The Daily Gamecock

Column: Carolina Core should be major specific

Carolina Core is an integral part of the academic experience for USC students. However, it could be streamlined by centering on the niche studies of individual students. 

Currently, Carolina Core consists of 10 learning outcomes, each with specific credit hour requirements. Eliminating unnecessary general courses from students' required course load would be a great improvement to this facet of the curriculum. 

"I'm a communications major, but why am I taking so many stats classes?" second-year mass communications student Ashley Keaveney said. "I feel like I'm not going to need to use as many as I'm taking so far."

The streamlining of Carolina Core would require an engineering student, for example, to take science and math-related courses only, whereas an English major wouldn't have the same requirements. 

The purpose of Carolina Core is to assist students in acquiring competency in various skill sets outside of their chosen major. This is meant to ensure that students are well-rounded by developing "competency in communication, analytical reason and problem solving, scientific literacy, information literacy and the arts." 

Students are advised to enroll in 15 credit hours each semester to ensure timely progression to graduation. Carolina Core, however, makes the path to graduation much longer than it needs to be, as a minimum of 31 credit hours are required to complete one's degree. 

This aspect of Carolina Core would be greatly improved by major specificity, because this would significantly lessen the number of required credit hours for completion.

Although Carolina Core does offer the benefit of allowing students to explore subjects that aren't within their specialty — helping them discover new interests — this could also be done by eliminating some of its excesses. 

"My roommate is a computer science major," Cassandra Kueen, a first-year economics student, said. "However, she's in a speech class right now, and maybe she's not going to be doing a lot of public speaking as a computer science major. However, I still feel like it is a skill everyone should have."

Newly-elected Student Body President Emmie Thompson has proposed the implementation of courses that would help with professional skills, such as financial literacy, that can be added to Carolina Core courses. If Carolina Core was tailored to students' majors, the course load reduction would provide students with more time to explore courses like these. 

With a lightened course load, students' path to graduation would be expedited and, consequently, less expensive, since students would be at USC for fewer semesters. 

By altering Carolina Core to target the majors of the individual student rather than taking classes that may not necessarily benefit students, the college experience could be made less stressful and more efficient. With these benefits in mind, the USC administration should make the change to create a more rewarding experience for the students. 


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