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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

A pointless education

Photo credit: Briana Mcdaniel

As a political science major, I don’t believe Math 105 or Physics 100 will help me further my career opportunities. So far, it’s only prevented my GPA from rising to its highest potential.

The pointless courses we take for graduation are meant to broaden our horizons by giving us new material to delve into. But they are only obstacles. Rather than taking Anthropology 113 to fulfill a global cultures requirement, I’d want to learn more about the skills I’ll need for after graduation.

Graduating in four years has become a myth for most students. Sure, some students are able to follow the universal planning sheet down to the last unit, but most of the time students deal with unwanted wait-listed classes to learn things we don’t need.

It’s not just at the CSU or UC level, it’s happening at community colleges as well. Students struggle to get their associates degree from more than just financial issues or difficult courses, it’s the crowded classes and pointless requirements.

There are plenty of people graduating with more than the required 120 units because they are spending extra time in the upper division general education classes they need to graduate.

By taking 12 units a semester, we get the financial aid we all need, so many people take a full class load for the one class they actually need.

Only 19 percent of students who attend college for four years graduate on time, according to Complete College. The additional $3,500 a semester that students are paying is one of the severe issues with taking six years to graduate.

The proposed Graduation Initiative that is supposed to occur by 2025 will increase the six-year graduation rate for first-time college students attending CSU’s to 70 percent. This is only increasing the four-year graduation rate for first-time college students to 40 percent.

What’s the point of these extra classes when they just push graduation further away? While focusing on trying to complete general education courses that many people dread, the importance of taking the classes for each individual major is minimized.

Coming from a college student whose GPA was brought down due to rigorous general education courses, it might be safe to say that most students just want to be experts in the fields they are trying to pursue.

Rachel Reyes can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news onTwitter.

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  • F

    Frederica Shockley // Feb 3, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    I agree that professors need to put more emphasis on skills that will allow you to get jobs, but I think that general education is very important. In econ lingo general education courses are consumer durable goods. We take the classes, and continue enjoying the benefits throughout our lives. For example, I took an art history class when I was an undergraduate and I wrote a paper on the Villa of the Mysteries at Pompeii. It was a wonderful experience later in life when I visited the Villa at Pompeii, and I look forward to visiting Egypt. When I was an undergrad, my college required a lab science, and I took general chemistry. I would take any course to avoid dissecting a cat in biology! I still find that I benefit from the knowledge that I acquired in that class!

    Here is my webpage:

    All student should have a career goal. I always had a goal, but it changed. I still managed to complete 120 units for a BA in 3 years while working about 30 hours a week.

    Frederica Shockley, retired chair of Economics Department, Chico State

  • A

    Arturo V. // Feb 3, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    I wish I could focus more on my major too, why did I need to take half of these pointless courses?

  • S

    Sydney // Feb 2, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    People attend college to get an education. If you graduate and have only studied a specific subject, you don’t have the baseline education level that your college degree is supposed to represent, and it makes it practically worthless.

  • G

    gwil21 // Jan 31, 2017 at 10:46 am

    The reason you have to take classes such as Math 105 or Physics 100 is to help develop skills that you need as a basis for everything you do in life. Math and physics supply students with the ability to solve problems and justify using evidence. It isn’t simply about your ability to use mathematical algorithms, it is a way of teaching logic based problem solving techniques that everyone in our society could use more training in.

    As for your GPA, these courses are at the very basic level in their fields of study. If a student cannot pass these courses with minimum proficiency, they are not worthy of a diploma from an institution of higher learning.