- Category: Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)
- Published: 05 March 2014
At the start of every new school year, eager college freshman say goodbye to their parents and enter their new unfamiliar, uncharted territory that is college. Within the walls of their new dormitory rooms, a sense of freedom seems to creep up their nostrils and empower these freshmen to discover who they truly are deep at the roots, reveal these identities, and bring to light this new person that is ready to bloom.
The reality of finally being able to take classes that strictly pertain to their desired area of study are here. These freshmen are ready to embark on their four-year journey and immediately dive head-first into classes for their major. Or so they think.
Why is it that colleges require students to continue to enroll in general education classes that students have already touched upon in the past years of education, instead of diving head first into their field of study?
The Outlook believes general education classes are required and necessary for a college degree because they give you a well-rounded education and the opportunity to explore topics at a much deeper level than one thought. The material that you crack open again in college, and look at from a completely different scholarly perspective, will shape you into a versatile individual that has a wide array of knowledge on various topics.
First-year advisors hand freshmen their anticipated class schedules derived from what is required according to their academic audits. Some political science majors find a rude awakening when they realize they need to take a form of art appreciation. Then there's the group of English majors that cringes at the thought of having to take an IT class. The Outlook believes though that these classes are beneficial to all students regardless of what major.
Freshmen have not quite yet "freed" themselves from their shackles of the dreaded required general education classes they once found tedious and boring while cooped in the desks of their high schools. But the editors believe this knowledge will convert into skills that can be applied to virtually any profession.
Taking an introductory English class can help you improve your writing skills. Enrolling in history can better your decision-making skills, using examples from the past, relating to your situation, to help form logical courses of action. Entry-level math classes can relieve the stress that is in incurred mental math, which will diminish the need of a calculator, and ultimately save time.
Even though the staff believes that general education classes are important, we do not necessarily agree with the amount of required gened courses. For example, instead of having to take three different English courses, one should suffice. Some of us feel that one class in a specific field of study should be required and taking more in the same field could be used as electives.
One editor said, "Someone told me once when I was complaining about [geneds] that without those classes, [the University] would be a trade school, and I think that is so true. I never thought of it that way... They are what have made me so open-minded over the course of my college career."
By making students study things that they most likely would've ignored throughout the duration of their college careers, the University is, in fact, molding you into a well-educated and productive citizen of the world that knows how to handle situations in a way that might not have been possible without the proper education.
Another editor said, "If we stick to one focus, we don't allow ourselves to become flexible in our abilities. You need to explore everything to really get a well-rounded view of the world."
Although some students may argue it is a waste of time, credits, and money, The Outlook feels the benefits of general education courses will far exceed the negatives.
By learning another language, exploring the art of, studying cultures of people that you never really knew about or reading books above your comfort level, you are expanding who you are and creating this package of a person that knows how to look at multiple angles in this multiethnic, competitive world.