The idea of requiring classes like Life Wellness is to fill out the liberal arts college experience. EMU is a liberal arts college; on the EMU website, they claim that the value of a liberal arts education is preparation for life.
This goal is good; EMU should be preparing students for life.
The Life Wellness requirement may prepare a few students for life, but for most students the class is too elementary. It can be a detriment to the college experience.
Life Wellness is an important course to offer as a normal elective, but requiring the class takes it too far.
While there should be opportunities for students to learn in a non- academic setting about how to make a personal growth plan and a fitness plan, and students should have the opportunity to become accustomed to the weight room (which can be intimidating), these needs are not best met in a required course.
The course is well-intentioned and it may have once fulfilled a need in our core curriculum, but that time has passed.
The content of the course is basic and has already been covered in middle school or high school.
Because it is a college course, it attempts to take on the appearance of something actually ‘academic.’ In reality, the course is simply not academic — which is acceptable, but it should not pretend to be.
Students in the class intrinsically motivated to work out can do so without the structure of Life Wellness. Students in the class who are not interested in working out can choose to do nothing, without consequence.
There is no accountability to the ‘homework,’ no way to make sure students are actually using the opportunity to care for their personal wellness. Why require something ineffective for many students?
While exercise is helpful, opportunities for exercising should be provided by something other than a for-credit class structure.
Ironically, one of my assignments for Life Wellness is a personal growth plan that is supposed to help me improve my sleeping patterns, restfulness, and energy levels.
An additional two credit course, and all of the time commitment that comes with it, is not an effective way to improve my sleeping patterns. I have less time in my day to sleep because of Life Wellness.
The idea of having a wellness course is not necessarily a bad idea, but can EMU administrator’s guarantee that Life Wellness is the best use of two credit hours of student time?
The answer is no— it may be helpful to some, but the class is definitely not helpful to many people. For this reason, it is time to reconsider requiring Life Wellness as a part of our core curriculum.
-Seth Stauffer, Contributing Writer
Tags: Seth Stauffer