January 24, 2014
The Tyranny of the College Major

The American bachelor’s degree has over the last 150 years become centered on specializations, majors, each student’s home department.  General Education, the classes each student must take outside of the major, is still part of every degree—but it has become weaker and unfocused, disrespected and eroded.  The degree has not gotten tougher as the world has gotten tougher. Instead, legislators and administrators have simplified the degree into lists of outcomes, efficiency initiatives, graduation targets, and courses that can double count for more than one requirement. 
It is past time we re-examine, strengthen, and add to the bachelor’s degree.  General Education could and should do so much more than it does. 
Read more. [Image: Elaine Thompson/AP Images]

The Tyranny of the College Major

The American bachelor’s degree has over the last 150 years become centered on specializations, majors, each student’s home department.  General Education, the classes each student must take outside of the major, is still part of every degree—but it has become weaker and unfocused, disrespected and eroded.  The degree has not gotten tougher as the world has gotten tougher. Instead, legislators and administrators have simplified the degree into lists of outcomes, efficiency initiatives, graduation targets, and courses that can double count for more than one requirement. 

It is past time we re-examine, strengthen, and add to the bachelor’s degree.  General Education could and should do so much more than it does.

Read more. [Image: Elaine Thompson/AP Images]

  1. bendoughertycincinnati reblogged this from theatlantic
  2. laurarunner reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Maybe college should also be cheaper then students would feel more freedom to explore more classes outside of their...
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  11. yakotta reblogged this from activistaabsentee and added:
    I totally agree with this. A lot of people in my major (physics) end up doubling with either math or astro because it’s...
  12. g-no-mon reblogged this from theatlantic
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  14. miscreantrose reblogged this from ladyetiquette1 and added:
    EXACTLY!!! And, duh, yes, forgot the foreign language. Of course I chose Latin to avoid language lab, but you can never...
  15. ladyetiquette1 reblogged this from miscreantrose and added:
    So good to hear. My degree is in English with a minor in Art History, but I also had to complete courses in science,...
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