Online essay help wasteful, not immoral

Though many may not want to acknowledge it, probably the most fundamental problem facing undergraduates is the decision they must make regarding the rest of their lives. While most 18- to 22-year-olds are more concerned with their acne problems or buying the latest Brittany Spears album, few have the requisite experience to wisely choose the contents of a decent undergraduate education.
For too many students, although they carefully choose their course of study, the result is an incomplete foundation that can be irrelevant to their lives upon graduation. The sum of their majors, minors and electives is often just a collection of poorly chosen courses that provide only cursory knowledge of unrelated and esoteric subjects.
The University has done little to alleviate the fact that it is graduating several thousand students each year with only sparse undergraduate educations.
The deficiencies in the school’s liberal education requirements are understandable, but require a solution for those students who desire a thorough and comprehensive education — one that would not only be ideal preparation for graduate school in any subject, but also useful for an understanding of contemporary society.
The University has provided a copious amount of options in recognition of the diverse desires of the large undergraduate population, offering everything from individually designed degrees to medieval studies. But it has not recognized that few undergraduates can discern what the content of their education should be, nor are they prepared to decide on an exclusive course of study, as illustrated by the frequency with which students change their majors.
Considering the fact that choosing the foundation for the rest of your life at age 18 is ludicrous, that few graduate and professional programs require a certain major and that the major is usually only one third of an undergraduate’s courses anyway, the University should create an honors college for ambitious students who understand they don’t have enough experience to decide what they should be learning, but want to be guaranteed that someone who does will provide this guidance.
This honors college would offer a highly structured course of study that would be thorough, comprehensive and contain fewer options for electives. It would be primarily for students who intend to attend graduate school, but who wish to delay a decision about what they want to study until they have had a broad range of instruction in many disciplines.
Because it would provide a broad and thorough undergraduate experience, many disciplines would have to be included. The hard sciences, humanities, social sciences and foreign languages would be the integral components. While there would be some room for electives, the constraints of a four-year program would limit the amount.
The four-year program would be consistent with the University’s requirement of 120 semester credits for graduation, and the assumption that a student would usually take five classes a semester. Thus, eight to 10 classes would be completed each year for four years, for a total of 40 to 50 courses. One possible breakdown could be as follows:
ù One year each of calculus, physics, chemistry and biology for a total of eight courses. The knowledge of all of these subjects is not only necessary for further study in many disciplines, but for a person to achieve a broad understanding of the current topics in each of the subjects. Each must be studied as well because of the interrelation among them.
ù Two years of history, totaling four courses. Historical study is perhaps the most important component because it provides an understanding of the events that have defined the present. These courses would be designed or chosen specifically to provide a thorough summary of important world events and trends.
ù Two years of economics, totaling four classes. The knowledge of economics is important to an understanding of how people interact with goods and services, and the forces that define a person’s ability to acquire items. Any study of economics must include discussion of dissenting ideologies, such as Marxism and socialism, so that students can understand different perspectives.
ù One year of philosophy, totaling two courses. Knowledge of philosophical trends is important to understanding principles of ethics, morals, epistemology and what constitutes truth.
ù One year of literature, totaling two courses. The study of literary traditions and concepts is fundamental to understanding human behavior and communication. Literature is often a supplement to experience and can broaden perspectives, and it is an important medium for humans to express themselves.
ù One year of general humanities, totaling two courses. This would include a thorough background in art, sculpture and architecture.
ù One year of psychology, totaling two courses. Psychology imparts an important understanding of human behavior, increasing emotional intelligence.
ù Two years each of two foreign languages. Because of the increasing interaction between cultures, the ability to communicate is a pragmatic capability, but is also important to the understanding of different cultures and literary traditions.
ù Because of the different levels of preparation of students entering college, the remaining courses necessary for enough credit to graduate would be reserved for electives, so students may explore subjects in which they want more exposure.
The courses included in this plan would have to be carefully selected to meet certain requirements of breadth, depth and objectivity. The University could explore the possibility of providing a five-year program as well, in recognition of the 28 percent five-year graduation rate, the important subjects that were omitted and the neglect of any feasible study abroad program. Perhaps certain area-studies majors could be created as well, with one each for the social sciences, the hard sciences and the humanities.
Creating this type of honors college program would provide motivated students with the most thorough and comprehensive undergraduate degree possible and prevent them from wasting their time in a program selected simply because it was time to choose.
Dan Maruska’s column appears on alternate Fridays. He welcomes comments to [email protected]