Should a core curriculum be a requirement to obtain a college degree?
Mariel and Ashley asked Brooklyn College Students:
"Should a core curriculum be a requirement to obtain a college degree?" (after all, you do have to pay for those credits)
John Varnas: Absolutely yes! College is supposed to make you "well- rounded" and good stuff like that. In the British/Canadian system, you just take the classes for your major. You'll be really knowledgeable about one area, but that's about it. The major is important, but it isn't everything.
A core curriculum makes you sample a whole bunch of subjects, even if they don't sound too good. I would never have taken philosophy or public speaking if it wasn't required to graduate.
Then again, Brown has an open curriculum. You choose a major, and then the remaining credits can be used to anything you want. That's a bit extreme for me, but some people might love it.
Taryn Leigh Sander: That's a really good point, but most people go through the core classes with the intention of only passing, not truly taking it all in. I think it's difficult for students to enjoy and do well in a subject that may be uninteresting or have nothing to do with their major. High School is where we learn our likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses. Personally, if I wanted to know more about Philosophy...I would major in it, you know? I just believe it should be optional. It works for some people, but not everyone. It's a waste of time and money, and honestly, I think we're a bit too mature to have decisions made for us, especially when we're being taught to be independent. It would be ideal for us to all be well-rounded, but at the age of 18 (or 22) it's difficult to force it, unlike in a 5 year-old who is just learning about life. It also depends on the student, but that's evident.
Overall I believe the best thing to do is make it optional.
Michael Marino: I think people should be able to study what they want. If some one wanted to spend every waking minute studying one specific thing that would be their choice.
I would say that students should/would get there well-rounded-ness from interdisciplinary work that is done in classes. I don't know if one can become an expert at one thing with out dipping into other fields "by accident". I think, with less restrictions on areas of study and choices on areas of study, connections between fields would happen more naturally.
Holly LoVoi: Absolutely yes. The core curriculum provides valuable knowledge in other subjects, can give students who are confused about a major an idea of what they might be interested in, and teaches skills that are not always found in one's major. It is important to be a well-rounded person, instead of focusing on one subject only. While it is important to be an expert on your area of interest, it is looked down on in society to be knowledgeable in only one area. The core also gives students a small taste of several subjects, which helps those who do not know what to major in, or what kind of career they would like. Finally, the broad range of subjects teaches a large array of skills, some of which cannot be found in only one major. While being a chemistry major can teach a person how to do experiments, write reports based on labs, and other such things, it does not teach the logic that philosophy can teach, or the writing skills other subjects can teach. This knowledge can also help enhance a student's performance in their major classes. The negatives of having to take classes you might not be completely interested in are far outweighed by the positives of the core curriculum.
Janna O'Shea: I'm very divided on this subject. On one hand, I agree with previous comments, because students should have a well rounded curriculum. On the other hand, I have had a terrible time passing the math/science area of the required classes. It is not something that I plan to interact with in the future, and the classes have completely dragged my GPA down because I am not well versed in the subjects. While my major GPA and all other classes are B and above, some of my core classes go well below that. I knew from middle school that I did not enjoy, and did not understand, math and most science subjects. Having been required to take them in middle school and high school, I was hoping to be able to avoid those in college.
I think a core curriculum should be required, but more choices should be given. In the case of BC specifically, rather than having to take a math and two sciences, perhaps you could choose 2 out of 3.
Also, we could take the route that some private colleges have taken. I have heard of schools that offer the philosophy of math, or something along those lines.
Also, the fact that I have to pay to take a class that I am completely uninterested in, and don't plan to use in the future at all, upsets me. We pay enough for school already, I shouldn't have to pay to take a math course when I could be taking a literature course instead.
Nick Norden: A hundred times yes. The core curriculum was one of the best parts about BC. Without it, I would have never taken a classics course, which became one of my favorite subjects.
Alicia Sorrenti: you should be able to take tests to get out of core classes
John Varnas: Everybody makes really good points. There definitely should be enough room for a good number of electives. Maybe instead of saying that you have to take a specific math, science, philosophy or literature class, they could make the requirements more flexible. Like take 1 math, 1 science, 1-2 humanities (literature, history, philosophy, art, music), and 1-2 social science (psych/sociology/politics/economics).
For example, you could take "Math for the Liberal Arts" which is pretty common in a lot of schools, or if you like math, go for Statistics/Pre-Calc/Calculus I. For the sciences, you could take some kind of survey course, or the full bio/chem/physics course with lab for majors.
Baruch made everybody declare a minor, which allowed you pick a second subject to study, but in a lot less depth (3-4 classes, versus 9-10 for a major). I liked that a lot.
Michael Marino: the choice!
Danielle Jeffrey: no. not unless you are going into liberal arts or have not decided on a major.
Stan Rozenberg: i see a lot of people pointing out that they don't want to pay for a class that they are not planning on using, however you would be delightfully surprised when your math skills are called into action.
However with the advancement of the intewebz(read: Google) the core curriculum is becoming fairly outdated.
Joseph Fritsch: Everything is valuable except the geology core. No, seriously though. I knew what I wanted to study from the day I enrolled, and I have had to pass-up classes that would have helped me in my field for classes that I am "required" to take.
Affea Tofu Henriques
Hell no! At my old school there were distribution courses you could pick so as long as a class fitted a certain category it could be your elective.
i feel there should be the choice of what cores to take at some extent, or at least be less of them. they do make u more eligible for jobs, but still lol
If it has nothing to do with your major then no
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