Think tank takes aim at UNC-CH curriculum

Tim Goral's picture
Monday, October 28, 2013

A new report from a right-leaning think tank critiques UNC-Chapel Hill’s general education curriculum, calling it “incoherent,” a smorgasbord of thousands of classes with “very narrow – even trivial – topics.”

The study from the Raleigh-based John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy suggests shrinking the available courses at the university from more than 4,000 to about 700 and zeroing in on a short list of essentials – history, statistics, logic, philosophy, Western civilization, literature, arts, writing, science and political and economic systems. It recommends two instead of three foreign language courses and the elimination of university’s physical education and “experiential” learning course requirements.

The current system “exists as much for the good of the faculty and various campus political constituencies as it does for students,” the report said. “Much of its design and its failure to restrict course options in any meaningful way direct students away from the skills and knowledge they are most likely to need in the future.”

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