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The Daily Tar Heel

New recommendations, if approved, would make for better undergraduate curriculum requirements

Proposed revisions to the undergraduate curriculum would go a long way in addressing problems with the current requirements.

The most significant — and most needed — change would affect the Supplemental Education requirement.

Most students currently pursing a B.A. degree must take three courses above the 199 level that don’t overlap with their primary major to fulfill this requirement, in order to attain sufficient breadth in their education.

But many students already achieve that breadth in other ways — namely through a double major or minor. Erika Lindemann, associate dean for undergraduate curricula, noted this as a principal reason for the proposed revisions.

This revision would make it so that students within the College of Arts and Sciences can fulfill the Supplemental Education requirement by double-majoring or taking on a minor.

This stands to ensure students are still getting adequate breadth in their studies while easing an unnecessary burden.

Last spring, many students hoping to graduate had difficulty fulfilling the Supplemental Education requirements, especially in the area of fine arts, where spaces are limited. The new changes, if adopted, would help alleviate that.

Other proposed recommendations also make sense.

New or revised courses would only be able to fulfill up to two general education requirements each. For foreign language, placing into the fourth level of a language would satisfy the three-semester requirement.

It’s a reasonable move — there is no lack of courses that meet any of those requirements.

Also, students would not be able to take more than one lifetime fitness class. This is a common-sense solution, given that the instruction modules are the same. Plenty of underclassmen are jockeying to fill the requirement, and there are other exercise and sport-related offerings.

Lindemann noted that about 50 individuals, including students, helped assemble the recommendations. It seems clear, given the results, that student concerns about filling requirements were married well with the desire by administrators to encourage intellectual breadth.

We hope the faculty council ultimately approves these recommendations or a similar form of them.

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