A discussion during my Religion and Science class regarding the CUNY Pathways Project proposal, caused me to consider its possible effects and message towards society as a whole. I decided to research the Pathways Project in more detail. I came across a New York Times article titled At CUNY, Concerns That Overhaul of the Curriculum May Erode Academic Gains, written by Lisa Foderaro. The article states that the CUNY Pathways Project, proposes to “…create a common framework for general education courses- a so-called core curriculum….It would also reduce the number of core credits needed for graduation at virtually all of the four- year colleges” (Foderaro 1). My question is, wouldn’t providing students with a vocational education diminish the creativity of each individual, eventually effecting society as a whole?
Those in favor of the Pathways Project, feel that it will eliminate the difficulty of transferring credits between CUNY schools. More importantly, they feel that this will cause graduation rates to increase. Many professors agree that it will be beneficial to students to improve the process of transferring credits. Although, a great deal of professors are against reducing the amount of graduation requirements. I feel that decreasing the amount of general education requirements would stifle the creativity and imagination of people in society. If the Pathways Project goes into effect, than CUNY would provide more of a vocational education rather than a liberal arts education. Students will consequently lack a well-rounded education in a variety of subjects, which is the advantage of receiving a liberal arts education. This would result in devaluing a person who is educated in many fields, while simultaneously appreciating those knowledgeable in one specific field.
Since most members of our society are experiencing economic hardships due to the recession, holding and creating jobs have become a priority. CUNY’s plan seems like an attempt to tackle the recession, by producing students with knowledge in a specific subject. This may make it easier to find a job after graduation. Does this mean we are moving towards a society with a job track mind? I am not diminishing the importance of eliminating unemployment. However, it is important to consider the consequences of producing students with cognitive skills in a particular subject. The underlying message that the Pathways Project imparts to society is that a person with a broad or well-rounded education is less valued in the work world, than a person with a vocational education. How do you feel about this?
Here is a direct link to the article:
Foderaro, Lisa W.. “At CUNY, Concerns That Overhaul of the Curriculum May
Erode Academic Gains.” New York Times 19 May 2011, sec.
N.Y/Region: 1-2. The New York Times. Web. 2 Nov. 2011.