An Address to the State of College General Education

Subject: An Address to the State of College General Education
From: John Chen
Date: 14 Dec 2022

Dear Students of America,

As the years pass, the systems and resources surrounding community colleges have never been more accessible! Counseling, wellness services, and various scholarship programs have given students more opportunities to succeed in the ever-changing world of careers. With all that being said, college students still have a looming issue.

College general education is widely regarded to be an asset to modern-day college education systems. Being that most U.S. colleges enroll in this system, its reputation among students must be pristine and void of any obvious flaws, wrong. The college general education system is more than often referred to as “a waste of time” by students across America. A system as forced as general education belongs in a curriculum that revolves around developing students (K-12) rather than in a system that is populated by career-seeking adults. By having a general education system in college, students are obligated to forfeit resources that could rather go toward the student’s own living expenses.

The world of college general education is one that makes unbacked claims. As the name suggests, college general education is meant to appeal toward advancing the general knowledge of students. As Professor Bouchrika puts it, "general education is defined as a program that develops students’ general knowledge, literacy, skills, and competencies to equip them with the foundation for lifelong learning and advanced academic curricula” (5). Basically, the meaning behind general education is to equip students with the knowledge needed to succeed in the world. Pacing back to my original claim, general education claims to develop general knowledge, but more than often refutes its own purpose. Under the IGETC, a college general education transfer guide, students are required to take courses such as Prehistoric Culture or Cultures of Ancient Mexico which do not conform to the purpose of general education.

Following the aforementioned claims, these non-general courses are required at the cost of student resources. A student must forfeit both time and money into courses that can possibly differ from their desired career path. Moreover, these courses have the power to threaten a student’s college transfer application by way of GPA distribution. To sum up, classes are what make up a student’s college experience and application; forcing students to go through courses for the sake of “general knowledge” is not enough to justify the cost and risk that goes alongside it, especially when the courses themselves are not relevant in the “general knowledge” aspect.

College general education offers little to nothing for its attending students. By siding with the student who is actively going through the injustice of this system you choose to change the wrongs that still linger within modern-day education. Abolishing college general education simply does no harm. There are set paths that students must take for transferring into the major of their choice. Why choose to stand by a roadblock that only serves to hurt the students of current and upcoming generations? Choose to push for the freedom of an open curriculum where students can truly explore their passions by sharing the thoughts of a current community college student.

Bouchrika, Imed. “What is General Education? Definition, Requirements & A List of Courses.”, 14 October 22, Accessed 10 December 2022.