By Brittney Haynes/Assistant news editor

General education requirements are in for a change at Eastern.The University General Education Committee has been working on changes to gen. ed. for the past year, based on recommendations by the Council on Postsecondary Education.

Currently, gen. ed. is divided into 21 different categories and counts for 52 credit hours. The proposed gen. ed. program consists of six blocks: communications, mathematics, arts and humanities, natural science, social and behavioral science, and institution-specific courses.

The proposed gen. ed. program will count for 48 credit hours. The gen. ed. committee hopes the proposed program will be more coherent than the current program, according to Tom Watkins, a committee member.

The committee has established its goals and objectives based on the requirements for accreditations by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Students learning will be assessed on a continuing basis, according to Watkins.

Student Government Association President Lance Melching said the seamless transfer of the proposed gen. ed. program will be beneficial to transfer students and non-traditional students.

Students will not have to repeat similar courses they have completed at another school, added Melching.

Freshman graphic design major Lauren Richardson said gen. ed. courses are needed before students focus on a major.

Junior parks and recreation administration major Emily Wilson said her general education has been a repeat of her high school education.

“College is supposed to be more challenging,” Wilson said.

The gen. ed. committee hopes students will be challenged more. The committee would like to see students use more critical thinking in gen. ed. classes rather than memorizing material, according to Watkins.

However, the proposed changes will only affect students who initially register after the proposed program goes into effect. Watkins guesses the program could go into effect in fall 2006.

The Council on Academic Affairs, the Faculty Senate and the Board of Regents must approve the proposed gen. ed. changes.

Once approved, faculty will submit course proposals to be included in the program. Only then will the administration be able to set an initiation date for the new program.

For the new proposed requirements, click on this story online at

Reach Brittney at