Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Paying for the same class twice or more? Why course redundancy needs to be addressed.

Imagine this: you are given a required list of classes to take throughout your whole undergraduate time in college. The list seems reasonable enough, after all, there is not much a student can do to dodge the requirements.If they did, they wouldn’t graduate. However, when these classes are taken, a realization kicks in that you feel like you’ve already learned this material in another class. This is not a case of a class simply reviewing content for a few days or a week either; rather, it is like learning content you have already been taught not too long ago.  

Welcome to the issue of course redundancy.

The premise is simple. You take a class one semester, and suddenly a different class you take another semester is just like one you have already taken. Still, can it be argued that it is up to the student in terms of what classes they take?

Yes, but also no.

Remember, there is a long list of required classes that a student in each major can refer to so they’re aware of the progress they have made towards their degree. Again, this is a given. What is not a given is the limitations put in place on what classes can be taken, whether those be core classes or electives. Those in the digital journalism program have a list of “approved core theme courses,” which state exactly what options are available when making a course schedule. The list seems plentiful; 127 different courses to choose from is not exactly a small number by any means. However, in my experience, this hard requirement made suddenly having to add a new course in the first week of the semester extremely difficult – there were maybe eight classes that I could have taken, but only one fit in my schedule: an 8 a.m. class. The sad part is that there were several courses that would’ve fit a core requirement such as taking an “understand people” or “appreciate the arts” class, but, since they were not on the list of approved core classes, I and any other digital journalism students are locked out of those classes. Sure, we can possibly still try and register, but it’s anybody’s guess if they would either be approved or even count for credits.

That is not something worth gambling over.

Yet, with this hard requirement of what classes we are allowed to take, we still run into the issue of classes that feel almost identical. There is no reason why a 400-level class should feel as though it takes the same amount of critical thinking skills to pass a 100-level class. There is no reason why a class should review content that every student is already proficient in for multiple weeks at a time.

Most importantly, there is no reason why two classes should be required if they are fundamentally identical.

While I am aware that I still have time left in my undergraduate studies here, I should not already be asking myself why I’m even required to take a class because everything we have gone over was discussed in a class I had the year before. Reviewing is only effective for so long; eventually, learning the same thing twice in such a short time just makes content stale. If specific classes are required to get through one’s degree, then it should be a given that they will not just slow a student down on the path to getting their degree. That is not enriching or productive.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Point Park Globe Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *