i Final Destination | COLLEGE WRITING: DEBATE(S) IN HIGHER EDCUATION

Brock Moldenhauer

To most, a four-year college is a great place to get a more expansive and higher education. There is a lot you have to go through in a four-year college though. Multiple general education classes have to be completed that may have no relation to what you want to do after college. For some that is good because they may not know what they want to do yet and this buys them more time to declare a major. For others it may seem like a waste of time and money. If you come into college knowing what you want your major to be, those classes should be eliminated. A college education should have general education classes that build you up towards your major area of interest while making your time in the classroom relevant to where you want to be after college.

Many people communicate in many different ways and that makes there many different ways to learn how to communicate. In college, a vital skill you should acquire is to learn the way people in your major communicate. As I have learned already in my classes at Saint Norbert, the communication from certain classes has taught me how to think deeper and question my thought process, as that is a major goal of the college’s core curriculum. Though why should I deepen my thought process though if all I am trying to do is communicate to a customer in a professional manner? Some of the information goes too deep and looks past the point. Learning to communicate what you need to communicate would be much more resourceful than just general communication. If you can learn the way people need to communicate in order to be successful in that specific career, it will help you to know how to handle situations when they occur in the future.  In college, you should be exposed to what your workplace will be like through job shadowing so you don’t have to worry about working, all you have to do is observe and learn. This will allow you to be more comfortable in a work setting, and give you a greater knowledge of what your work zones are. If we were taught how to effectively communicate compared to a general class about what the theology of God is, it would enable us to grow and broaden the horizons of thoughts about your workplace.

A lot of time in general education, classes are spent aimed in the wrong direction. Classes that you take in college should have a direct impact on your major. Some general education classes can be very helpful toward your degree and get you started on the right foot but don’t focus in on where you want to be. Different majors require you to have a different sets of skills to back up the major area of study. I am going to college for a business major and I have zero classes that specifically connect with business as of now. Classes like writing and communications will still have a great impact on the skills I will need for my future line of work but it is the classes like theology and biology that are off my path. Yes, these classes will give me a broader education and allow me to explore more options, but that will have little to no impact on my business knowledge that I could use in a future career. Thus, leading me off my path towards a job. Whatever general education classes you have to take should be formatted around your path towards graduation so that there is more time spent efficiently compared to time spent on learning things that will never cross your mind again once you graduate.

Saint Norbert College offers many great programs to help you start looking ahead towards your career and what you can do now to help lead you in that way. The problem is those programs should be incorporated into classes. Many students do not have the time or will to go to these extra programs and in essence it is hurting their college education. If you do not take full advantage of everything the college has to offer you that means you are wasting your money invested in an education. These programs also only target a certain group of people. In college that is not fair. Everyone pays the same amount to get a quality education and it is not fair to say that if you are in a time seeking sport or too shy to go these programs that you simply don’t get what the college has to offer. Instead the college should remove some of the classes that do not have a direct correlation to your major and replace them with a career seeking program. Some of the programs that Saint Norbert has to offer are intended to get you internships through real employers, job fairs to find possible employers, and job shadowing to learn the trades of your major. In the work field you need to make yourself stick out with your skills and if your degree is very specific to your work you will be one step ahead of all your coworkers. Students buy into a huge risk by going to college to get a degree that may not help them at all in their eventual endeavors. Colleges and Universities alike should focus more on setting you up to create relationships with people that could offer you a job after graduation. This way students would feel more secure with their time and monetary investment in a college education.

A college education is always a good idea in today’s world, but an education that focuses on building you up into your major specifically and eliminates the general courses is what I want to see colleges and universities transition to. By the end of a four-year Bachelor’s degree you should feel confident that you have the skills necessary for success in your career, the communication skills for you to expand within your career, and a job lined up ready for you when you walk across that stage.

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