By Katie Sittig-Boyd
Students from the class of 2019 released a petition on Change.org to repeal the required coursework set forth by the Simmons PLAN curriculum last Thursday, citing difficulties with graduating early, lack of transferrable credits, and concerns with completing not only major requirements but also general education requirements in four years’ time.
The petition received over 300 student signatures over the course of five days from a majority of first-year students, as well as other members of the Simmons community who shared similar concerns.
“As an honors student, we didn’t know how the honors program fit in until just a week or two before registering for the spring semester,” said first-year Emily Cole. “I just think PLAN was thrown out on stage with half its costume on and was expected not to be awkward and unprepared.”
In spite of the student support of the petition, the efforts were dispelled by the administration, since the general education requirements encompassed by PLAN must be incorporated into the curriculum by a college in order to maintain its accreditation.
Director of General Education Catherine Paden released a memo directly to the undergraduate first-year class, stating that the claims made about credits being non-transferable were “inaccurate,” and additionally that completing a program of study should not be of concern: “Because of opportunities to double-count PLAN courses within your majors, minors, and programs of study, PLAN can be completed with fewer courses than the former program,” Paden wrote in the memo.
A forum was held to discuss the students’ dissent on Wednesday, April 13; the outcome of this forum was unavailable at the time of print.