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ERIC Number: ED555647
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-May
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1935-3510
General Education at NC State
Schalin, Jay
John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy
North Carolina State University's general education program is ambitious, seeking to accomplish a great many things. Yet its implementation is not aligned with its ambitions, because it demands too little of students. This gap between intentions and implementation can cause students to end up with anti-intellectual attitudes, poor writing and reasoning skills, and antisocial perspectives. The program reflects some good intentions, mainly an emphasis on science and mathematics that many other general education programs lack (this is perhaps to be expected at a school with technical roots). Yet the program attempts to produce reasoned thinking in students using a scattershot "smorgasbord approach," which permits students to choose from among 714 courses, rather than requiring the focused rigor that improving thought processes requires. The fact that general education at NC State requires two science courses does not mean students must take two rigorous science courses. Additional problems are clearly the result of overt politicization. It is difficult to simultaneously instill an objective spirit of inquiry and to inculcate a politically correct worldview that rejects objective inquiry. After providing an overview of general education, this report outlines and evaluates NC State's program. It recommends greatly restricting the number of courses and to focus on the most important subjects to restore an importance and seriousness to NC State's general education program. This will allow students to be rewarded in any number of ways, and the state will benefit by having more work-ready and more deeply thinking graduates.
John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. 353 East Six Forks Road Suite 150, Raleigh, NC 27609. Tel: 919-828-1400; Fax: 919-828-7455; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina