Picture this: It's your first day of college. You're sitting in a lecture hall with 150 other students. It's hot, and you're getting antsy as you wait for your professor to show up for this class that you've been dreading since you scheduled it mid-summer. You sit there wondering why you even have to take this class. You're a math major sitting in a psychology class, or a science major sitting in a history class, or even an English major sitting in a math class. No matter what your major is, you are sitting in a class that does not pertain to your major in any way, nor is it technically required for the field of work that you want to go into after graduation.
Now answer this: Why do you have to take that class?
Answers may vary, but the general answer is that this class is a requirement of the college or university that you attend for graduation. Prerequisites (or Gen Ed classes, as they will be referred to for the rest of this article) do have their advantages. They allow for people who go into college non-declared the opportunity to study a myriad of different subjects that they can choose to major and minor in. They also allow universities to be able to offer a more diverse class list that their students have the potential to take. But for students that already know what they want to major in, Gen Ed classes just take up precious time and money that can be spent somewhere else.
Why is it than an English major can be required to take Nature of Mathematics when the course has absolutely nothing to do with what they plan to do with the rest of their life? As college students, we are told that we are now allotted the opportunity to choose. We can choose when we have class, when we do or don't want to study, even what classes we take. But for the first two years or so of college, that's not completely true. We get forced to sit in classes that we have no interest in and that we will never need again once the semester is over.
Personally, I believe that we take all of the necessary Gen Ed classes when we are in high school. I believe that me being forced to take math as an English major is a giant ploy by universities to simply get more money. They benefit from sitting us in classes that we don't necessarily need to better ourselves because, whether we like it or not, we are being forced to pay for those classes that many of us find so utterly pointless.
All in all, colleges are businesses centered around the idea of education, nothing more. They are a center where consumers buy education and products are taught and dispensed back out to the world in a system where we are both the consumers and the products.