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Should college students be forced to take general education classes?

Asked by: djh101
  • Be worldy and open minded.

    Some people go into college with their minds set on what they want their career to be, but end up not liking their career when they try it out in the real world. If students took general education classes, they might be motivated to keep their options open and not commit to a single path in life. In the future, many workers will switch from job to job, rather than the traditional model of having one career for life. A diverse college curriculum will better prepare students for the economy of tomorrow.

  • Of Course They Should

    Lets be clear, general education is Math, History, English, etc. Sure, we learned that in the K-12 grades, but now we need to learn it at a higher level. We need to learn how to communicate in the real world. Also, most higher level classes in specialized subjects will require knowledge gained in Gen. Eds.

  • It offers more opportunity to found out what you like

    The average American on goes at least 4 carrier changes in their live and it's always best to offer general education so that they can be reminded what certain areas are like hands on. This also better prepares students for certain areas of education because the more knowledge the better.

  • Anyone with a true commitment to learning, will want a solid educational foundation on which to stand.

    Yes, without any doubt general education classes must be implemented if a student is adamant about higher education. First I'd like to address the phrase "general education," this in itself makes it seem not as important because we've already had this form of education k-12. I'd suggest that if it was referred to as "continued education" it wouldn't create such a stigmatized meaning. Who enrolled in college wants to say "I'm enrolled in general . . . ?" Secondly, suggesting that students are "forced" brings about a certain rebellion as well, in this this case I'd simply call it "required course-renewal" or "pre-college tutorial classes" as to not dumb down the excitement of a student initial enrollment. Also I'd like to add, its a much easier process when a student has a strong understanding of basic skills needed for the future progression of learning. There's nothing more demoralizing than failing a subject because a student isn't "caught up" in reading or writing, not to mention lacking the ability to assist in group projects or online assignments. People need to remember, college isn't trying to make students "repeat" or "waste time" but rather alleviate the unnecessary barriers of learning difficulties when exposed to newer and higher standards of education. Besides, if the placement test is successfully implemented, we as students should humble ourselves and accept the necessary classes to achieve a higher quality of education.

  • Let's Do It!

    Within this debate I would favor in having gen eds just because they round out someone’s learning. From when someone just gets to school and not sure what they want to do, these classes could help out. On the other hand if someone already knows what they want, they can still take these classes for a minor or even to switch majors.

  • Let's Do It!

    Within this debate I would favor in having gen eds just because they round out someone’s learning. From when someone just gets to school and not sure what they want to do, these classes could help out. On the other hand if someone already knows what they want, they can still take these classes for a minor or even to switch majors.

  • Promotes growth and provides a broader outlook on life.

    Sometimes in life we have to do things we don't want to do or things that we consider ourselves "not good at". General education classes provide opportunities to tackle subjects we wouldn't have tried otherwise, and in that can provide a better understanding of what we like and dislike, as well as offer an opportunity for growth. Sometimes as humans we think we know it all, but as life continues to surprise us and as we change and mature, interests and opportunities may morph or not work out as planned. Therefore it is better to be offered different modes of thinking as part of the higher education experience; It promotes growth, well-roundedness, and is an important stepping stone that most people need between high school and college. Some people don't know what they want to do until they are 40 years old. To say that high school and/or k-12 should be an adequate education to prepare you for what you want to do with the rest of your life is a flawed way of thinking when you consider how much we change and develop our interests, ideas, and perceptions as time goes on. In the end, let's be humble enough to learn from others instead of always assuming we know the answer for ourselves.

  • This will prepare you for life

    While you may get sick of the General education classes. They will help benefit you for the open world. They help give you the abilities to write at a even higher level and help with your math abilities. They can give you public speaking and prepare you for this cruel world

  • This will prepare you for life

    While you may get sick of the General education classes. They will help benefit you for the open world. They help give you the abilities to write at a even higher level and help with your math abilities. They can give you public speaking and prepare you for this cruel world

  • This will prepare you for life

    While you may get sick of the General education classes. They will help benefit you for the open world. They help give you the abilities to write at a even higher level and help with your math abilities. They can give you public speaking and prepare you for this cruel world

  • No, adds unnecessary work and stress.

    Students going into college who already know what they would like to do should only have to take courses that pertain to that field and become "experts" in it. If a student doesn't know yet then they can take general education and try to figure out what they would be interested in. It's a very simple solution that would probably help many students excel in their respective fields of study because they would be more focused on their potential careers instead of dividing their effort amongst general education courses "just in case."

  • No, it should be an elective

    You went to school for 12 years to learn for your general education. Kids go to college to be educated usually, in the field of what you would want to do with your life. I'm a college student taking IT Network administration and have to take a chemistry class. I don't want to learn chemistry, I want to educated about what working field I would like to go into.

  • Already been done.

    General education has already been taught to students grades K-12, a few more years of it when they're supposed to be learning how to operate in a specific field is not only unnecessary, but it's counterproductive. By college-age, they're no longer children. The education system shouldn't have to continue to hold their hand, they should either know what they're going in for, or hold off on college for a bit longer.

