By Izbel Torres
In high school, students, regardless of whether they enjoy the subject or not, are forced to take general education classes. In college, students get to choose what they want to study, and they decide what classes to take based on their interests.
Or so they think.
General education courses are classes listed on the college curriculum sheets and road maps that students are given. The classes are generally uninteresting and take time away from students’ core classes. Taking the courses feels like a chore.
However, there is no way to get around these courses: students must take GE courses in order to graduate.
These classes, ranging from math and science to humanities and social sciences, can take up about 35 percent of all the required units a student needs to take in order to graduate. Therefore, students spend more than one-third of their time in college taking classes they deem unnecessary.
One of the main reasons why GE courses are unnecessary is that students are practically forced to take classes on subjects they already learned about in high school; in other words, they are not learning any new material.
How many times does a college-aged student need to learn about American history, biology and math? He or she learned about such topics in elementary school, middle school and high school.
GEs are a waste of time. As a student who is studying outside of the math and science fields, I already know the basic math I am going to use in my life. Why am I forced to take statistics and trigonometry again? They were enough torture in high school.
GEs are pointless and a distraction. Some professors acknowledge that students take their classes just to fulfill the GE requirements, yet they require their students to study for their classes as if they were core classes. Why should an English student have to sacrifice his or her time learning the principal controls on temperature when he or she could be reading and researching for his or her world literature class?
Theoretically, GE courses are a good idea. The intention of their requirement is to produce well-rounded students. In reality, those courses produce irritated students who waste their time and money on classes they tried to complete in high school
Better alternatives to GE requirements are unrestricted electives. Requiring a certain amount of unrestricted electives would allow students to take whatever classes they are interested in. With unrestricted electives, students are free to take courses that they deem will be beneficial for them in the real world and later on in their lives.
Students studying social sciences and humanities do not want to waste their time solving math equations and learning about what causes the weather. Math and science students do not want to waste their time writing eight-page research papers.
It is time to abolish the general education requirements. Let students take classes that interest them and avoid the classes that they deem useless to their learning.
Monica Lopez / The Poly Post
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