General Class = General Education


Why does every college in America require students to fill their schedules with classes that will introduce information that students will never use again in their life?  Is this so that each student will get use to cramming enough useless information in their heads in order to pass general classes and boost their GPA?Attending a college or university should be to give students a degree in an area of interest not to give the college or university a “Liberal Arts Environment.”  Students that come to a college/university with a predetermined major should be allowed to skip over some of the general education or substitute them for classes offered in their major.  By eliminating classes that will not be necessary for certain degrees can cut the time and cost of education across America.  The cut in time can propel students into the work force faster, enabling students to make money and cut down on their student loans when they leave college.  In a troubling economic time why does the education system require students to stay in school longer and accumulate more debt?  Though the idea is far-fetched, by cutting down the number of required general elective classes, the education system could cut down on student debt and increase the number of educated workers.

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8 Responses to General Class = General Education

  1. Pingback: Handy Guide To Solutions Posts | Biz Gov Soc

  2. jwhite17 says:

    I agree with this. I believe that general education requirements can add value if you are between two majors, but once you are set on one I think it would be more helpful to either take more relevant classes, or underload. The German education system takes this philosophy, as it allows individuals to concentrate on certain areas at an earlier age. I believe that in a job market where individuals are differentiated by knowledge adopting this system could help people have more relevant skills.

    • Jordi says:

      I spent a semester in an education policy class with a few Americans and many Asians. The Americans, except for me, worked for school systems,a s did the Asians. The Asians all wanted a less rigid system than the one they had, one more like ours that would allow late-bloomers and flexibility in paths through the school system. The Americans, like you, wanted more high-stakes testing and more rigid paths through the education system (in the name of benefiting students, of course).

      I can show you the survey results of recruiters that do not show any field-specific skills cracking the top 10 attributes of what they are looking for.

  3. Jordi says:

    I am very concerned about the increasing cost of higher education relative to the rest of the economy. When you look at increasing health and education costs relative to average purchasing power or real wage stagnation, you can see how the “American Dream” of increasing prosperity and opportunity from one generation to the next is eroding. However, I question how less education will help. Education is not really an input-outcome process. That is training. Training is good, but it is not the same as education. Education involves development of a broad set of skills that transfer across domains. One does not develop that skill portfolio unless one is exposed to different areas. Other arguments for education include the need for an educated citizenry for democracy to work. So, less need for democracy? Or, education enables people to enjoy and appreciate culture in all its forms: art, music, history, story-telling, the life of the mind. Is this any less needed now? Not everything that “counts” can be measured, and not everything we measure (like salary) “counts.”

  4. awhigbee says:

    I completely agree with the relevant topic Jordi is talking about with the cost of higher education. I had this German professor at Bucknell and we would talk about the differences in the education system. He once asked us how much we paid to go to Bucknell. He literally laughed when we told him $52,000. Not in a mean way, more of a surprised/shocked way. The cost of higher education has gotten so tremendous that it had become a barrier to entry for certain students. As we argue there are scholarships available, there also is a slim middle class falling between poorer students and the wealthy students who are not receiving as much aid as possible, almost similar to the disparity of the United States as a country. The education system has been in place for a long time but it doesn’t mean it should be stagnant for all this time.

  5. mnickels says:

    I think allowing people to skip over general requirements would be great, but it might also defeat the purpose of a “liberal arts” education. I do think that some of the requirements are useless and we all just forget the information right after we are done with the final or with the class. If I didn’t have so many other requirements I could have been done with my major requirements earlier and maybe have had the time to actually take classes that are interesting to me instead of something that I have to take in order to graduate which I don’t even care about! There are pros and cons of reducing the requirements, but I like the idea of it a lot.

  6. katiebaum13 says:

    I agree with this post, but at the same time, having to take different courses on different topics is beneficial to some people. By having to take classes that are not part of one’s major can be a good thing because it can spark interests in topics that one might not have thought they were interested in. It also allows people to keep their options open, if they are not completely set with what they want their future career to be. I have changed my major multiple times since I have been here due to classes I have taken that weren’t part of my required list of classes..

  7. Pingback: General education at universities, particularly UCSC « Gas station without pumps

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