Six Reasons Why General Education Classes Are Important

Posted: April 17, 2023 | Author: Abbie Cochrane | Read Time: 4 minutes

Student at SUUMany students view college as an opportunity to study the things that interest them, and this is true. However, before you start delving into your chosen major, you have to take general education classes. If you’re unfamiliar with what general education classes are, they are core classes across a variety of subjects (think English, math, humanities) that you’re required to take.

At Southern Utah University, there are many course options that help fulfill the general education requirements for each degree. Here are all the required general education areas and more information on why you should take general education courses.

What is General Education

General education courses are pretty straightforward in terms of what courses you are expected to take. In total, you’ll take 12-15 credits of coursework in English, math and American institutions, and 16-20 credits across six other areas.

For Mathematics, any 1000-level class will do, and you get to pick what kind of math you study: statistics, trigonometry, calculus, etc. English and writing are also pretty simple as there are lots of varieties of English 1010 and English 2010 that may pique your interest. And American Institutions is a fancy way of saying American history. With the addition of a class in the Integrated Learning, Fine Arts, Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Life Science, and Physical Science areas, you’ll be one step closer to earning your degree.

Six Reasons Why General Education Classes Are Important

The nice thing about general education courses is once you take them, you never have to worry about them again…if you pass the course. However, don’t think about general education as a requirement, think of it as an opportunity to learn something new and expand your knowledge!

You learn lots of different things.

Think about it: if you’re a science person, you wouldn’t think you need to take an English class, would you? But how are you going to learn to write up research reports for your future career if you don’t have that additional writing experience in an academic setting? Besides, there are plenty of gen ed courses that can correspond to your major, even in the smallest way. General education courses allow for exploration of potential fields of focused study, as well as hobbies. Ask yourself what areas you haven’t explored yet.

They’re not extremely difficult.

Most of the general education courses you’ll take aren’t as hard as the more in-depth ones that people in that given field will have to take. General education courses are just to make sure you know enough of the basics that you could pass an exam, but you never know what you could discover.

Opportunity to build meaningful relationships.

Often, the people in your major are the ones you become close with, but the people in your gen ed classes are often people you wouldn’t have had the chance to meet if you hadn’t taken the class. By taking gen ed courses, you get to know students and professors outside of your major, which creates diversity of thought in your social circle. These connections can help you think about topics/content in new ways.

You may discover a new passion.

You never know what class will unlock a new hobby or passion. Many students have completely changed their major and career outlook because of a gen ed course that they took and loved. If a subject outside your major doesn’t spark enough interest, you at least gain a holistic approach and appreciation for things such as fine arts, sciences, humanities, etc.

You become equipped with job skills employers look for.

General education courses are preparation for any career. You become familiar with NACE Competencies/ Career Building, collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and team-building skills. You get the opportunity to learn what employers actually look for. Not to mention that taking gen eds can help your resume look well-rounded and developed to employers. People want to hire people with a lot of skills instead of a single specialty–you don’t have to be particularly great at everything, just good enough to get the job done.

You learn key skills that are applicable outside the workplace.

Critical thinking and communication are just two of the many skills you will learn in a gen ed class that can benefit you outside the classroom and the workplace. These skills can benefit your relationships, your financial wellness, mental health, and so many other areas of your life. General education classes offer opportunities to learn and develop these societal skills and allow you to cultivate them so you are more ready for life after graduation.

There are so many other reasons why general education courses are a good choice for college students. Use this time to explore and learn before you fully dive into your major.

If you are in high school, you might consider completing your general education classes early on by taking Advanced Placement and Concurrent Enrollment courses while in high school. Talk to your school counselor about your options.

For current SUU students, visit the SUU Course Catalog to see what general education courses are available to you, or talk to your academic advisor.

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