General education classes don’t apply to major, aid in learning

October 31, 2017

Joy Webb

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    Whether you know exactly what career path you want to pursue or are a student with an undeclared major, some general education classes can be a waste of time and money.

    General education classes, like college algebra or college English, are pointless when a student knows what they are majoring in.

    “Gen-eds that have nothing to do with my major will not advance me in my career path in any way,” said Annika Anderson, a freshman nursing major.

    “I think that there should be open classes in which students can pick their general education classes depending on their passions, majors or minors. My GPS class, ‘Keep Colorado Springs Weird,’ while fun, has nothing to do with nursing,” she said.

    Instead of forcing students to take these classes as general electives, colleges should market more innovative degree programs that allow students to take gen-ed classes that apply to their major.

    I’m an English major with an emphasis in secondary education. Taking any sort of mathematics or science class would be unnecessary for my career path.

    Plus, I took college algebra in high school to get it out of the way so I didn’t have to pay for it in college and could get started on classes for my major.

    This is how our education system should be structured: take general classes in pre-collegiate years, and then begin taking classes tailored to your major when you reach college.

   With college already being expensive, and students having to take out loans, general education classes are difficult to justify.

    According to the CollegeBoard website, a year of college tuition for a full-time, in-state undergraduate at a four-year public university is estimated at $9,970, and $25,620 for a non-resident. After two years of taking classes that, for the most part, are just review sessions of topics students learned in high school, you have spent $20,000 on tuition alone.

    At that, 30 percent of college freshmen drop out after their first year, according to U.S. News. This could be because they don’t have the opportunity to focus on their core classes soon enough.

     Some colleges are beginning to personalize education based on what a student excels in, which is certainly a step in the right direction.

    The Bachelor of Innovation degree program, unique to UCCS, takes this approach to specialize classes and teach innovatively to mirror students’ majors.

    “I’m majoring in the Bachelor of Innovation for computer science, because it allows you to select areas of interest for your gen-eds that pertain to your major,” said freshman Brenna Nelson.

    “You get to pick a cross-core discipline in engineering, business, creative communications or globalization.”

    It would be more beneficial to students if they could complete their general education classes prior to coming to college. This is indeed happening more often, but should be a standard requirement.

    If students had the opportunity to choose exactly which general education classes they had to take that also related to their interests or their majors, there would at least be some progress made toward that student’s career.

    Time and money would be saved for students and faculty if this problem were properly addressed.