June 26, 2019 | 82° F

Rutgers earns failing grade for core curriculum requirements

Photo by Dimitri Rodriguez |

Photo Illustration | The American Council of Trustees and Alumni gave Rutgers a “D” grade becuase its core curriculum is not comprehensive.

A nonprofit college watchdog found that Rutgers Universities' core requirements fail to teach students important lessons in literature, foreign languages, mathematics, history, government and economics classes.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni gave the University a "D" grade for only requiring students to take classes in composition and science, and not in other classes the council deems critical to student learning. Roughly two-thirds of the 1,100 colleges surveyed scored below-average on general education requirements.

The SAS Core Curriculum “prepare(s) Arts and Sciences graduates for successful lives and careers built on a critical understanding of the natural environment, human behavior, and the individual’s role in diverse societies," according to the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences website.

Raquia Battle, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said there are too many core requirements, making it a burden on students hoping to graduate on time .

“It seems like too many when you have to major and minor in something, and do those core classes. Of course you can try and find (classes) that take away a core and a minor/major class but not everything is covered," Battle said.

The “What Will They Learn” survey is based on seven subjects, including composition, economics, foreign language, literature, math, natural science and US history/government.

While most colleges do not require students to take the seven areas of study, this could lead to a lack of necessary knowledge and skills among graduates, according to the organization's website.

The Rutgers Core Curriculum covers seven general areas of knowledge that include 21st Century Challenges, Natural Sciences, Social and Historical Analysis, Arts and Humanities, Writing and Communication, Quantitative and Formal Reasoning and Information Technology and Research.

While this curriculum is comprehensive by ACTA standards but some students find it redundant and unnecessary. 

Having more than one class-per-requirement is definitely unnecessary, said Derek Davis, a School of Arts and Sciences senior. 

"It takes time away from pursuing things one may actually be interested in because of (time) devoted towards completing these classes," he said. 

Davis is a transfer student from James Madison University where he saw fewer general education requirements but one the same level of difficulty as Rutgers. 

General education requirements should be more flexible, he said.

Students are also frustrated that some core subjects require multiple classes to fulfill. 

Anthony Donato, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, said he dislikes the three writing requirements as they take time away from his major.

“There’s no need for me to still be in school just to fulfill (general education requirements)," Davis said. 

Gabriela Amaral is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in political science. She is a staff writer for The Daily Targum. See more on Twitter @sentientfog.

Gabriela Amaral

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