Once the Class of 2016 graduates, Stanford’s transition to Ways of Thinking/Ways of Doing general education requirements will be complete. This change is welcome, because the old system badly needed fixing: The Disciplinary Breadth obligation was superficial and unsatisfying, and the Education for Citizenship (EC) requirement was well-meaning but flawed (more on this later). Unfortunately,…
Despite extensive praise for the Introductory Seminars (IntroSems) program’s ability to introduce students to university-level thinking across a range of disciplines, humanities faculty members have expressed concern about low enrollment in their IntroSems compared to enrollment in more technical IntroSems.
As of this fall, the yearlong Introduction to the Humanities sequence will no longer be a requirement for freshmen. Instead, the Class of 2016 will choose from over 35 different quarter-long Thinking Matters courses.
Stanford’s traditional system of self-contained courses could soon be upended by recommendations by the Study of Undergraduate Education at Stanford (SUES), which advocates the introduction of “helix courses” to address “curricular incoherence” in undergraduate coursework.
During my time at Stanford, I have been told several pieces of advice time and time again. Start papers before the day they’re due. Don’t join 90 clubs just because they all seem cool. Wear a helmet when riding your bike. And, above all else, do not attempt to take 20 units.
Students’ anticipation of the opening of winter quarter enrollment this past weekend undoubtedly prompted some students to express frustration over Stanford’s General Education Requirements (GERs). The non-Structured Liberal Education (SLE) students are required to take three IHUM courses, two PWR classes and classes that cover five Disciplinary Breadth areas (Humanities, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Applied Sciences and Engineering) and two of four Education for Citizenship requirements. In practice, this amounts to around eight to 10 courses outside of one’s major (the Foreign Language requirement, not technically a GER, requires up to three additional classes).
Promoting and encouraging public service has been part of Stanford’s mission since its founding. The Founding Statement notes that a core goal of the University is “to promote the public welfare,” and an amendment written by Jane Stanford declares that students are given an education “in the hope and trust that they will become thereby of greater service to the public.”
Winter quarter marks the first time Sleep and Dreams will be offered without its once standard natural sciences General Education Requirement (GER). Last year, the elimination of the course’s GER caused a great deal of confusion and led to Dement accusing the Senate Subcommittee on General Education Requirements of failing to inform him why his course had been stripped of its GER…