The time for wholesale reform of the Miami Plan has finally arrived. Associated Student Government recently passed a resolution in favor of this “global restructuring.” The Miami Plan has been implemented to give students a well-rounded, liberal education, but it should be applicable to most student majors and departments.
It is vital that students play a central role in revising the Miami Plan. The College of Arts and Sciences, the college with the most students, has many requirements that match with Miami Plan requirements. Yet to have one or two science classes that do not match up with the Miami Plan makes it infeasible for the student to take an extra course just to graduate. There should be some flexibility between advisers and students, in which there could be some advising authority for students to make a case for that extra course to count toward the Miami Plan.
Specific classes under the Miami Plan should also be encouraged for all students to take. All students should leave Miami with knowledge that will progress them into their futures — there are some classes that are indispensible. Just as business majors take a public speaking course, all students should take an economics class, science class, geography course and/or history course, of which the content should captivate and make the student literate in the material presented. No Miami graduate should lack an understanding of some core scientific and historical ideas, such as evolution or the basics of US history.
Miami Plan courses also give different departments the chance to “convert” new majors, and should be staffed by outstanding faculty.
ASG needs to be aggressive on this issue to have student input before a final decision is made. This should not just be an online survey, but a diverse, multifaceted approach toward all at the university. Representatives from each school, many majors and even departmental advisers should all work together to revise the Miami Plan.