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Old 11-11-2022, 03:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rabbit33 View Post
Until you get past the first three years of working and instead of being handed problems where someone else has already set it up for you to plug-and-chug, you find YOU have to identify the nature of the problem, the tools required to solve it, the boundary conditions, etc., etc., and then YOU have to evaluate whether the results you're getting make any sense or not. Looking up equations won't help you if you don't understand when the equations apply and when they don't.
If you find yourself in a job that requires high technical skills and analysis and you decide that you can handle it and it's something you want to take on, then you go back to school THEN and take the classes you need.
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Old 11-11-2022, 03:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tnff View Post

You answered your own question way too soon. I'm always interested in other's thoughts. I may not agree, but always interested. May need to take it to a different forum for CD rules but go for it.
Just for one, it should be easier for people to switch careers. I mean, it's doable but it takes a lot of effort, and sometimes expensive degrees and making the right choices.

People are more productive and better teammates I feel when it's not a 35 year grind. When you're faced with that, you look for the easy way out.
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Old 11-11-2022, 03:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jobaba View Post
Just for one, it should be easier for people to switch careers. I mean, it's doable but it takes a lot of effort, and sometimes expensive degrees and making the right choices.

People are more productive and better teammates I feel when it's not a 35 year grind. When you're faced with that, you look for the easy way out.
I think a couple of the biggest limitations on switching careers are:

a. having to cycle back to the beginning to start over learning the new field

and

b. no credit for the maturity and life learning that a 45-year-old (for example) has that a 22-year-old didn't.

The second statement, I'm not sure if you meant it as a continuation of the first, or a separate topic. Perhaps if folks weren't looking for an easy way out, it wouldn't be a 35-year grind. And most of the things that make it a grind are going to be present in any job -- management, processes that make no sense, TPS reports, coworkers, etc.
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Old 11-11-2022, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA
7,036 posts, read 6,115,612 times
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It depends on what you mean by "useful". If you mean useful in a career, then maybe not. But useful in life, maybe so.

If you take a course in Art History, or Greek Mythology, or Shakespeare maybe later on in life you'll catch a reference in a random movie or book and you'll "get it". That happens to me all the time (sometimes with pop-culture and not always classical references) and it gives me enjoyment to get the joke or the reference.
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Old 11-11-2022, 05:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tnff View Post
I do agree with much of what you say, but have a couple of questions/discussion items.

Learning how to learn. That's such an important item, yet we see that all too often kids enter college without knowing how to learn. Would we, as a society including both college bound and non college bound, be better off if kids learned how to learn in high school? Are we hampering our kids by not learning that skill until college?

The second point, is why do we need the gen eds/liberal arts type classes to do that learning? I see that concept presented often here on CD. Can folks not learn how to learn in courses related to their specific interest/degree program? Why does someone only learn how to learn only in a gen ed or liberal arts class but not in astronomy or biology or engineering or economics? Why do they only learn how to write papers in a literature class and not in a physics class?

That's an argument I've been unable to reconcile in my mind.
I don’t think we’re hampering the skill. In earlier generations, you often had two paths to a career- either by schooling or an apprenticeship. I think that even today, for any skilled job you are expected to do one or the other. A person who wants to become a plumber, electrician, or pipefitter can look into apprentice opportunities through the local union. In many cases, the training period for these jobs is not that much different than college.

As for general ed, it’s required for everyone. My best friend majored in biology and minored in French, for example. I majored in English/history and still had to take math and science classes. We also had an “intensive writing” requirement that could be obtained through any course that required people to do long-form writing. I think you could get it in a variety of courses. It was not limited, likely because writing something about research in psychology is different than writing a paper about literature or creating a business proposal in the business school.
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Old 11-11-2022, 08:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RamenAddict View Post
I don’t think we’re hampering the skill. In earlier generations, you often had two paths to a career- either by schooling or an apprenticeship. I think that even today, for any skilled job you are expected to do one or the other. A person who wants to become a plumber, electrician, or pipefitter can look into apprentice opportunities through the local union. In many cases, the training period for these jobs is not that much different than college.

