The fall 2012 semester at the University of Mount Union brought a major change in the curriculum for students, as classes offered transitioned from a three credit hour system to a four credit hour system. The change has triggered mixed emotions and opinions on campus, from both students and professors alike.
“I think there are positive and negative aspects to this new system,” said Julianne Kachovec, a junior education major. “Something I really like about the new system is that I’m not taking as many classes as previous years, so I am able to focus more on each individual course.”
A common trend among upperclassman is that, with the new system in place, their schedules allow them to take fewer classes during the week, providing more time for extracurricular activities.
“I feel like with the new system I am able to have time and energy for other activities and groups I am involved in on campus,” said Kachovec.
Another positive aspect of the new system is the added focus and emphasis the system gives to the courses directly related to students’ majors.
“I like that the new system is allowing students to put more credit hours towards the courses required for our majors,” said Kristina Hanson, a senior education major.
“Since I’m a senior, I feel like the new system is helping me to become more concentrated on my major and is allowing me to focus my time strictly to those courses and my student teaching.”
Despite the positive aspects the credit change has brought, students also have expressed some complaints as well.
“I’m having a hard time adjusting to the change in the credit system,” said Shannon Honeycutt, a junior biochemistry major. “I take mostly science classes, and with the new credit system I feel like there isn’t as much flexibility when scheduling my classes.”
Another common complaint from students is the longer class hours the new system has brought on.
“What I dislike the most about the new system are the longer hours for classes,” said Hanson. “Most of the time professors don’t even keep us in class the entire time anyways, so the extra hours are sometimes unnecessary.”
“I don’t like the longer class hours because I feel like after an extended amount of time many students begin to lose focus on what is going on in class and stop paying attention,” said Kachovec. “Overall, it’s difficult to be engaged fully with the longer classes.”
Likewise, the professors at Mount have their opinions and reactions to the new system as well.
“I like the new system and am excited about it,” said Frank Tascone, English department professor. “With the new system, I’ve been able to add components to my classes that would have been difficult or impossible to add in the past. The changes have entailed a lot of work as we have essentially had to create entirely new classes. In a lot of ways, this semester feels like I have just started teaching in a new place, and I’m enjoying the fresh start.”
Initial reactions aside, some professors believe that the true test to the new credit hour system and the effects of the system on students will come with time.
“I think that the real potential for the new class structure can’t be evaluated right now,” said Mark Bergmann, communication department professor. “I think it is too early to evaluate because we are only two weeks into the semester, and the real benefits will be evident with time. Right now I am just trying to remember when each class starts and ends.”
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