Here's How a General Education Program (GEP) Benefits you

Picture this. You’re getting ready to sign up for a university degree, so you start to do a little self-introspection. Here, you factor in two things: your natural aptitudes and your personal inclinations. Say, for instance, you might be top of the class in mathematics and physics, and in your free time, you love tinkering with whatever tech you can get your hands on. So, you decide to major in engineering.

Or maybe, you can roll your tongue on the “R” like a real Spaniard or get that glottal “H” like a proper Frenchman, and you simply love fiction and translation. So, you go for linguistics or literature.

You complete the whole application procedure, settle into university, and you’ve got your life laid out for the following four years to come.

Or do you?

Putting GEP Knowledge into Practice after Graduation

If we’re going to tackle this question, let’s get started by fast forwarding to about four years after your enrollment at university -- that is, after graduation. Whether you’re going for a corporate role or you want to spearhead your own venture, nowadays you need to be somewhat of a jack of all trades in your understanding of things. That is, when programmers or web designers you work with come up to you throwing high-flying tech jargon, you need to be able to make some sense of what they’re saying. Otherwise, even if you haven’t majored in business, if the opportunity for a lucrative business deal presents itself, you need to know the ins and outs of such matters, and you have to tune in to communicate your thoughts coherently.

How about after the business deal is done? Maybe, you hit the snazziest restaurant in town with your new business buddies and the subject soon turns to the collection of Victorian art temporarily on display at the municipal museum. Can you handle the heat?

Here’s another one: You’re setting up your own blog about healthy dieting and you want to go commercial but you can’t afford an accountant to do all the bookkeeping for you from the get-go. Can you manage that? Or more simply, why shouldn’t you have ample knowledge and be up to date with different trends that allow you to pick up an authoritative magazine or newspaper and be able to read articles about business, tech innovation, culture, or politics, with a sufficient degree of understanding?

One particular area where many students across different departments tend to fall short is simply in writing. And in this case, you don’t even have to wait until university is over to see the cracks spreading. Regardless of what your area of specialization, you’ll find yourself writing reports and assignments on a regular basis. At this point, you might want to ask yourself a few rhetorical questions such as:; “How well can I structure an essay?”, “How confident am I in my ability to express my thoughts coherently and cogently in writing?”, “Do I understand the different standards for formatting and can I provide citations and a bibliography that adheres to these standards?” The area of GEP concerned with this helps you sharpen the right tools to make sure you go to your major well-equipped.

GEP as a Key Towards Positive Mental Habits and Globalization

On the surface, it may seem like all GEP does is pack your brain with an overwhelming bulk of information covering a wide range of topics. As far as a satisfactory general education in liberal arts is concerned, the student gets to touch a considerable number of knowledge cornerstones after all. But this answer is only skin deep and the aim behind it goes a lot deeper than that. What the students want to walk away with, even before their degree is over, is a positive mental habit. This mental habit is one that nudges the students to use a spectrum of methods of inquiry to ask questions that will lead them to honing critical and practical abilities, regardless of whether they’re engaging in quantitative reasoning, global cultures, cultural diversity, ethics or leadership.

On the note of global cultures and cultural diversity, it’s no news that we’re living unprecedented times in terms of globalization. Almost anywhere you go, there’s such a cross-over of cultures and coming together of different identities and groups that the idea of community is always being pumped with new meaning. GEP is a way of taking proactive steps towards preparing students for this. With both experts and students from different departments as well as walks of life bringing to the table of discussion different approaches, everyone gets to tap into this pool. Students will have to take into consideration different standpoints and perspectives. By countering their own views with ones fostered in different settings and environments, all the while keeping a receptive and conscientious attitude, their outlook will grow into a more mature one.

Once you’ve worked your way through the GEP, which typically occupies the first part of your studies at AUM, you’ll be ready to make more well-informed choices, both regarding your major as well as in several other areas in your life. And with the deceptively wide gap between high school and university life now bridged, you now have the right tools of the trade to help you navigate your way through to graduation and beyond into your future career.