Opinions

Academia shouldn’t come before education

 

photo of the writer of this opinion Joshua Bowling
Joshua Bowling
Mesa Legend

I declared myself a Journalism major the first day I went into advisement. Why, then, do I need to partake in the self-congratulatory rigamarole that we call college?  For many, college becomes a place to sit in an ivory tower, removed from reality.  Those in their lofty bungalows get the chance to navel gaze and exist in a world which is not even a remote comparison to real life.

The game of education has morphed. It is not simply about getting someone their degree and into the field of their choice.   Rather, it is about retaining those deemed “good students,” and disposing of the “bad students.”  Someone going into a STEM program, for example, should have no need for English 101, or Sociology.  That is not what their course requirements say, though.  In my opinion, we would see a much more efficient education system if we allowed students to dive right into their practice, much like those attaining a certificate get to do.

School takes a great deal of time, so eliminating the unnecessary parts of education – which should be, more aptly, called academia – would result in a much more enjoyable process for all involved.  A student who takes 12 credit hours is supposed to have 12 hours of classroom time every week. Well, an extra two hours  of homework are expected every week for each credit hour.   Suddenly, the student is faced with 36 hours of work.   That’s the same workload as a full-time job.

What happens then when the student works a job outside of school as well? Even if it’s a part-time job that places more work on the student.  Take required extracurricular activities and place that on top of the burgeoning workload with which the student is faced.  These activities are often strongly encouraged by students and professors alike.   There is almost nothing academic about these activities, however.  These activities are little more than clubs which serve the purpose of social mixers, not furthering anyone’s intelligence, but simply making sure they get to know their fellow students and attempt to have fun in the process.

For those looking to branch out and meet new people, try new things, college is a wonderland.   For those looking to achieve an education and stable future, however, college can leave much to be desired.  Though it is not necessary, academia often comes at the expense of education.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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