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The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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COLUMN: General education courses are not for college

Ashanti Thomas

General education courses should not be required for all college students.

I do want to preface I do understand why general education courses do exist.

General education courses are useful for some students who might not have the same education across the board. But a biology major should not have to take a music class or an English major take a chemistry class.

I know it is good to get other knowledge in different topics, but high school should focus on a wide variety of subjects.

College should be a time to hone your skills and focus on specialization while high school is for broad learning.

Now, I do think there are some classes that are helpful to all majors across the board and should be required. These include the composition one and two courses, speech, foreign language, psychology/sociology and a diversity class.

I will say, some might ask why I specify these so I will explain.

When it comes to writing in college, not every student understands how to write a college-level paper. I can say when I got to college, I had to completely change how I wrote papers. With the composition classes, students learn those skills and can keep them for the rest of their time in school.

To my knowledge, every major needs to write a paper at one time or another whether it be reflections, research papers, etc. Learning these skills is necessary for a successful college career.

Next, everyone needs to talk to each other, and this could be casual or public speaking. For that reason, I think having to take speech and some type of foreign language (if not taken in high school) should be required.

People do not know how to speak publicly anymore, and since COVID-19, people have become more reserved and lost their social skills. By taking a speech class, students would basically be forced to work on these skills to hopefully turn people into better communicators.

The world is also becoming more diverse which by taking both a foreign language and a diversity course, we would propel the current and future student body into a world of more open-minded and aware humans.

This gets me to my last class suggestion, psychology and sociology. In the past few years, especially as a substitute teacher for K-12 and just as a college student, people do not understand social cues.

This does account for the introduction of technology and COVID-19 keeping people from actual human contact. By taking a psychology and sociology class, students will learn how the brain works and how to be social in general.

By focusing on these classes, students would be able to focus on their majors without the issues that come with so many gen ed classes.

Take for example, if you are really bad at science or math and you are a music major, what happens if you cannot pass those classes? You can pass every music class with flying colors but fail math or science multiple times over.

This can lead to stress and even lead to dropping out because you cannot pass a single class. I know multiple people who dropped out because they could not pass a gen ed course that had nothing to do with their major.

By focusing on the specialization of your major and what you want to do with your life, college would also be shorter than four years. That would allow for more people to go into the workforce quicker and a younger workforce in general.

I will stand by the fact that college should be specialization and focusing on your major while high school is for learning a broad selection of subjects.


Kierstyn Budz can be reached at 581-2812 0r at [email protected] .

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About the Contributors
Kierstyn Budz, Columnist
Kierstyn Budz is a senior English major. This is her first year at The News. 
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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