  • College Is for Specialization

    When students go through elementary and high school, they are learning a wide variety of topics, including essential foundations such as reading, writing, arithmetic, etc. During these years, they should discover their personal strengths, weaknesses, tastes, and preferences. College, then, should give them every opportunity to capitalize on their strengths, without requiring them to exercise their weaknesses. Furthermore, it may be healthy or personally fulfilling for an engineering student to participate in sports or music, but these skills will likely have little or no bearing on his engineering skills. Therefore, they should be offered, but not required.

  • Students should be tested on aptitude in general education classes, and then work from there.

    A lot of material covered in general education is a rehash of what student have already been educated in---writing well, speaking eloquently, using basic/necessary math skills, being able to think about something deeply and personally. That being said, forcing students to retake all of those things in college seems to stem from a lack of confidence in the student's abilities to pursue those things on their own time, and have the adult capacity to learn independently.

    Solution: test basic aptitude in general education courses and work with the students who need help improving those skills (preferably independently), and let those who have developed them already take the courses they WANT, and let them explore themselves and their career interests that way.

    Examples:
    English: have them submit a few short pieces of writing. Say an academic research paper, a short story or novel-type piece, and a professional email. If they don't have the basic grammar and spelling skills to do those right, then have them take an online or small-group class on language and composition.

    Math: test personal finance abilities (aka basic addition, subtraction, multiplication), and perhaps some algebra. If they can't handle things because they don't understand, have them take a full class. If they just need a refresh or a framework, again, online education can be very effective.

    Philosophy: give them some poignant articles to read (preferably on a subject they are interested in), and conduct an interview in which the student responds to questions about the moral implications of a given idea or action. If they can articulate themselves in a one-on-one setting in matters of philosophy, they're good to go. If not, small group study to improve their critical thinking skills.

    In the end, all of these skills are certainly valuable, but students who already have them or are very capable of developing them on their own should not have to sacrifice valuable skill-building and career-oriented learning time. College is about becoming an adult, and as a college student, I want to be educated in my field, and not be forcibly ushered through a "learning experience" that I would rather pursue on my own.

  • Waste of time and money

    Spending two years taking classes that you will not use on your job everyday is absurd! The amount of money in school loans you have when you're finished is ridiculous and most of it was spent on general education courses, courses that you won't remember anything that you learned while you were in class after you graduate anyway due to a lack of interest in the subjects. College is just a money making business. All students shouldn't be required to take general education classes just because a few are unsure of what they want to do after they leave high school.

    Some of us as adults are completely sure of what we want to do and would actually like to get started in our field. It should be up to the student to choose whether or not they wish to take these classes. Being more "well rounded" won't help you to do your job better or more accurately. When you take your car to a mechanic for instance, you don't care whether that mechanic knows about the civil war, abstract art, how many organs are in the body or about Bach or Mozart. You want to know that he/she can fix your car and do the job right and not screw up your brakes when you went to them for a wheel alignment. Your time spent at college should be to focus on your specific major and career path that you are looking to take.

    Besides, anything you wish to know or learn about you can easily find through Google (without having to pay for it). If students are unaware of what they wish to do or would like to dab into some of their other areas of interests then take a few non-credit courses and perhaps take a look at the High School curriculum then and make changes there.

    If you don't have some sort of idea about what subjects you liked or didn't like in school or some sort of idea about what career you wanted to enter into from 5-17 or 18 years old, then there's a problem with the education system at the grade level then not at the college level. Job shadowing, etc. should be happening in Junior High School and High School to help students make those decisions. Speaking in front of a class and writing essays, reports, etc., you should have done by the time you've graduated high school and mastered that. Most of us have, so why should we have to do it again in college? There's nothing else to learn about those subjects! College is supposed to prepare you for whatever line of work it is that you are seeking not giving you refresher courses on things you've already learned. Two to three years max in college is all that should be necessary to take the classes for your major. That's just my opinion however, but it looks like a good percentage of others agree with me!

  • Waste of my time

    I spent my high school years learning about a variety of topics. College should not be a repeat of what I already learned. I know how to write a college paper, and retaking the same courses is a waste of my time. I applied to college because I want to study a specific topic, not choose random courses that fulfill requirements.

  • I am wasting time, money, and effort.

    I have yet to learn something new in my general education courses. It seems I keep doing the same thing over and over again. I'm so tired of this general education that I almost feel like quitting. I haven't even gotten into professional school yet but I have already looked into it and I will be doing the same thing over again there too! Maybe if we didn't have so much general ed. We would have less debt and more people working to help out the economy. Thanks for helping us stay bogged down in debt with lame courses that mean absolutely nothing!

  • Most of them are unnecessary

    Science major students have to take courses like their state government, many of them are making plans of moving out of state after graduating, and courses like these affect their GPA. This is something similar to evaluating a Biology major based on their knowledge of american history or federal government.

  • Waste of Money and Time

    General education courses are a waste of time and money for those who have a career picked out. While there should be general education courses available for those who haven't yet decided their major, anything beyond that is pointless. All the general education one could possibly need should be learned in High School. The fundamentals of Algebra, World History, Kinematics, Biology, and Language are indeed more than sufficient to produce a productive citizen outside their field of study.


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