Specialization in Undergraduates

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Brady Brajavich
Specialization: does it belong in higher education? Some say yes, because it creates much more intelligent individuals in their respective fields. Others say no, because without the liberal arts, individuals will lack the necessary skills to succeed in today’s work environment. Both sides have well supported arguments, and often when one begins to think they’ve made a decision on which they agree with, they are swayed the other way. After reading, “Should Undergraduates Specialize?” by Patrick Allit, and, “Liberal Arts: A Practical View.” by Mark Jackson, I have formed my opinion and what I feel like is a suitable answer to the question above. I believe that students should have a choice. If they feel like they’re ready to dive into what they know they want to do, let them. But if the student feels like they aren’t one hundred percent sure, they should be able to take a wide variety of courses that allow them to eventually choose a major to specialize. Patrick Allitt is the author of the essay, “Should Undergraduates Specialize?” In this essay he compares and contrasts his own experiences in college with those of his college-bound daughter. By comparing the two, he provides evidence to his belief that having the option to specialize as an undergraduate will benefit students. This is shown in his conclusion, “Students with the right frame of mind thrive on studying diverse subjects until they’re ready, sometimes at age twenty or older, to make a stronger commitment. But let’s get rid of the idea that liberal arts is for everyone. America’s commitment to equality and to universal education is noble and invigorating. But it shouldn’t mean that one size fits all” (Allitt 7). Here Patrick is summarizing his essay, and essentially says that liberal arts may benefit some students, but there is a certain percentage that would prefer to get busy with their major and specialize. Mark Jackson, a graduate from the University of Cincinnati, thinks that all...
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