Archive for Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Regents will consider decreasing minimum hours to graduate

October 5, 2010, 11:57 a.m. Updated October 5, 2010, 3:19 p.m.


— The Kansas Board of Regents this month will consider decreasing the minimum number of semester credit hours for a bachelor's degree.

The current minimum requirement for a bachelor's degree in liberal arts, sciences, or professional fields is 124 hours. The recommendation is to decrease that to 120 hours.

The Academic Affairs Committee of the regents voted unanimously to put the proposal before the full regents at its Oct. 20-21 meeting.

Thirty-nine states and all of Kansas' bordering states have a 120-hour minimum.

The regents staff wants the change.

"Given the high degree of student mobility today and the fact that many receive bachelor's degrees from an institution other than the one at which they began study, establishing consistency with regard to minimum baccalaureate degree requirements should benefit students by creating improved efficiency and transferability of credit," a staff memo said.


Ricky_Vaughn 7 years, 6 months ago

Let's water-down education some more! It's already to the point where a HS diploma isn't worth jack, Bachelor's degrees aren't far off (they're the new HS diploma). There are already ways to Masters degrees without GRE's.

What's next? Free PhD with 6 proofs of purchase on specially marked boxes of Fruit Loops?

Jock Navels 7 years, 6 months ago

totally agree...remember the 18 week semester?

Danimal 7 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, I would be for cutting hours if there were any decent reason or we were way out of step with the rest of the nation. Four hours? What is that, one class? I'm pretty sure that in the 5 to 6 years most kids are spending in college now they can squeeze in another class. Heck, I did and so have a lot of other people. Seriously, take at least 16 hours a semester and you'll be fine. Good thing the Regents are spending time on this instead of minor problems like the buildings at their institutions crumbling.

anonyname 7 years, 6 months ago

That way we could ensure remedial spelling lessons.

parrothead8 7 years, 6 months ago

Because, now that colleges and universities have been turned into glorified trade schools rather than institutions of higher learning, professors' time is spent meeting the "important" goals imposed on them by the endless line of administrators, such as serving on more and more committees, justifying their existence by bringing in grants and getting published, and trying to figure out how to improve retention rates of first-year students.

You want to fix the education problem? Firing the people who love to research and teach seems like a bad place to start.

Askesian 7 years, 6 months ago

or, we could sent our students to Community Colleges, where professors with PhD's have been teaching for decades without graduate students. Four-year institutions add a requirement to do research (which also pulls in additional funds), hence the focus on research and not necessarily teaching. Community College faculty (who also have PhD's) have no such research burden. Teaching small classes relevant, marketable skills like thinking has been a CC goal since their inception, as far as I know.

Carol Bowen 7 years, 6 months ago

A faculty member who does research brings more knowledge and experience into the classroom. College teaching is not textbook teaching.

Canadian_Jayhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

They are doing it to match peer universities and raise graduation rates.. Most other schools in the Big 12, as I understand it, have a requirement of 120.

KU_cynic 7 years, 6 months ago

There is an imperative at KU to cut time to graduation so that more students finish in four years. Cutting four hours from 124 doesn't seem like much, but for a senior trying desperately to schedule that extra class or two during the final semester or two it could be the difference between graduating in four years and an extra semester.

The real battle will be over internal allocation of that four credit hours. Does it come out of the gen ed core, out of hours for a major (say in business or journalism), or a little from both?

It matters because 4 credit hours is about 7% of credit hours either to the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences gen ed core or to degree granting programs outside the college (say business or journalism or education).

Would the business school readily give up 7% of its differential tuition revenue and cut credit hours required for its degrees by 7%, for example? What about other schools?

This could get interesting.

akhmatova 7 years, 6 months ago

That's a good point, as there are a lot of specific requirements in CLAS that entire departments rely upon. For example, if the non-Western Civ credit was no longer required, then some departments would see much smaller overall class sizes in their introductory classes (East Asian Languages & Cultures, Slavic Languages & Literatures, AAAS, etc). The same for humanity requirements in economics, or history, or so on.

Or, maybe those base (and bloated) requisite classes will stay the same and the total number of hours required -- either in JR/SR hours or just the total "124" figure -- will be reduced. It'll keep a lot of students from doing things like taking a 1 hour HSES 108 Volleyball class just to fill out their schedules and get to the 124 mark.

LogicMan 7 years, 6 months ago

OK, what about maximum hours? Are they 132? And at the other Big 12 less 2 schools?

PJ Karasek 7 years, 6 months ago

My engineering degree required 164 hours, 120 sure would've been easier!

Liberty_First 7 years, 6 months ago

A degree is no longer for the elite, its a requirement to advance anywhere in life. Degree seeking used to be a full time job (have you ever read the study hours expectations of a 3 hour course?) now most students must work to survive or face even greater debt.

Here's why it makes sense, More part time students means longer graduation times, four years becomes an unrealistic rate Grants and university recognition are based somewhat off of graduation time and rates Student preferences have changed. Lets be honest, most students do NOT want to graduate in four years anyway.

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