Tuesday, February 24, 2009

MRC - MRU - High School

Mount Royal College is currently on a kick to become a university. Why? I have no idea. I mean, the reason I went there was because it's not a university. I like my school for it's small class sizes, tiny campus, and personal approach to education. You're professors are not researchers, they are teachers. They can actually teach (most of the time). So I am a little leery of Mount Royal becoming a university. Why get rid of the things that make you different to become as impersonal as every other post-secondary institution?

Despite my fears, last year I chose to switch from my applied degree to a full communications degree. Though I originally came to Mount Royal for the hands on approach of the applied degree, somethings my favourite professor Ron said really stuck with me. Among them, the ideas that I don't know what I'll be doing five years down the road, and I may as well get as much education as possible. I figured why not? A Bachelor of Communications can open so many doors, and I can learn about my other interests besides journalism more easily with a BCmm. Or, so I thought.

As part of their implementation of the bachelor degrees, Mount Royal came up with the genius idea to make all degree students fulfill some general education requirements. The theory behind this idea is that if we fulfill these requirements, we will be better educated, well-rounded individuals. Still sound pretty good? Meet the Geneds:

Values, Beliefs and Identity
Community and Society
Numeracy and Scientific Literacy

Okay, you may think those still sound awesome, even if I'm not jazzed about Numeracy (I did after all, throw a party after my Math 30 diploma) but hold off on your judgement for a second. To complete your degree at Mount Royal, you must complete a foundation level course in each of these areas, a level two, and a level three in two of them.

The foundations are the ones that really bother me. They're so basic you'd expect to see them in jr. high. Like the one I'm taking right now for my Values, Beliefs and Identity requirement is called The Performing Arts in Popular Culture. It sounds like an easy course, if not a bit lame, but it's all about the 1960's. 

Why the chose that decade, I have no idea. Apparently memorizing "I have a dream" and being familiar with Dr. Strangelove is essential for my overall education. Cause heaven forbid my boss may one day pull me aside and demand that I tell him about the fashions of the 60's. Forget Google, if I don't pass my 60's class, I'm doomed.

And here's another one, next semester, I get to to take my foundation for my Communication cluster. The exciting choices are Writing for the Professions (in which they teach you how to write memos) or Critical Reading and Writing (basic English course on how to write an essay). I'M IN PROFESSIONAL WRITING SCHOOL! Why do I need to go back now and take writing for dummies?

I think some of these courses would actually be very helpful for kids coming right out of high school cause what they mostly do is teach students how to learn at a university level. But come on, I've been here for two years. I think I know what I'm doing now.

I find it interesting, that in MRC's attempts to reach a higher level of education they are now sinking lower and resembling the very worst parts of high school and jr. high.