Head to Head: Should GT1000 be required?

Photo Courtesy of First Gen


by Shashank Singh

I am going to be honest. When I was first registering for classes, I did not think that I needed to take GT1000. However, after attending just three sessions, I am completely convinced that I could not have been more wrong. I feel that for incoming freshmen, GT1000 is one of the best ways to get accustomed to Georgia Tech, everything that it offers, and much more.

Furthermore, it is one of the best resources for self-development, and preparation for life after university and outside campus. The kind of skills you develop here will be of use in all aspects of life even years after graduation.

And make of it what you will. Data has shown that students who took GT1000 in their freshman year, on average, had higher GPAs than those who didn’t.

One of the most obvious advantages of taking GT1000 is the immense help that you get on successfully writing a good résumé. As I was talking with my friends about writing résumés for Career Fairs in the following semesters, I knew I could rely on my GT1000 class to be able to craft a professional résumé.

There is a great emphasis placed on what the students want to get out of the course. In my class, a majority of the students were interested in learning about the resources that are available to us on campus.

There will be résumé writing workshops and sessions, and tips on what to do and not to do in interviews.

The part that I personally find really resourceful is the numerous guest speakers the course hosts. There are speakers from different departments and even from outside campus who talk about a variety of topics, ranging from personal and organizational branding to talks about “Your GT Network” (through the Mentor Jackets Program).

However, the advantages of GT1000 are not only limited to the resources stated above. In addition, you meet people from all different majors and form friendships that can last for a very long time.

In addition to the professors, each section also has Team Leaders (or TLs) who are upperclassmen and work with small groups in the class during activities.

Many of the freshman who start at Georgia Tech are unable to use all the facilities effectively. They do not want to take an additional class thinking that it will be too big of a work load. However, the class is only a one credit hour class, but the experience that you gain from it is invaluable.

Nowhere else will you get such rich opportunities to meet so many different people, see guest speakers from various fields and learn how to build your own professional career. I think that GT1000 should mandatory because not everyone is aware of how truly useful it is, and the best way to find out is to experience it.


by Caleigh Derreberry

The word we need to pay attention to is “mandatory.” GT1000 teaches students some of the skills necessary to function well at Tech. It helps students get acclimated to the culture and rigor of the Institute and is especially useful for learning about the various leadership and community service opportunities available here.

Additionally, specialty GT1000 classes also teach students about different majors and programs, pairing students with faculty members who are involved in these programs. It is one of the most practical courses offered, and while I think all students should take it, I don’t think it should be mandatory.

One of the primary goals of GT1000 is to prepare students for the Institute by teaching them good time management and study skills. This is advantageous for students who did not need to study a lot in high school in order to get good grades or who might not be used to juggling so many different classes.

For people who have entered college with a good idea of their study habits, this aspect of the class isn’t particularly helpful to them and instead only adds an extra hour onto an already difficult work load. Another one of GT1000’s goals is to help familiarize students with Tech and Atlanta.

While this is great for out-of-state students, it is superfluous to people who already have knowledge of both. By making it mandatory for these incoming freshmen to take it, it would allocate a portion of the money they are paying for this university to a class they do not necessarily want or need to take.

Additionally, many freshmen come in to college with an unrealistic idea of how many classes they can handle and end up taking too many hours. Requiring another class would only add more stress to their first crucial semester.

It would also complicate the already tricky registration process, since some incoming freshmen have certain major-specific GT1000 classes they would need to register for, several of which only have a few times offered.

The campus motto lately has been, “You’re at Tech, you can do that,” not “You have to do that.” I think this essentially sums up why GT1000 should not be mandatory. Tech is founded on opportunities and the idea that each person can do as much or as little here as they want. This applies to choosing classes as well; each student gets to create their schedules to fit their own individual needs.

If Tech requires GT1000, it is assuming that all incoming freshmen have the same needs and learning styles, which simply isn’t true. The bottom line is it’s valuable for some students and unnecessary for others. GT1000 should remain the way it is now—strongly encouraged, but ultimately left up to each student to decide whether or not they should take it.