The importance of General Education varies from every person. Read more about the different outcomes taking General Education courses can do. Photo by Annie Sorensen.
The credits you rush to “get out of the way” actually bring you innumerable benefits.
The questions I’ve asked myself include but aren’t limited to: Why am I taking courses like English, sociology and humanities when I am a pre-medical radiography major? Wasn’t high school enough general education? How does my Intro to Dance course benefit my career aspirations?
Haven’t you thought the same thing? I came into this opinion piece fully ready to tear down the general education system but instead found meaning in it.
Straight from the Dixie State University website it states, “Ideally, general education empowers individuals, liberates the mind from ignorance, and cultivates social responsibility.”
The fancy words can make this information seem more like a marketing ploy which, with a certain mindset, that is exactly what it will be. My first semester at DSU was rough because I viewed general education as a repeat of high school.
The mindset component is crucial, or else the benefits will be hidden behind the closed doors of your mind. It is one way to view the general education requirements as a waste of time but it is the mindset of a lifelong learner to view them as a crucial tool.
Even if you are set on your decided major, keeping an open mind while completing general education may shine a light on pursuing a different path, or it may prove to you that you are headed in the right direction. Either way, it is better to be sure before committing to the degree that costs time and money.
Dr. Matthew Sanders spoke regarding general education at Utah State University. Sanders related general education to weight-lifting, stretching and running in order to succeed in athletics. After asking student athletes why they do conditioning that doesn’t directly translate into their sport, students said it prepares them to be ready for the unexpected. The students recognize that conditioning can be hard and usually isn’t as fun as the sport itself but they knew why it related to specific in-game abilities and skills.
Sanders then related general education to conditioning. It isn’t as fun or, interesting as the major you choose, and it will feel harder but it will prepare you to be ready for the unexpected. It will also turn you into a lifelong learner, which is important in our world which advances in techniques and technology so quickly.
This increased strength will bring you confidence academically. Knowing that you are a well-rounded person who has spent time learning about the worlds diversity through your general education will bring you confidence.
I have personally found this confidence in my past few semesters here at DSU. I have been able to help roommates who are taking similar classes as well as grow my own abilities academically. I feel more confident in my test taking abilities, writing papers and interviewing skills.
So, why am I taking courses like English, sociology and humanities when I am a pre-medical radiography major? Taking these courses strengthen my foundation, so when I apply to the medical radiography program, I can be a confident student, ready to build on that foundation with the specific knowledge of my field.
Wasn’t high school enough general education? This is where I humble myself and realize that while high school taught me so much, there is benefit to learning this information from a university with greater diversity.
In an article by Imed Bouchrika he says, “As corporations seek graduates who can lead, communicate, analyze problems, and propose solutions, students need to be immersed in fields that would widen and deepen their perspectives; and such is what is general education for.”
As I am ending my sophomore year as well as my general education I am so grateful for the general education courses that I have taken. Taking these courses have helped me know where to start and where to go. I have also been able to be a part of hands-on learning and scholarship opportunities such as being a writer for the Sun News as I have explored classes that I wouldn’t have taken at first.