The Daily Aztec

SDSU needs more major-specific courses, less explorations courses

by Mackenzie Boss, Staff Columnist

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I remember sitting in a high school math class thinking, “I can’t wait until I never have to take another math class again in my life.” Little did I know that a few years later I would be disappointed to find out I needed to take a math class in order to satisfy a General Education (GE) requirement at San Diego State.

Now that I am finally in my upper-division major and minor classes, I feel like I have been reminded of how fun school actually can be. Students pick their major for a unique reason and most importantly because it interests them.

It is unfortunate that even in college, students still have to take classes that are completely unrelated to their majors. It would even be a little more understandable if this stopped after the lower-division required GE classes. However, at SDSU it continues on even past that. As an upper-division student you are required to take “exploration courses,” which are basically upper-division GE courses. These exploration classes are a requirement for all students to graduate.

In some cases the GE or exploration classes are more difficult and take up far more time than any students’ major classes do.

From kindergarten on, and especially in high school, it seems like students have been taught enough general education in their lives.

In place of these “exploration courses”, SDSU should create more special studies classes that specifically relate to a major. Students would then be able to take these special studies classes in place of explorations and, in turn, they would ultimately benefit more from what they learn. These special studies courses could be similar to a fun and exciting elective offered for a major.

Taking major or minor classes not only makes the school aspect of college more enjoyable and interesting, but it also better prepares students for the workforce. Finding a job is more competitive now than it ever was before and it would be a nice option for college students to be able to take “special skills” courses to beef up their resume and provide them with the necessary skills pertaining to each major. In the long run, these classes would increase their chances of getting a job.

I completely understand why lower-division GE courses are still being implemented, but not all lower-division students are happy with the major they initially came in with and GEs allow them to experience other classes and see if there is another major that interests them.

However, as an upper-division student you are fully engrossed in your major classes and there is no longer a need to experiment with other subjects.

A better use of students’ time would be allowing them to take classes in place of explorations that dive into more detailed subsections of your major.

If SDSU is going to make us take classes that are unrelated to our major, at least make them classes that teach students valuable life skills that they will be able to apply beyond the classroom. It is time to make the classroom part of having a fun college experience. 

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