Gen Ed Classes: Are They Really Necessary?
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Gen Ed Classes: Are They Really Necessary?

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Gen Ed Classes: Are They Really Necessary?
Wikipedia

Gen ed courses. Why did we spend 12 years in general education only to come to college and continue doing general education courses? All the extra science, math and English courses that we spend freshman year taking that were already taken in high school seem like a complete waste of time. Sure, maybe we need some of those courses as prerequisites for a major, but if we are not working toward that particular major, why is it necessary to take them? The answer: It’s not.

Gen ed courses are designed to keep us in school longer. If college is a time where we are supposed to earn a degree in a specified field of choice, then why are so many credit hours are spent fulfilling general education requirements? Personally, I would rather spend more time studying material in my designated field than essentially repeat an English class I took in high school. A corporate and organizational communications major at Western Kentucky University is roughly 54 credit hours. If a student were to come into college and immediately jump into that major without taking a gen ed course, he or she would be finished with that degree in roughly a year and a half. While that sounds pretty short for a college career, there is also a lot of opportunity that comes with it. Students could add another major to study or something that could expand their knowledge in other fields, which would make them marketable for various jobs.

General education courses also provide more money to the university. If the school can keep a student in classes longer, then more money will be made off of his or her tuition costs. While I understand that colleges need tuition money to function and provide more services to their students, there are probably ways to earn the same amount of money that do not require taking a general education course. Students dish out thousands to pay for a college education preparing them with knowledge for the real world, not for courses that will never be applicable to them.

The only positive thing I guess there is to say about general education courses is that it can prolong the time a student has before they really have to decide on a major. Deciding what to do with the rest of your life is a big decision at age 18 or 19. However, it would be easier for students to take a few courses in a certain field, and then change the major if they didn’t like it, instead of having to take General Education courses. This way, students could still take classes in the field of their choice instead of taking classes that may not apply to anything they might use in the future.

All of the gen ed courses that are taken in college will more than likely not apply to many students’ future careers. Sure, they allow learning about some interesting topics that may spark interest, but ultimately, they will not help in terms of practical knowledge for their jobs. So, why waste the time having to fulfill them? Universities everywhere need to figure out a better solution.

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