The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

A modest response to an excellent proposal

How would you like your college to be turned into a fast-food restaurant? You’d be in and out, it would cost less money, and the overall experience would be less satisfying too. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

A recent Guilfordian article claimed that three-year colleges are the newest innovation in higher education and that colleges should start making the switch in order to save both students and universities money. With the exception of a few minor problems, such as devaluing the importance of education as an expense, the article makes a strong argument.

Some might say the very idea of three-year college defeats the purpose of a liberal arts education because a liberal arts education aims to produce well-rounded individuals. By pigeonholing people into rigid major tracks as three-year colleges demand, students lose out on the opportunity to learn about a variety of different subjects.

According to the Guilfordian article, “High school is the place for basic courses, but should a biology major have to take English 101? I don’t think so.”

This is a valid point. Sure, biologists write reports on their research, but do they really need an English course to teach them to how to write concisely and form a thesis? I don’t think so.

Granted, you might argue all disciplines are closely related, and that it would be foolish and shortsighted to focus on one subject at the expense of another’s exclusion. Let me put this argument to rest.

What do political science, economics, and sociology have in common other than the fact they all deal with human behavior on a macro level? Absolutely nothing! Should students really spend extra time studying all these extraneous subjects?

Besides, do you think an employer will be interested in someone who can integrate knowledge from several different subjects or someone who graduated a year early? I think the answer is obvious.

The article cinches the case for three-year colleges by stating that, “Forcing students to take too many classes outside of their major is lumbering, uncreative thinking that could cost American colleges the prestige they now enjoy.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. A less expensive college that takes only three years to graduate is what this country is in dire need of. What better way for colleges to remain competitive today than to graduate students as quickly and cheaply as possible?

Detractors would argue that colleges would benefit far more if we reevaluated the usefulness of grades, if we questioned the effectiveness of affirmative action, or if we simply focused on quality of education instead of how long it takes. However, I find these points to be unimportant.

My only major complaint with three-year colleges is that they think too small. In order to best benefit both students and colleges alike, I suggest we adopt the three-month college. It is daring and we’ll need to make sacrifices, such as education and sleep, but I think it’s worth getting a diploma in a shorter amount of time.

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