General education courses should not be required for college students. For many, they are a waste of time and money that could be better spent elsewhere.
Students should not be forced to take classes that cover materials they have already been familiarized with at some point in high school. General education courses mostly rehash concepts and skills that the majority of students already possess or will pick up in other courses
throughout their academic careers. By the time most people get to college, they know how to write and organize an essay or have spoken in front of a classroom before. All of these required speech, communication and math courses are redundant and unnecessary. For example, a student like me who is majoring in law enforcement should not be required to take a math class on functional notation because, although I am not 100 percent certain what job I want to pursue upon graduating, I am sure of the fact that it will not be math related. Many of these classes, not just math courses, are rather useless since they probably have absolutely nothing to do with one’s major. While some math classes dealing with financial planning could be useful, many of these skills can be learned through life experience.
For the most part, students should be able to focus solely on their major during their time at college. The fact is that most students don’t approach these courses with the same sort of devotion as they do with classes they see as being useful. Professors, however, tend to teach the material as if everyone taking the class is planning on majoring in the subject. As a result, many students‘ grades suffer, sometimes to the point of lowering their grade point averages so much that they are unable to get into the major they planned on pursuing. It would be much more beneficial to spend your time at college studying more thoroughly for your major rather than wasting your time worrying about your grades for general education courses. Also, taking general education classes costs a lot of money. According to WIU’s website, a year of college tuition at WIU for an under–graduate is estimated at $12,889. After two years of taking classes that, for the most part, are just review sessions of things you have learned in high school, you have spent $25,778.
College is so expensive that it is hard to justify taking classes that ultimately do not help you in your career. Upon graduating, most students are faced with the daunting task of paying off all of their debt accumulated through student loans. It would be much easier to do this if the four years and thousands of dollars were spent cultivating skills that are essential to the student’s ability to pursue his or her intended career path.
College should be a time spent focusing on and learning about what you’re going to do for the rest of your life, not frantically trying to learn bits and pieces of every possible subject on campus.