As I entered into college as a Professional Writing major, I received my requirements for graduation on the infamous grid sheet. Feeling overwhelmed, I met with my adviser to discuss how I could possibly take all of these classes and still graduate on time. She immediately calmed me down and assured me that as long as I did not fail any classes, I would graduate in four years.
For my major, I am required to take 18 core classes. When I look at the variation of my future writing classes, I become excited to expand my horizons. However, when I flip my grid sheet to the front and see all of the general education classes that we are required to take, I immediately imagine myself just throwing my money away.
As KU students, everyone must take Oral Communication, Written Communication, Mathematics and Wellness. I understand the importance of these gen-eds because they help us become more well-rounded individuals. Other natural and social sciences do not.
Going further down the grid sheet, I must fulfill Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, Arts, etc. and this is where the problem lies. I will not use Psychology, Geology, Political Science or most of the classes that we are required to take in my career. I understand that colleges are businesses and need to make money, but giving the university thousands of dollars a year for a Theater professor to lecture me on acting will not make me a better writer.
If it is money that the school is concerned about, I would suggest lowering the gen-ed requirements and raising the amount of core classes we must take. That would give every student a better chance to learn more in their field of study than having to pay for irrelevant classes. I could replace the 18 gen-eds that I am required to take with valuable writing classes that would benefit me in my future career. I will not have the time to take certain journalism and technical writing classes because I am too busy taking Sociology and Biology.
It is understandable that an art major taking five studio classes in one semester would not have enough time to hand in their projects, especially at an advanced level. Gen-eds balance out schedules, but they also lower grade point averages easier than core classes.
Students put more effort and time into the classes they care about. I would much rather be writing an article for my Journalism class than be up all night trying to memorize vocabulary and definitions for a gen-ed. Classes such as Anthropology and American History are so broad that I have to reread the assigned chapter multiple times before I will be able to memorize the material for a test. This is the valuable time that I lose every week when I could be focusing on what truly matters: my major.
We could learn so much more by taking classes that relate to our major. This would give us all a greater understanding of our field and could possibly advance us in our careers. In the end, Introduction to Dinosaurs will not help me in the future. It is just a waste of money.
By Megan Bratton