Leave lib ed themes alone

Liberal education “themes” are valuable for a student’s education.

Daily Editorial Board

The University of Minnesota is looking to go back to four liberal education âÄúthemeâÄù requirements instead of five. The switch to five required themes has only been in place since 2010, but the University Faculty Senate already approved returning to four. Under the altered requirement, there will still be five themes available, but students will only be required to fulfill four of them.
This change may help a few students with especially inflexible majors, like nursing or engineering, but overall, liberal education courses are crucial to students in their college career and after graduation.
While it may be tough to fit these themes into a schedule, students should remember the value of liberal education and how beneficial it can be. Taking a deeper look at arts and humanities makes every student well-rounded, giving a better, more diverse perspective. It prevents students from getting tunnel vision and locking into their own majors without seeing where it fits into the broader world.
The University should keep the requirement at five themes to ensure that all undergraduates experience more than whatâÄôs just in a certain major. There can be a few exceptions to this rule, but they should be made on a case-by-case basis if major requirements get in the way. Requiring five themes might make it a little more difficult to plan out classes, but that shouldnâÄôt be an excuse to cut out important topics of education.
ItâÄôs too early to change the liberal requirements back to only four themes. Instead, the University can tailor more major courses to liberal education themes and make individual exceptions in certain circumstances. The new requirement needs time to be ironed out.