Florida Looks to Remove Sociology as a Core Course for General Education Requirements at Public Colleges

Evan Poellinger | November 21, 2023
Text Audio
00:00 00:00
Font Size

The Florida Board of Governors voted on November 9 to remove Principles of Sociology from the courses which can fulfill the general education requirements at Florida’s state colleges and universities.

The move follows the earlier passage of a law requiring a review of the core courses in five different subject areas. Faculty committees at the schools conducted reviews of the courses and offered recommendations to the Board of Governors. These recommendations did not include removing Principles of Sociology from the core curriculum.

Even so, Education Commissioner Manny Diaz made the decision to have the sociology course removed from the group social sciences courses which could fulfill general education requirements. He replaced this course with a history course that was recommended by the faculty committee, with an eye towards having the course as an option to “meet the requirement for civic literacy.”

The move will come up for a final vote in January, following a period open to public comment.

This decision by the Board of Governors has not gone unaddressed by faculty at Florida’s state colleges and universities. Inside Higher Ed reported that sociology professors at these institutions were “blindsided” by the board’s decision to remove the course from the core general education courses.

Faculty members have complained that the change will result in decreased enrollment in courses, which will particularly impact a number of faculty at community colleges “whose entire courseload consists of multiple sections of introductory sociology.”

Sociology Professor Ramon Hinojosa added that he feared that the removal of introductory sociology from the core curriculum would leave students unprepared for assessments that include sociological material, such as the MCAT.

Hinojosa also suggested that instruction in identity politics is vital, claiming “understanding how class, race, gender, and sex influence health and health outcomes and how these social constructs interact with society and its institutions is necessary for any current and future health professional.”

Even so, perhaps Hinojosa makes a substantive point for removing sociology as a core course. If professors of sociology can claim that biological sex is a mere social construct, should the courses they teach really be required for general education?