Philosophy and drama should
not be required at the college or university. While these courses are important
for certain disciplines they are not essential to the skills required to make progress in life. College and universities should be focused on strengthening the practical knowledge of their students so
they can graduate and achieve success in the working world; philosophy and drama will not increase this proficiency. Of course, drama and philosophy should be offered as electives, but these courses
should certainly not be required as they present no practical value for the majority of students. Required university courses should always be focused around pragmatism, relevancy and relationship to economic
Of the core, or required
courses, universities should focus on pragmatism. While it is interesting to
study a variety of topics, it is more valuable for the small select group of required classes to enhance skills that will
make students competitive in the working world. In today's society it can be
very difficult to find employment, especially when one is fresh out of college and lacking in experience. Practical courses such as statistical analysis and rhetorical writing are what employers want to see on
a resume. It is the practicality of these core courses that may trump inexperience
and help get recent graduates into the job market which enhances the reputation of the university. Having philosophy and drama will not enhance a resume and it will not convince employers that students
have used their time wisely.
Required college courses
should also be relevant for the knowledge economy the graduates will have to contend with.
All courses should be relevant; students should be able to see how each course will foster skills and create more effective
employees. It is more important to increase proficiency is math, reading and
writing than anything else offered at the collegiate level as these skills are used daily in most work. They are essential and if a university does not require relevant college courses, what message is it sending
to its students? After all it is a university's responsibility to prepare its
students for the working world. Requiring drama and philosophy will be a waste
of time for students who plan to go into nearly any form of business; it is time that could be spent enhancing their knowledge
so that they can take on problems and issues as employees of major companies.
Universities should also
be aware of the needs to the economy and tailor its core courses to match these needs.
In America, we have a successful knowledge-based economy and universities for the most part are aware of this. As a consequence of this awareness, the required courses focus on skills that are essential to success
in a knowledge economy. A university cannot alter the economic landscape. Instead a university must be a "responsive entity" focused on economic trends and
ensuring the core classes directly match these trends. This is how a university
will predict the percentage of graduates that will find employment. If employment
is not gained then students cannot begin to pay back their students loans, thus placing the university at a severe disadvantage.
Of course philosophy and
drama are important. Philosophy fosters higher level thinking skills and forces
students to consider multiple perspectives. Drama enhances the skills necessary
for confident public speaking. However, to require both subjects as part of required
classes will certainly be a waste of time for a lot of students across the United States; it will only detract. Philosophy and drama are elective subjects not
tied to either practicality or relevance. Both subjects have no relationship
to a knowledge economy as both subjects have such a narrow line of employment after graduation.
In conclusion, in the broad
university curriculum philosophy and drama should continue to be offered. However,
required classes should remain focused on the essential. Practical, relevant
and based on economic need should be the three deciding factors universities use in determining what should be relevant and
what should be an elective.