By Associated Press - Sunday, March 8, 2020

ATLANTA (AP) - Some faculty members are expressing concerns about a plan to change course requirements within the University System of Georgia.

The system plans to cut the number of required core credit hours while adding required courses meant to improve critical thinking, digital fluency and oral communication, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. That will prepare students better for the workforce, officials said.

But faculty members worry there will be less time devoted to subjects such as math, science and history.

“There is still science, humanities, composition, math, social science, and history, but across the board, less of it,” said Augusta University history department chair Andrew Goss.

“This plan will not make our graduates more workforce ready, and USG undergraduates will have less preparation, be less well rounded, and be less competitive in their careers,” he said.

The plan would cut the number of required core credit hours from 42 to 33.

The system’s chief academic officer, Tristan Denley, said he’s aware of the concerns, and faculty suggestions are being reviewed. Denley discussed the proposed changes during a recent presentation to the Georgia House of Representatives Higher Education Committee.

Denley said he believes in the key elements of the changes. The core curriculum hasn’t significantly changed in about a decade, he said.

“We really want a structure that prepares them for the rest of their lives,” he told lawmakers on the committee.

He said current core requirements don’t provoke enough critical thinking.

System officials are planning to make a presentation on the proposed changes at a state Board of Regents meeting in April.

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