Curriculum changes shake up schedules

The curriculum changes emphasize quality over quantity.  Courtesy of Google Image.

The curriculum changes emphasize quality over quantity. Courtesy of Google Image.

The new schedule changes that have been put into place have made us all a bit uneasy. Those who have had their schedule mapped out since the day the y stepped onto Southwestern’s campus have had a wrench thrown in their plan and those who still have no idea what they want to do (like me) find their choice and number of classes being limited to a worrisome amount as well. Though this change seems a bit odd and bothersome, it does have some promising aspects and we will have to wait and see the real test of its effectiveness next semester.

Political Science professor, Eric Selbin, stated that he is all in all in support of the new changes, which he said were implemented due to the fact that many SU alums claimed that they believed the old curriculum stretched their range of knowledge, yet did not give them the depth they needed in each particular course. Though Selbin does understand the frustration that is felt by many students, especially those who will be juniors and seniors, dealing with the change.

“There will always be an awkward transition period,” Selbin said. But he added that the system was implemented with good intentions and that the Southwestern staff will have a duty to pay attention to the comments of students as the new program is put into effect next semester.

Though, like Selbin, first-year Lauren Jenzen wished there would have been a more gradual progression to the new changes and is uneasy about the limited amount of classes that we will be able to take each semester.

“It’s going to be hard to take classes outside of your major, especially if you are a double major,” Jenzen said. This does seem to be true and a little bit disappointing for those who want to dabble in a lot of things before they commit. However, Jenzen does appreciate the fact that the new program tightens up requirements. “The new curriculum will make it easier to graduate in four years, which is helpful to all students.”

While some students are looking at the effects of this change on a wider basis, others are celebrating, or lamenting due to the fact that they already suffered through the course, the facts that no longer will the College Writing, religion or math credits be requirements on a basic level.

First-year Fox Buchele said, “I really likes the lack of religion credit because it was holding Southwestern down by continuing to link the school with its religious origins.”

Whether you are pleased or pissed off about the new changes, the real test will come with its effectiveness during the 2010-2011 school year when our semesters will be seen as a test run for what Southwestern could permanently become. The overall attitude I encountered while writing this article was one of optimism and appreciation for the new changes, and hopes that it will not become too much of a bother later down the road.

The administration changed the schools requirements due to feedback from previous Pirates and have implemented them with the hope of creating an easier more structured path to graduation, so as for now we must bravely step into next semester and have faith that everything will work out.