Letter to the Editor: Academic Transformation

To the Editor,

The long promised academic transformation is finally upon us. Next semester new, “enhanced,” four credit courses will begin to be phased in, and gradually replace the current three credit courses.

In the English department the transition is beginning with lower-level, required courses such as British Literature and SHOTEL are available only as 4 credit classes. This presents a serious problem for upperclassmen who still need to fill these requirements, particularly education majors who often need to take the full load of 18 credits. Faculty members have promised that students needing those courses will be signed into the 4-credit version if necessary. This means that an upperclassman who only needs one enhanced course could end up with 19 credits for the semester.

I am not opposed to an enhanced learning experience, but it seems unfair. Enhanced courses will not benefit students if they inflict the stress of nineteen credits per semester. The extra workload may take away from study time for other classes and hinder, not enhance, the learning experience. The new course system is supposed to be about quality of classes, not quantity, so forcing students to take 19 credits seems contrary to that goal.

It is the responsibility of The College to provide both 3 and 4 credit classes to ensure that the transition period will not harm upperclassmen. If it is impossible to run simultaneous sections of 3 and 4 credit classes, then the professor running the 4 credit class could adjust the workload for any students who need to take the 3 credit version. Our control sheets constitute a promise on the part of The College, a promise that we will have to meet certain requirements in order to graduate. My control sheet is designed around the three-credit system, and I am disappointed that this promise is not being honored.

Lauren LeBano