The Harvard Policy Committee yesterday urged approval of the General Education program recently recommended by the Faculty Committee on Educational Policy. The full Faculty begins discussion of the CEP plan at its monthly meeting tomorrow.
The HPC, which considers questions of educational policy, is composed of undergraduates appointed by each House Master and Senior Tutor, several Faculty members, and two non-voting Cliffies.
Emphasizing that, Harvard "must maintain a strong commitment to General Education," the HPC outlined its reasons for supporting the CEP proposal in a statement to all Faculty members. The CEP proposal allows a student to fulfill his Gen Ed requirement in the present manner - by taking lower-level Gen Ed courses - or with selected departmental offerings ("or their equivalents") followed by upper-level Gen Ed courses.
The HPC praised the sequential alternative to lower-level Gen Ed courses as a way "to keep pace with the increasing academic sophistication of entering classes." Its statement warned, however, that the success of the new program "will obviously depend on the creation of new upper-level courses in General Education," especially in the Natural Sciences.
The HPC stressed the need to maintain strong lower-level offerings for those who choose the present approach to Gen Ed. Otherwise, the statement declares, "most students would be compelled to take up to six courses" to fulfill their requirement.
The committee also recommended that appropriate Advanced Placement credits be considered the equivalent of prerequisites for upper-level courses.