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Arts and Sciences Dean confirms ‘informal talks’ about changes to general education requirements

In light of the recent reaccreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the University of Miami’s College of Arts and Sciences is entertaining the idea of implementing changes to the school’s general education requirements.

While no decisions have been made at this time, Arts & Sciences Dean Michael Halleran said in an interview with The Miami Hurricane that there have been “informal talks” on the subject.

The college’s reaccreditation, a process it undergoes every ten years, has served as a springboard to open discussions on the subject. In the event that a decision is reached to revisit the requirements, the process, from conception to implementation, could take up to around 18 months, according to Halleran. If the decision is to change general education requirements university-wide, the new curriculum would have to be approved by the Faculty Senate and signed by President Donna E. Shalala.

However, if the changes only affect the College of Arts and Sciences’ requirements, the process could take significantly less time. While general education requirements for the university as a whole are voted on and approved by the Faculty Senate, the individual 11 schools and colleges are at liberty to add requirements they feel are necessary to their disciplines.

The last change to the general education requirements in the College of Arts and Sciences was implemented in the 2003-2004 school year, when the school broadened the spectrum of classes that would fulfill the different categories of requirements.

Should a change in curriculum ever be implemented, students already at the university would be “grandfathered in,” according to Halleran, which means that they could choose to graduate adhering to the requirements as they stood when they entered the university, or to graduate in compliance with the new requirements.

Halleran also said that if a process begins to change the general education requirements, he would welcome students’ input.

“For me, the more voices the better,” said Halleran

March 8, 2009

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Lila Albizu

Assistant News Editor


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.