When contemplating a college undergraduate degree, you possibly question the extensive general education requirements. After all, you may be rather excited about your specialty course of study, and you want to put all your focus into that area right away. However, you will attain more from your college years by thinking of education as a process as much as an ends to a means. What do you gain from taking general education? These are the decided benefits to taking a range of courses outside your area of concentration.
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This part of the curriculum’s primary initial advantage lies in its world-view orientation. Taking unfamiliar courses can lead you to consider another interesting degree option. Imagine dabbling in a course in fine arts even as you are looking toward a future in business. You come home at the end of the day not just thinking about outcomes and line-items but also perspectives and line-features. In other words, general education courses can serve to get you outside your head to see the world in less confining terms.
Transition to Tough Coursework
Moving from high school to college can be a jolting experience. Students may face several unexpected changes when they begin the college learning process: The pace of work increases dramatically, with more deadlines in play; the amount of required reading rises; professors allow more leeway, which can create problems if you are undisciplined in your approach; and feedback processes are more regimented and procedural.
General education courses are intended to help ease you into the college experience. Many are lower-level, prerequisite courses. If you choose courses that sound interesting to you, you will find them to be manageable as they help you grow accustomed to college-level classes.
Build a Deeper Base of Knowledge
One of the key components of sound learning is that it works best when based on previous knowledge acquisition. Though this educational concept is an accepted principle in primary, middle, and high schools, its significance does not magically diminish in college and adult life. Some general education courses are fundamental to preparing you for the courses that follow. For example, required composition classes will provide you with the skills to succeed not just in writing courses but also courses for additional degree options.
You may discover another positive consequence of your broadened perspective and deeper knowledge base: Taking courses outside your comfort zone can lead you on an unexpected journey while providing useful tools for that new future. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 30% of college students change majors by their third year. In other words, there is a chance that you will be inspired to go in a direction different from the one that you envisioned when you started your coursework. Even if you attain the degree you intended you may decide to pursue post-secondary work. For example, your focus on an undergraduate health degree could lead you to explore additional health career options.
Post-secondary education should be approached as an exciting opportunity. If you tackle the required general education courses with the passion of an explorer, you will find that your venture becomes an adventure.