Prerequisite Classes: Why are they necessary?

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MONONGALIA COUNTY, W.Va. (WDTV) - When you get the college many of us have a major and we know generally what we want to do with our life.

But, before really diving into the classes that teach you about whatever your major is, there’s general education classes that just about everyone has to take.

Some think it’s pointless to be paying all this money to attend school and taking classes that have nothing to do with their major.

So when we spoke to some students, did they have that opinion?

“For most of the classes, I would say ‘yes’ (they are pointless), some things like chemistry and biology they’re not exactly common sense classes,” said Victor Beppler a West Virginia University student. “We need to learn more practical things. I know a lot of people come out of college that still don’t know how to budget correctly or don’t even know how to write a check.”

“It makes you more well-rounded and let’s you experience some different things, but maybe once or twice I thought it was pretty pointless,” said Adam Herrick, another WVU student.

“Personally I didn’t think they were pointless at all, but that’s probably because I’m a scholar, so I find knowledge for the sake of knowledge to be interesting in it of itself,” said Adam Payne, another WVU student.

So why are these classes necessary? Why should someone who’s majoring in something like engineering have to take a class on psychology?

Some university officials tell us it’s because these classes make students more well rounded and sometimes even these classes have sparked the interest of a student and it has steered them down a different career path.

“Part of our role is to engage the student into critical thinking and to expose them to the hallmarks of an educated person,” said Sue Day-Perroots, the Associate Provost of Undergraduate Education at WVU. “It’s also a requirement of our accreditation agency, that we actually do offer these courses to help in the overall education. Frankly, otherwise we would be a technical school.”

“I just talked to a student who started out in one major and he said by the time he got to his second year in the major, he knew he really didn’t like it,” said Dr. Chris Lavorata, the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Fairmont State University. “He took a class in a different discipline and he moved over to that and he’s been happy and he graduated.”