Curriculum Corner

by CoryAnne Harrigan

Many students under the Cornerstone (CS) Curriculum are discovering that their course schedules are tight, due to requirements for their majors/minors and the general education program.

For those of you who have irresolvable scheduling conflicts, the general education directors recommend that you consult with your advisers to determine whether a petition is appropriate.

The registrar’s site has a number of academic forms available to address a variety of needs. For those of you who need to petition for a substitution of a cornerstone requirement, use the form of the same name. This petition is appropriate in cases in which the student has taken a class that meets the academic goals of the requirement, even though the course is not listed under that cornerstone.

Here’s one scenario: Let’s say you have taken two courses-one from history, the other from sociology and criminal justice-that count for CS 6, but you haven’t yet taken a course that fulfills CS 4B. While the course from SCJ would not qualify for CS 4B, the history course legitimately meets the criteria for that requirement.

The student in this scenario would be well advised to petition for the history course to be applied to CS 4B rather than CS 6. In making such a petition, we would advise the student to craft an academic rationale that points out how the class meets the goals of CS 4B. Using the catalog language of the cornerstone in the rationale would help the student make a strong case for this substitution.

Students might also benefit from working with their advisers to determine whether re-declaring their majors/minors would be appropriate, or whether they can request substitutions within their majors/minors.

Because most majors and minors were revised between the 2010-2011 catalog and the current one, some students might find it advantageous to switch to the newer version. If you decide to re-declare, make sure to fill out a “Declaration or Change of Major/Minor” form, also available on the registrar’s website. If instead you want to make a substitution, fill out the “Request for Major/Minor Substitution” form.

Bottom line: Work closely with your academic advisers.