General education requirements at the University of La Verne have been revised. Incoming freshmen will no longer be required to take all of the Core classes that have been mandatory in the past. And each department has set its own guidelines for foreign language requirements for its own majors.
These new students will be missing out on learning opportunities by virtue of the fact that certain classes are no longer required.
Core classes are time-consuming and many students gripe about having to take them, but overall, they provide valuable learning experiences.
Although this gives incoming students more elective opportunities, they will not necessarily have the rich academic experiences their predecessors had.
Critical Thinking, for example, is one of the Core classes that challenge students to really think about how they process information and how they express that information and how to argue effectively in a logical way.
Another valuable class is International/Intercultural Experience, which sends students out to learn about a culture different from their own.
Students have to immerse themselves in another culture and present a project about that culture at the end of the semester.
These classes help students grow and look at the world in a way they may have never done without such an experience.
Foreign language classes have much to offer and incoming freshmen will miss out on a key learning experience without them.
Learning another language is not easy and can be a challenge, but with the world we live in now, it is extremely important that graduating students have a better understanding of the world than they did as freshmen.
California, for example, is a place known for its diversity. There are many nationalities present and many languages are spoken in California.
If students do not master the language they learn, they may at least walk away with a greater appreciation for that particular language and culture to which it belongs.
Traveling abroad is also another great reason that all students should be required to take foreign language classes.
Even though many of the countries students visit in Europe do speak English, how does that help the student learn? There is an added bonus in being able to converse in their native tongues.
College is about learning and not the kind that is temporary like cramming before a test. Learning in college is a life-altering experience.
The few years we spend at ULV should help us to understand the world around us and ultimately learn about ourselves.
This may sound cliché, but this is a time to discover yourself and what you stand for.
When you graduate from ULV it may be scary, but at least you know where you stand and what you stand for.
And while all of those Core classes and foreign language classes may seem like a waste of time or some form of punishment, chances are you walk away with knowledge that will stick for a lifetime.