Make better use of UCORE requirements

WSU students must take their university-required classes more seriously, should learn course material thoroughly



Some call the homework of UCORE classes busywork, or work intended just to fill a quota somewhere. As trivial as it may seem, this work is important, reinforcing material learned in class or allowing the student to get a hands-on approach.

BRUCE MULMAT, Former Evergreen opinion editor

Pay attention in UCORE classes and make an effort to learn from them, no matter how much they tax your attention span, as it’s critical to being a good student.

They are meant to give you an introduction to college life, expose you to new ideas and make you a more well-rounded person.

UCORE classes are not intended to be busy work for incoming freshman or the seniors who put off them off. UCORE classwork teaches basic professional skills useful for any job.

The assignments in these classes may seem tedious, but they reinforce the skills needed for life after graduation. WSU implemented the junior writing portfolio because employers like The Boeing Company said they would not hire WSU graduates because they didn’t know how to write.

But UCORE is as beneficial during your time here as it is after. Classes that don’t focus on your intended major help you find out what you enjoy.

Some people come into college thinking that they want to become one kind of person but, because of academic counseling and required classes, find other majors more appealing to them.

Tera Simpson, a sophomore history major, found her pursuit through UCORE.

“I had to take History 105 and that kind of jump-started my major switch,” Simpson said. “My TA actually wrote on my research paper that I should be a history major.”

The original intent of higher education was not to force people to become specialists but instead was to provide a comprehensive education for their students. UCORE follows this idea by making sure WSU students have a basic understanding of economics, math, the English language and, essentially, how our world works. A STEM major needs to have communication skills just as much as a humanities major should have a decent grasp of math and science.

“My other UCOREs were just biology and chemistry and stuff,” Simpson said. “They were really helpful.”

These classes can improve GPAs at WSU, but they can ruin them as well. They might not impact GPA as much as in-the-major classes, but if failed, a UCORE class can affect a student’s entire time on campus. People flunk out of school because they can’t put forth the time and energy to focus on classes outside their majors.

There are ways to help yourself from going crazy throughout your mandated classes outside of your major. Join study groups, go to office hours and just ask for help from people who have already taken the class. There is no acceptable excuse for anyone at WSU to fail a UCORE class. A lack of motivation or a hesitance to ask for help is no reason to miss these classes.

Grades mean a lot when you’re going to school. Every class you take is important, so whether you like it or not, you need to invest time in UCORE classes and do even the seemingly arbitrary homework. You are actively wasting hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars a semester if you don’t.