Lab science requirements are too much

by   Posted on April 26th, 2010 in Opinion

By Martin Lemaitre

University and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) lab science requirements drive students senselessly far away from their interests.

As we all know, it is crucial that we get a diverse education during our college careers, meaning that we get some insight into all kinds of different courses that might be useful tools at some point in our lives. That is why every university and college has a set of general education requirements for the students to take no matter what their major may be. I happen to be a student in the CHSS, where those requirements are naturally present in the curriculum.

However, when I transferred to George Mason University last fall, there was something specific within this curriculum that caught my attention — the eight credits of Laboratory Sciences. I completely understand that every student should take one lab science course in college (four credits) to gain some general knowledge, but eight credits? Are those really necessary? The university alone requires seven credits for all students, which is still a lot for people who do not plan to major in science-related fields.

As a communication major who aspires to one day work in the television and film industries, or in the printed media industry, I do not see how taking two long lab courses of studying the stars and planets is going to help me at all. I certainly did enjoy my first lab science course because it was something completely new to me, but the second one was just a bit of a stretch, which became a dead end routine that I know I have to complete in order to graduate.

Some people might argue that science is important in every field. I do not disagree, as long as this scientific knowledge is general and informative. Having to go deeper into scientific studies after having taken one lab science course can be interesting to some, but completely burdensome to others. This is why the option of continuing to explore science should be left as an elective option after four credits have been completed.

As far as I am aware, the CHSS is composed of exactly that: majors that encompass the studies of human sciences, not laboratory sciences. I am quite sure that I speak for many students at this college when I say that the eight credit requirement (and also the university’s seven credit requirement) can be unnecessary and only force students to pay a lot of money for credits they do not really need. I want to reiterate that I am not against having a broad set of courses for all students to take regardless of their majors, but I do believe that these should be reanalyzed based on their usefulness according to the different colleges that students belong to.

This would help students to save time, money and maybe even allow them to explore other kinds of courses that broaden their insight into different fields, which is what college provides to everyone. Getting students closer to their personal interests, while tasting different fields, is important.

Preventing students from being insightful because they are stuck in repetitive requirements that are likely to not be taken seriously, and that they might just pass to get a grade without any actual learning intentions — is that what we came here for?

Martin Lemaitre
Sophomore
Communication



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