Agnes DeFranco on the timing of core requirementsPosted: May 4, 2012
OK, Agnes asked if she could answer this at length. This is her response:
Q: The 42 credits of the core do not have to be taken in the first four semesters. Is that correct?
A: The purpose of the core, as stated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, is:
“Through the Texas Core Curriculum, students will gain a foundation of knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world, develop principles of personal and social responsibility for living in a diverse world, and advance intellectual and practical skills that are essential for all learning.”
So, if one thinks of the concept of “foundation of knowledge” and use courses such as English Composition I and II as an example, it makes a lot of sense for students to take these courses early so they will learn how to express their ideas and write better for all other classes that they will be taking subsequent to the composition classes.
Another example would be Math and Math reasoning courses. Math skills very quickly get rusty for most people when not practiced. Therefore, if students wait till their third or fourth year to take College Algebra, that may not be a wise decision as they might have forgotten a lot of the basics.
There are exceptions of course. For instance, some majors have many “levels” of classes, with one building upon another. For those students, they will need to start taking major courses in sequence to be able to graduate in a timely manner. Thus, one may see some students taking a core class later.
Therefore, while there is no requirement as to when students need to finish their core classes, we should promote and advise students to take these core classes in a manner that such classes will provide them with a “foundation of knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world, develop principles of personal and social responsibility for living in a diverse world, and advance intellectual and practical skills that are essential for all learning”.