The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

'A voice for the voiceless'
Kiley O’Brien ’25, Assistant Features Editor • July 18, 2024
Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

In defense of the General Education Program

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GRAPHIC: CARA HALLIGAN ’25/THE HAWK

As the registration period ends for the fall 2024 semester, some students may be lamenting the number of classes on their schedule only to fulfill a requirement from St. Joe’s General Education Program (GEP). In December 2023, St. Joe’s faculty agreed on a new curriculum that left most general education requirements intact. Some students may be thinking: How will these classes prepare me for a job in the real world? However, having a well-rounded curriculum may be more valuable now than ever before.

In our lifetime, students have been encouraged to focus on developing technical skills deemed in demand, such as coding or software design. Dozens of large universities have slashed funding for liberal arts programs in recent years. Yet, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution is toppling our understanding of what skills are valuable in the workplace. One recent Forbes survey found that executives believe nearly one-half of the skills needed in their companies today will be irrelevant as early as 2025.

We don’t know exactly how our economy will change because of AI. But, we must consider: What skills can AI NOT replace? AI is notoriously weak at ethical decision-making and fails to interpret human emotions, let alone make a human feel valued and appreciated. AI also struggles with critical thinking and understanding context in a conversation. Further, because AI has made disinformation more realistic than ever before, critical thinking is, in turn, needed more than ever before.

The GEP ensures that every student at St. Joe’s can cultivate these skills in the classroom. I empathize with those who may feel academically restricted by the GEP; I myself had to take extra courses to complete a double major while still doing all the GEP classes. But, in the end, a strong GEP curriculum will only make St. Joe’s degrees more valuable and its students more prepared for the new, ever-changing economy.

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