General Education

Why does ETSU require students to take general education courses?

Two Bad Answers

  • Because we said so.

  • Just get these courses out of the way, then you can get involved in your major.

Four Good Answers
  • We want every student who goes to ETSU to achieve certain benefits—gaining critical thinking skills, learning how to communicate and use information technology, understanding themselves and their world better.  General education courses help every student can gain these benefits, regardless of his or her major.

  • Employers know employees need on-the-job training.  But this training is usually technical in nature.  Employers expect the people they hire to be able to speak and listen effectively, write well, and use basic math skills; they expect employees to have a foundation of general knowledge.  Most of all, they expect employees to be able to think for themselves and solve problems.  If you don't have these skills and knowledge, employers will hire—and promote—someone who does.  General education makes you a more competitive job candidate and helps you succeed once you've got the job.

  • Taking general education courses is a good way to learn more about yourself and what you might be interested in majoring in.

  • Successful professionals in every field say they draw on many kinds of knowledge to solve problems and be creative in their work, not just what they learned in their majors.  General education helps you gain this knowledge.