Tuesday, June 16, 2009

College History Requirement

Last week the trustees of Palomar College (San Diego County) voted 4 to 1 to drop an American History requirement for some nursing students.

They will participate in a new, shorter nursing program. The program was mandated by the accreditation agency, New York based National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.

All other degree-seeking students at this college have to take American History.

Obviously, it is considered a basic educational subject, a core part of the curriculum. I completely concur.

We’ve all heard that there is a nursing shortage.

Periodically other occupations also experience shortages. None are present indefinitely.

Medicine, at every level, becomes more complicated all the time. Shortcuts are not the answer.

From what I read, the general attitude was, what’s the big deal?

Let me pose some basic questions: why should any student be required to take American History? Has it any importance, more than let’s say computer science or communications? American History has been heavily criticized for treatment of minorities and critical social issues, and even ignoring their existence. Did this factor play any role in the trustees’ decision?

In the future, will other subjects be removed from a program?

Should labor shortages be solved by lower standards?

If nursing students need more technology, why are they not offered as pre-requisites, as other subjects? Vocational and technical schools provide these requirements.

And finally, how does the decision ensure I will get top-notch nursing?

Comments, please.

Source of information on the trustee’s decision is North County Times, print edition June 11, 2009. –Renata Breisacher Mulry

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