Needless education requirements hinder student success

   For a communication major, attempting to understand biology can be as difficult as Hollywood screenwriters attempting to come up with a new idea, which then brings up the question: Why should a communication major have to take biology in the first place?

     High school curricula include a range of general education requirements. These courses supposedly help in future career choices. (Although it is unlikely that a journalist will be required to use geometry at any point in his or her career.)

     When we’re in high school, we’re told the high school general education requirements are necessary for succeeding at standardized tests. This is supposedly the vehicle for getting into a good college.

     But here’s the bottom line: once you’ve succeeded at the ACT and gotten into college, general education courses should stop.

     By the time one gets to college, or is a few years in, they know what career they want. They will likely make classes related said career their first priority.

     This means by making those classes a priority, the irrelevant general education requirements (for instance math and science for an art history major) take low priority.

    These courses rob a student of much needed time, and can easily result in sub-par grades, prolonging graduation.

     Why should an English major be forced to suffer in chemistry? Why should a nursing major struggle in humanities?

     College is supposed to be the place for us to hone our skills and prepare for our future careers. While we do get the chance to focus on our career goals, it’s buried under a mound of other, unnecessary classes.

     According to the British Council Education UK website, students in the United Kingdom can earn their degrees after being enrolled full-time for only three years. The average college experience in the United States is four years.

     Why are UK students’ college experiences shorter? Perhaps because the majority of UK colleges allow the students to build their own degree plan.

     This means students will be less likely to choose a course they consider unimportant for their career progression. It also means students are not required to take a large amount of specific, required classes for their majors.

     Meanwhile, here at UCCS, students are forced to take research methods and public speaking, as well as a host of other general education requirements, on top of specific major classes.

     This only adds to the course load, the expense and the inevitable loan debt.

     If we were required to take less general education requirements, or if high schools were required to teach those courses on a more collegiate level, than by the time students reached college, they could focus primarily on their majors.

     General education requirements are praised for making students more well-rounded individuals, but do they? Or is it more likely students learn what they have to, pass their general education classes and then forget the material completely?

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