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General Education Is Career Education

Education critics often lament the decline of general education or chastise its irrelevance to our students’ futures (Delbanco & Peede, 2020; Mintz, 2020). While liberal arts traditionalists resent that students just want to get their gen-ed courses “out of the way,” many students resent the amount of time general education takes away from major classes and career exploration—the “real” reasons they came to college in the first place (Fain, 2020). In the face of the pandemic, calls for racial justice, and political turmoil, Debra Humphreys reminds us that “the most valuable education over the long term is the one that provides the most marketable combination of specific and general skills.” Today’s undergraduate students need both a broad general education and a strong preparation for career success. Those two objectives occur simultaneously throughout a general education program. We need to do a better job of helping our students understand that fact.

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