General Education credits should be reviewed

Julianna Poe, Copy Editor

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Picture yourself having finally graduated from high school and about to go to college, ready to take classes in your field of study. But there’s one problem. General Education credits.

General Education credits, or Gen Ed for short, are required classes that make up the foundation of an undergraduate’s degree. Categories include English, Math, Natural Science, Social Science, Humanities and, depending on the degree, Diversity. Everyone must take classes in each of these categories, the number of classes in each category depend on the degree.

According to “www.getunbound.org,” most General Education credits cover 33 percent to 66 percent of a degree. In other words, that’s 40 to 60 semester-based college credits. Gen Ed classes for technical or highly-focused degrees may have fewer.

For most all college students, guaranteed at K-State University, you must additionally take Public Speaking.

My question is, are these classes necessary? We go into college to take classes of relevance to our career interests, and that already costs us a large sum of money. Some of us, depending on our career pathway, do not need to take a math class. But Gen Ed credits require us to take at least one, and in the process, colleges take more money from us so we get that education.

According to “www.k-state.edu,” one credit hour costs $312.50. Most classes are three credit hours, so each class would cost $937.50. On top of that, you have to pay Campus Privilege Fees (CPF), so you pay $44.40 for each credit hour. If you take six or more credit hours in a semester, then CPF will cost you $444 all together. Plus, you may have to pay additional Class Fees or other charges depending on the class.

For example, if you take an College of Arts and Sciences Course, then for each credit hour of that class you’ll have to pay an additional $16.70. That’s $50.10 for each three credit hour class.

Say you take five lasses, or 15 credits, each semester so you graduate in four years. Counting CPF charges, one semester of five classes will cost you $5,131.50. If each class is an College of Arts and Sciences Course, then you pay $250.50 more. By the end of four years and having taken all College of Arts and Sciences Courses, you’ll have to pay a grand total of $43,056. That’s not counting living expenses, such as housing costs, food and entertainment.

Now, you could take college-level classes in high school to get some of those Gen Ed credits out of the way at a discounted price. However, taking multiple higher level classes can cause stress of varying levels. If we take out Gen Ed classes all together, tuition fees will cost at least 33 percent less.

This brings us back to my question. For example, is Public Speaking essential? I believe that if you’re going to need communication skills in your field of study, you should definitely take Public Speaking. Yet, to get around in the real world, you’ll need communication skills no matter what.

Though, when it comes to classes such as English Composition 1 and 2, not everyone needs that expertise. It isn’t fair to those who do not seek certain classes to be required to take them in order to graduate.

To answer my question, I feel that we shouldn’t get rid of General Education credits altogether. However, they should be incorporated into a high school education seeing as everyone needs them. This way, students can focus in more on classes of their interest and not have to pay as much. Currently, I don’t see the requirements of college degrees as fitting well to what our students need in order to be successful in their chosen field of study or financially stable coming out of college.

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General Education credits should be reviewed