best practices, consultation with ORU’s primary constituents which included focus groups of students, alumni and faculty, and consideration of the skills and knowledge that employers are (or soon will be) demanding from college graduates,” said Lang.
However, the decision is left up to the students on whether they want to take more or less classes than the minimum requirement.
“This is just the minimum,” said Branham. “Students can still take 128 or 138 or whatever. Technically, it isn’t cutting off anything. This is just allowing more flexibility for students, should their schedule need it.”