Make CUNY credit transfers easier

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The issue of ease of transferring credits within the City University of New York has long been a vexing problem for faculty and students, especially for community colleges, such as LaGuardia or Queensborough, to senior colleges, such as York or Queens.

The CUNY central administration is taking the radical step of dealing with that problem by imposing a common general education set of courses for all the CUNY colleges. By eliminating the individuality of the college curriculum from place to place, the thinking goes that it should be easy to transfer.

But the Law of Unintended Consequences has appeared. To shoehorn all the different desired disciplines into the 30-credit Pathways Proposal, the specific requirement of a laboratory-based science course has disappeared.

Non-laboratory science courses fail to meet the nationwide norm for general education science courses. Thus, by making it easier to transfer credits within CUNY, the Pathways Proposal makes it nearly impossible to transfer those credits anywhere else, such as State University of New York colleges.

CUNY is still a relative bargain for getting a quality education for a low price. If that quality disappears, it does not matter how little you pay.

If your readers are worried about the perception of dumbing down the CUNY curriculum, please contact CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein at or Board of Trustees Chairman Benno Schmidt at to ask them to rethink where Pathways is to take CUNY and its students.

Dr. David H. Speidel

Queens College Professor Emeritus

Forest Hills

Posted 5:04 pm, April 4, 2012
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