Language classes cut as option for math LERs

Derek Lenehan

Foreign language classes will no longer count as university-wide liberal education requirements after this semester. The change was part of a large reorganization of LERs earlier this year.

Foreign language courses were previously grouped with math and logic courses, which students had to take six hours of to graduate. Only select math and logic courses will fulfill the LER category for incoming freshmen. The courses will still be a requirement for students in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Larry Andrews, dean of the Honors College, said the change was “intended to align LERs with the state transfer module,” a state-wide set of class requirements.

“It’s to make transfers easier between state schools,” he said.

Andrews said some university LERs are still out of line, and Kent State officials are fighting to keep them.

A slight drop in enrollment for basic-level foreign language classes may happen, said Gregory Shreve, chairperson of the Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies.

“It doesn’t take effect until fall,” he said. “It’s too early to tell exactly. It’s not as if we’re going from really high enrollment to really low enrollment. It’s just not the case.”

The smaller number of students will ease tensions on the faculty, Shreve said, as well as increase the attention individual students receive.

“Most of the LER classes were taught by part-time faculty. We were very stretched,” he said. “We’ll be able to service students better without being spread so thin.”

Sue Wright, professor of modern and classical language studies, said Spanish will be the language hardest hit by the change, though it will not threaten the department’s core programs.

“We have a very, very strong Master translation program, and a very, very strong BA of literature in Spanish,” she said. “I don’t think any loss of Spanish LERs will affect the major programs.”

Wright said other classes would still be affected, though on a small scale.

“We might lose a handful of people in the other languages, it’s possible,” she said.

Contact academic affairs reporter Derek Lenehan at [email protected]