Quinnipiac should cut down on core courses

By on November 10, 2004

It seems as if school just resumed for fall, but yet it is time already for course registration for next semester. As a second-semester junior and communications major, I was expecting to take a wealth of journalism courses next semester to prepare me for internship and employment positions in my field in the near future. In actuality, upon meeting with my advisor, I discovered there were still a healthy amount of core curriculum requirements necessary to be fulfilled as per the university’s requirements for graduation.

I can fully understand the school’s philosophy of encouraging students to have a well-rounded background, but after three years of enrolling in a required course-load of classes that had virtually little to nothing to do with my major, I am slightly fed up. My family has contributed approximately $67,500 thus far (tuition of $22, 500 annually) to Quinnipiac University for me to have taken a total of five journalism-related courses in conjunction with my major.

Money is, without a doubt, necessary to achieve an upper-echelon education at a top college, but when that education includes taking courses that will most likely not impact me later in life, it makes it hard to continue to write checks to finance my education.

I have no problem with QU requiring half a dozen courses in disciplines outside of a student’s major, as subjects like economics and history can improve anyone’s intellectual capacity to hold an everyday conversation on current events, or balance a checkbook. The issue becomes a problem when a typical course-load includes two and three courses for each outside discipline, including science, philosophy and art, for example.

If I am not going to become a scientist, is it truly necessary for me to take eight credits of a science when I could be applying those credits to my major, and possibly learn skills to help me get a job in my field?

Some schools under the university umbrella, including the School of Communications, require students to declare a minor, and take 18 credits within that minor. Sounds easy, right? When the catch is discovered that said minor cannot be from the School of Communications, the course conundrum continues, as students need to fit in an additional six classes into their schedule, ultimately adding to the list of non-major specific courses. When course registration is completed in a few short weeks, there will undoubtedly be a handful of students who are unable to take required major classes because their spot was taken by a student from another major completing a core curriculum requirement.

For a university that prides itself on educating students who “possess an educational foundation for continued growth and development in a changing world of diverse cultures and people,” Quinnipiac should allow students to take courses that will assist them in finding a career so to continue said growth and development.

Despite rumors of change and improvement in the core curriculum at Quinnipiac, the reality is that students are spending money on too many irrelevant courses. A simple restructuring of the curriculum could result in a student who graduates with a better understanding of their field. At that time, QU could really say that they graduate students who are fully prepared to enter the workforce.

This is not meant to say that the professors who teach the core curriculum classes do not do a great job; in fact some of my favorite professors have come from those core classes. On the path to becoming a well-rounded student, I am forced to make a decision on which two or three journalism classes to take out of an offered dozen.

Why now, when the classes actually related to a major, are students forced to choose? If a motivated student is excited to broaden their knowledge of their field, the school should do nothing but encourage them to progress in their studies, not make them afraid of not graduating because they missed out on a required art or math class.


About Allison Corneau