While gen-ed courses offer a well-rounded curriculum, the extra classes’ worthwhile come down to dollars and cents.
Often tedious, frustrating and sometimes seemingly pointless for many students, general education or university-wide academic requirements for a degree can be an unfortunate part of a college student’s education.
Although the principle of providing students with a well-rounded education is the reason behind gen-eds, they often hold students back from taking courses that they are interested in and sometimes even delay students from a timely graduation.
Students should have more input on gen-ed requirements and possibly propose alternatives to the traditional gen-ed structure. College is a place for experiment and self-discovery – a little flexibility in educational requirements could go a long way.
It is incredibly rewarding to sample the scope of academia by taking gen-ed courses. However, one out of four years of a college student’s education seem to be donated to fulfilling general education degree requirements and can make college costly.
As of last semester, Temple’s cost per credit in-state was somewhere in the ballpark of $457. Multiply that by three, four and five, and you have the cost of how much an individual class is. With the new education budget cuts proposed and indorsed by Gov. Tom Corbett, the tuition rates will inevitably increase.
“I think gen-eds are a great idea in theory, meaning that they really do give you insight into other areas of study,” said Matt Sick, a freshman liberal arts major. “I also feel that with the rising costs of education, some cuts should be made to the current gen-ed curriculum.”
From an academic and intellectual standpoint, I agree with the concept of having outside major requirements for a degree. However, I think some of the classes could be modified to better suit students with different academic backgrounds and needs.
Mosaic, a class I personally enjoy, is constantly complained about by fellow students. Often, as some students will describe, the class doesn’t offer interesting and relevant reading material that sparks interest and intrigue.
For students with an interest geared toward math and science, Mosaic could seem like a pit stop between Dante’s fourth and fifth circle of hell.
Students are required to take two courses in science and usually one course in math. I think students should realistically be required to complete only one science course due to the fact that most of the science classes are difficult for those who aren’t scientifically or mathematically inclined like me, and there aren’t many courses to choose from.
Now with that said, I’m sure that there can be some form of common ground reached where these classes can be retrofitted to fit the needs of students and make the class a pleasure instead of a burden
College kids, now more than ever, are driven to explore the realm of academics. Making the gen-ed requirements more diverse, extensive and interesting could make taking classes a great experience.
Many students fear the gen-ed curriculum because they know it will involve taking tough classes that they have no interest in. Often, students will do poorly in a gen-ed class, and subsequently, their GPA falls. If the university could find that common ground, gen-eds could be an excellent addition to a complete and wholesome education.
As of now, gen-eds aren’t going anywhere, and we should make the most of them. It would be interesting, though, to see if gen-eds could be modified to fit the needs of all students and ease the tension of taking required classes.
Bruce Chubb can be reached at email@example.com.
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