Curriculum Corner: Insight on credits

Curriculum Corner: Insight on credits

by Amy Doling

Some students have expressed concern about the number of classes they will be allowed to take next year without incurring overload charges. With the shift from the normal three credit class to a four credit comes a shift in the number of classes students need to take each semester to maintain good academic standing.

Beginning next year the normal load will be four, four credit classes (16 credits) per semester. Overload charges will not be incurred until a student reaches 19 credits. This will allow students to continue to participate in athletic classes, join music ensembles and take Simpson Forum without having to pay extra.

It will be critical for students to work closely with their advisors to plan out the rest of the college courses needed to graduate. There will be a variety of ways to get the courses without incurring overload charges or creating an undue academic burden.

One option is to investigate the new version of the major to see if redeclaring will help reduce the total number of courses needed to complete the major. Many departments will have other suggestions for alternative ways to fulfill major and minor requirements including substitutions for required courses.

In some cases, students will be able to petition for cornerstone credit for courses not regularly designated as cornerstone classes.

One or more of these options may save students from having to take more than four courses per semester to complete graduation requirements. Finally, if it is impossible to complete the intended degree without taking a fifth course, there will be an option to file a petition requesting waiver of overload fees. However, we encourage you to make this the last alternative.

The purpose of the change from a three credit to a four credit class is to allow professors to cover subjects more in depth and to give students the time needed to fully engage in the topic.