Proposed Curriculum Changes at University of Alabama Draw Fire After Professor’s Viral Tweet
A series of proposed curriculum changes at the University of Alabama is drawing fire online after a professor criticized them in a Tweet last week.
As background, the University created a task force in 2018 to examine its General Education curriculum requirements -- the classes all students at UA are required to take, regardless of their majors and minors.
The 12-member task force committed to reviewing and revising what the UA community expects all graduates to gain from their time as students and last Thursday, they published their recommended changes.
The proposed core curriculum would require less than 40 credit hours to complete as opposed to the current curriculum, which includes around 55 credit hours for most UA students and 48 hours for those enrolled in the College of Engineering.
The Task Force said in a resolution that UA's core curriculum requirements "exceed those of all SEC, Big Ten, Pac 12 peers and most Carnegie R1 institutions" and changes must be made to ensure enrollment numbers stay at their historic highs.
The changes would make the General Education core curriculum standard for all UA students instead of varying by College, and reduces the amount of time students would be required to study the humanities, history and in writing-intensive courses,
The task force also recommended requiring all UA graduates to have completed foreign language classes and would remove an option to replace that coursework with studying computer science, but left room for students who studied a foreign language in high school to skip doing so at the Capstone.
The task force recommends reviewing their proposal this fall and working to implement it in 2023 and 2024 for a Fall 2025 launch of the new core curriculum. The Faculty Senate will have the next two weeks to vote online and anonymously on whether to endorse the proposed changes.
One associate professor at UA, though, went viral last week when he took to Twitter to call the proposed changes "madness."
Juan José Ponce Vázquez, an associate history professor at UA, criticized the proposal for cutting history and literature requirements and for allowing students who studied one or more foreign languages in high school to opt out of doing so at Alabama.
His series of Tweets drew more than 10,000 Likes and nearly 3,000 Retweets, with many voices decrying the proposed changes and still others supporting the streamlined curriculum for cutting out "extra" classes students may not need to succeed in their field of choice.
The Faculty Senate's vote on whether to endorse the Task Force's recommendations will close on November 15th. Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for more details as they become available.