G.E. classes treated differently than others

Photo by Jessica Johnson.

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Students and professors can have a skewed view of one another, especially when it comes to general education courses.

The topics can be similar that of high school and are mostly core subjects, a foundation. The difference is in the way a teacher acts toward the class in comparison to how a professor might interact with students. In college, students are said to be treated like adults, like real-life functioning humans who happen to be taking classes.

However, having sat through a few G.E. classes, there have been times when a professor has looked at a class and said, “This isn’t high school anymore,” and continued with a lecture about tardiness, turning in papers, and not showing up to class. The tone tends to be either bored or scolding, depending on the professor.

Now in contrast, classes specific to a major or in an upper division, the professors seem to be more accepting and less harsh on the class. For example, I have had a professor continuously remind the class of a due date on an assignment for possibly weeks. Whereas, the same professor teaching an upper division course says the due date once, maybe twice and then continues on with the class.

It’s an unspoken rule that the student is taking the upper level or major specific class because they want to. G.E. classes are taken because they are a requirement and not necessarily a desire past wanting to graduate.

G.E. classes have always been introductory, but the professors can take them further. Just last week I sat down in my 9 a.m. general education class and listened to a lecture about the college life as if I haven’t been living it for the past year. I have been turning in assignments, studying, attempting to make it to class on time, and suffered the consequences of not acting like an adult in college.

Though G.E courses are required, there’s a way to get around the stigma of professors treating all of their students like freshmen when they teach the class. It can be off-putting and raise a negative attitude in the minds of students and the professor.

Going into a class with an open mind about the class as a student and as a professor would be beneficial to both parties. It will decrease making students feel lectured at and increase productivity on both ends. Simply put, all students need to be treated equally. As most of the students on campus are adults, being treated like an adult even when taking a G.E. course, should be mandatory.

This is not to say that all professors do this, and some may not even know what tone they are using or the effect it may have. However, being treated like a real-life-paying-my-own-bills-adult regardless of the class I’m taking should go without saying.