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New Gen Ed Planning Tool Introduced

There’s a new general education planning tool in town.

If you’ve found yourself confused, stressed, and trying to account for your general education credits when scheduling rolls around, the Office for General Education has potentially made life a lot easier for you with the General Education Planning Tool.

After Penn State changed the general education requirements for 2018, scheduling classes became even more confusing. This tool makes picking Gen Eds much more straightforward.

This new feature seemed interesting, so I decided to try it out.

Login Page

I was surprised that the page prompted me to log in and initially thought that it would work according to my major. However, as far as I can tell this was not the case and it gives everyone the same standard page.

What’s It All About?

When you get into the page, it gives you a further sense of what this website is really for. Ultimately, this is just a tool to see how much you’ve achieved and where you need to gain credits. Most importantly to note, this does not show you exactly what you need to be doing for your specific major, but rather what you need to do to satisfy the basic requirements of becoming a Penn State grad.

How Much Have I Finished?

I decided that it would first be a good idea to start punching in the courses I have taken to see how much I’ve progressed so far. It was nice that the website shows your progress towards requirements in multiple ways — like a bar, a percentage, and a fraction.

Planning

After I added in all of my completed credits, I was able to get an overview and give myself an idea of what I need to add more of to my schedule. When I clicked on the categories, I was given a list of all the classes that I could take to satisfy the credits needed. The other thing I noticed was that if you take a class that counts for two different categories, it will add those credits automatically into both categories.

The New Stuff

The whole idea of this planning tool is to help aid confusion when it comes to the new “Inter-Domain” course requirements. And I’ll be honest, I’m still confused on exactly what those are but now I can see how classes can count towards two different categories.

Now, there’s also the “Move 3” option now (as you can see under the GS requirements field) that can be discussed with an advisor. Penn State Undergraduate Education explains this option as substituting a third course in one of the Knowledge Domains areas of Arts, Humanities, or Social and Behavioral Sciences, Natural Sciences, or Health and Wellness for a second course in one of the other areas.

Takeaways

I like the idea of this tool and it’s nice to see everything laid out for you in terms of how much you have completed and how much more you need to do. However, the entire process is still a bit confusing with those inter-domain courses because there isn’t a whole lot of information out there yet. I also think it should be noted that this tool should not replace the role of an advisor as you should definitely still be talking to them to schedule all your major-related courses.

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About the Author

Riley Davies

Riley is a junior studying Public Relations, Digital Media Trends and Analytics, and Psychology from Orange County, CA. You understandably may be questioning why she is at Penn State and to be quite frank, so is she. She loves dogs, Creamery lemonade, and going to Trader Joe's. You can reach her at [email protected] or follow her on twitter @rileyydavies for retweets of dogs.

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