Why Do I Have to Take General Education Classes?

21 Sep

Guest Blog from Elaine Marchello, Assistant Director, Assessment in the Office of Instruction & Assessment

It is Friday night and you are at a friend’s party.  You are bored to tears when the most attractive, heart-stopping guy walks into the room.  You think to yourself, wow, I would sure like to meet him!  So, you work your way across the room, casually coming closer to him, until you finally get up the guts to say hi and introduce yourself.  His name is Dan.  Neither one of you really knows how to continue when he finally says, “So, what, um, classes are you taking?”  You reply, “Oh just some stupid gen ed classes along with English and math.”  Well, Dan says, “Wow, really?  Which ones?  I took a couple of gen eds that totally, like, changed my life!  I changed majors and really found my true love!”  So right away you change your “gen ed attitude” and can’t believe that you are having this great conversation with Dan “the handsome” and it all started because of gen ed. 

Many times, the number one question students ask their advisors is why do I have to take these general education classes?  Well, the general education program is to help students become well-rounded and learn about topics that they would normally not be exposed to.  After taking all of your Trads, Indvs, Nats, and the rest, you should be better at thinking critically, using information effectively, communicating effectively and valuing differences.  Do you think it really matters?  Yes, it does!  The value of a liberal arts and sciences based education is important for you to be a complete package.  So, maybe you won’t meet the love of your life through general education, but you never know!  But, when it comes time to get a job or gain admission into graduate or professional school, having a good general education foundation will make you that complete student that programs like to admit. 

So in the future, don’t try to take the easiest gen ed or the one that is the least amount of work.  Take a gen ed that interests you and that can help make you a better person of the world.

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