As for general ed, it’s required for everyone. My best friend majored in biology and minored in French, for example. I majored in English/history and still had to take math and science classes. We also had an “intensive writing” requirement that could be obtained through any course that required people to do long-form writing. I think you could get it in a variety of courses. It was not limited, likely because writing something about research in psychology is different than writing a paper about literature or creating a business proposal in the business school.
My question is "should it be required?" What is being learned in freshman English, for example, that shouldn't have already been learned in high school English? I can understand those who major in a subject getting deeper, but at the gen ed level is why? Same thing for math. I can understand those going into a subject requiring it, getting a deeper dive, but does it help the English majors?

How much of gen ed is just a holdover from how college was set up in earlier times?
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Old 11-11-2022, 09:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
My question is "should it be required?" What is being learned in freshman English, for example, that shouldn't have already been learned in high school English? I can understand those who major in a subject getting deeper, but at the gen ed level is why? Same thing for math. I can understand those going into a subject requiring it, getting a deeper dive, but does it help the English majors?

How much of gen ed is just a holdover from how college was set up in earlier times?
Math is required for all majors because you need math to do research. Especially statistics, which is based on calculus, linear algebra and probability.

English is required because you need to be able read, interpret, add your own findings as you put together your research.

Not all high schools are the same so there's no way to guarantee that those who completed high school have the level of math and english required to succeed in a college career. That being said, a high school student can take AP exams to test out of having to take these classes in college.
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Old 11-11-2022, 11:53 PM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
8,496 posts, read 11,135,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
I posted this in the thread on GPA, but thought it deserved it's own.





I know it kind of happens on an ad hoc basis as individuals build their own programs. But many colleges, such as the ones both my kids attended, only allow so many credits and/or require students to substitute in other courses for the ones they got credit for.

Rather, what if we formalized the structure so that students could take a defined program in high school (defined so that it's common and accepted in all colleges) that meets their gen ed requirements. Someone can correct my here if I'm misunderstanding, but somewhat like the British "A levels". Upon successful completion of this program, those students would only need three years of college. Considering student debt, that's a huge savings.

It could also function as an incentive to students and parents: If you pass this program, college is only three years but if you don't pass this program, or just take regular classes, college will be four years.
Both of my children completed college/university in 3 years. They both had AP and dual college credits and were passed out of other general courses by their university. One started as a sophomore. The other started as a second semester sophomore. A system for doing what you suggest is already in place in many universities via AP credits, dual credits or university testing.

The problem with your suggestion is that every single school system in the U.S. is different. Every single college/university has different requirements. School districts are one of the last localized bureaucracies that exist. A national system is a dream.
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Old 11-12-2022, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
20,106 posts, read 10,723,427 times
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What is "General Ed"? A non specific degree of just the basic of "reading, writing, and arithmetic"? When I was in the merchant marine, that was the kind of degree we were looking at (oh, there was a little specification here or there) because the main emphasis was getting that maritime licence as a 3rd mate or engineer.

Is it the type of degree where you build your own? It sound like the Interdisciplinary Masters I started out in, trying to an environment & CJ one.....and switched to the MSCJ in a semester. The two main problems as I recall, over a score ago, was there was not enough room for what I wanted vs what they wanted and that since we all came from different walks of life, there was no comraderie. A third problem might have been was one's individual degree tailored to what the industry wanted?

Long story on comraderie, maybe it is just me, but college really drags when you feel like you are absolutely going at it alone.
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Old 11-12-2022, 09:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TamaraSavannah View Post
What is "General Ed"? A non specific degree of just the basic of "reading, writing, and arithmetic"? When I was in the merchant marine, that was the kind of degree we were looking at (oh, there was a little specification here or there) because the main emphasis was getting that maritime licence as a 3rd mate or engineer.

Is it the type of degree where you build your own? It sound like the Interdisciplinary Masters I started out in, trying to an environment & CJ one.....and switched to the MSCJ in a semester. The two main problems as I recall, over a score ago, was there was not enough room for what I wanted vs what they wanted and that since we all came from different walks of life, there was no comraderie. A third problem might have been was one's individual degree tailored to what the industry wanted?

Long story on comraderie, maybe it is just me, but college really drags when you feel like you are absolutely going at it alone.
Gen Eds is the generic term for those pretty standard set of courses most students have to take regardless of which college they are attending and which degree they plan to major in. The courses you have to get out of the way before you can do the ones you're there for and basically a repeat of what should have been learned in high school. Usually includes some mix of English, Lit, History, basic math, basic science, and perhaps a foreign language. Perhaps some minor differences but nothing significant.
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