New curriculum waves in new fee policy

by Tyler Utzka

With the new curriculum starting this fall, concerns about an overload of credit hours has risen.

The normal course load for students will be four courses each semester, typically at four credits per course.

Vice President and academic dean Steve Griffith explains.

“This means that a normal load for full-time traditional students will be 16 credits,” Griffith said. “Students will get to take an additional 3 credits (for a total of 19 credits) as part of the normal full load tuition fee each semester without extra charge.”

Students will be allowed to take four regular courses along with some partial credit activity without any extra charge.

“If a student wants to add additional partial credit courses above the 19 credits allowed as part of the full-time tuition fee, that student will be charged $715 per credit,” Griffith said. “If, in the other hand, a student wishes to take a fifth four-credit course, that student will be charged $715 per credit for a total of $2,860.”

CoryAnne Harrigan, associate professor of English, knows of only one overload exempt course.

“The only classes that will be overload exempt are music lessons,” Harrigan said. “Since students already pay a separate fee for those.”

Griffith explains the reason for the change.

“In conversations about our new curriculum, there was consensus that we should have our student go deeper into fewer subjects than in the current curriculum,” Griffith said. “Deeper learning takes more work. By having the normal load at four courses per semester, it will allow students and faculty more time to go into more depth in the course material.”

Allowing 19 credits to be included in the full-time tuition rate recognizes that students participate in partial credit activities on top of their normal course load.

“This policy is designed to discourage students from taking too many classes in a single semester,” Harrigan said.

This also brings costs down for active students.

“This way most students in most semesters won’t have to pay extra to be involved in most activities,” Griffith said.

If a student feels that they need to take on a fifth course in order to graduate on time they should meet with their adviser. If decided that another course is necessary the student may then petition.

“There is a ‘Request to Waive an Overload Fee’ form available on the registrar’s site under the ‘Academic Forms’ link,” Harrigan said.

Freshman Morgan Fleener finds it unfair to ask permission from your adviser.

“I feel it is unfair for students having to ask for permission by their adviser,” Fleener said. “Students should be able to take five classes still if they are comfortable with it.”

Confusion and misunderstandings still lurk.

“I feel that teachers need to make students more aware of the new curriculum,” Fleener said. “Many students are just hearing bits and pieces here and there.”