George Washington University in Washington, D.C., has apparently decided that giving students more “flexibility” means freeing them from taking required courses in U.S. History — even if they’re history majors.
According to The College Fix, the new requirements allow for students to take an optional course in previously required courses, or a high score on a placement test to opt out of the requirement, but the mandate to take U.S. history is no longer in effect. From College Fix:
The department eliminated requirements in U.S., North American and European history, as well as the foreign language requirement. Thus, it is possible that a student can major in history at GWU without taking a survey course on United States history.
The history department at GWU has been facing declining interest and enrollment. As a result, they’ve decided that an answer to that problem, and an effective way to recruit new students, is to “to better reflect a globalizing world,” according to comments made by George Washington University faculty members to the student newspaper, The Hatchet.
GWU History Department Chair Karin Schultheiss told the same paper at the time the change in requirements was announced that the relaxed regulations meant students could “have a great deal more flexibility than they had before, and they can adapt it to whatever their plans are for the future. Whatever they want to do, there’s a way to make the history department work for them.”
The question is, can the national community and the broader world community make under- and ill- informed students work for them?