Earlier this June it was announced that Wayne State University would no longer be making it a requirement for all students to take and pass a math class in order to graduate. The university is now leaving it up to the individual departments to decide whether or not they believe math should be included in each specific degree’s requirements. Not do the departments have the option to choose whether or not they want to make math a requirement for some students, but they also will get to choose what level of math the students must pass.
According to the Detroit Free Press, in a note the university sent out, it was said that “the university was dropping the general education math requirement for students until fall 2018, or until a new general education program is adopted by the university.”
With this general education requirement no longer being a guaranteed requirement at a university less than an hour away from Eastern, some EMU students are now wishing that the math department on campus would adopt the same strategy.
Shelby Robbin's, a sophomore at EMU, said that she doesn't understand why she has to take a math class.
“Although I haven’t officially decided my major yet, I’m leaning towards a communications degree, but I don’t understand why I will need to spend a couple thousand dollars for a math class to learn things I might never use again.”
Some non-math related majors still force a handful of students who struggle with math who cannot test out of the math placement tests on campus to take up to three math classes during their time at EMU, requiring them to spend hours of extra time and thousands of extra dollars to complete their general education requirements.
But is that a possibility seen in EMU’s future? After an interview done with Dr. Chris Gardiner, the department head of the mathematics department, it doesn’t sound like it is.
“Most students seem to be aware of the importance of math in a college education and in life,” said Gardiner.
“Just as with the ability to write well and the ability to communicate verbally, the ability to understand and to use arguments involving numbers is an essential part of being successful in many careers that do not formally use ‘math,’ as well as for being an informed citizen of this great country.”
Although there are some website such as Bustle and City-Data that have created lists of majors that do not require mathematic courses, such as communication majors, EMU requires most students to successful pass Math 110.
For those students who had their hopes up thinking that there may be a day when general education requirements will be cut completely, according to a survey done by the Association of American College and Universities, most AAC&U member institutions “continue to say that general education is more of a priority than it was five years ago.”