A large, public research university in Detroit has done away with its graduation requirement that all students must take a math class to earn a diploma. Meanwhile, its faculty have called for the creation of a new “diversity” course.
Wayne State, which enrolls some 27,000 students, is now “leaving it up to the individual departments to decide whether math will be a required part of a degree’s curriculum,” the Detroit Free Press reports.
“We felt the math requirement was better left to the various programs and majors to decide and to decide what levels of mathematics would be needed,” Monica Brockmeyer, associate provost for student success, told the Free Press. “We still continue to support mathematics at Wayne State.”
Campus officials have said in an email to students that dropping the general education math requirement remains in effect until fall 2018 “or until a new general education program is adopted by the university,” the Free Press reports.
As the university works to revise its general ed curriculum, a process expected to continue this fall, a memo outlining proposed changes calls for a new 3-credit “diversity course” for all students.
In explaining that priority, the university’s General Education Reform Committee wrote in a May 2016 memo that “a clear message our committee received from the university community (faculty, students, staff, alumni, and employers) was that diversity is central to the nature of WSU, i.e., ‘Distinctively Wayne State.’ Thus we have placed the values and goals of diversity as a central component of the University Core program.”
To that end, the committee called for mandatory “signature courses” to address diversity-learning outcomes such as “intercultural knowledge and competence, global learning, or ethical reasoning.”
“Finally, we are proposing the creation of specific ‘Diversity’ courses, with students required to take one course in this designation,” the memo states. “These courses will provide opportunities for students to explore diversity at the domestic level and consider the ways in which it intersects with real world challenges at the local, national and/or global level.”