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The Blue & Gray Press | December 18, 2017

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Graduation date isn’t always guaranteed

Graduation date isn’t always guaranteed

By LAURA TAYLOR 

From electives and general education classes to in-major classes, choosing classes is one of the most exciting times in your college experience. The University of Mary Washington offers more than 60 majors and minors with an array of classes, and most students can find flexible accommodations for alternate courses they might have to take. However, for sophomore Nicole Lamb, choosing classes for the fall of 2017 is going to be more frustrating than anticipated and it’s all because of a ballet class she decided to take.

Ballet was offered at UMW to fulfill requirements, yet the class that actually counted for the general education requirement had a prerequisite.

“I took ballet because it fulfilled the arts, literature and process requirement,” Lamb said. She took Ballet 121 in the fall of 2016 with hopes that Ballet 301 would be offered in the spring of 2017. However, she found out that Ballet 301 would not be offered in the spring, so she was never able to fulfill the requirement.

General education courses should not have prerequisites for several reasons. They are designed to be taken during freshman year, but having prerequisites can force freshmen to have to wait until sophomore year to begin them.

“I would be concerned about graduating on time if I had to use a whole year dedicated to prerequisites for general education courses alone,” Lamb said. Not only are prerequisites more of a hassle for students, but they jeopardizes their chance of graduating on time.

Lamb also had a similar experience with her biology class that went towards her quantitative reasoning requirement. She chose to pursue the Biology 260 option yet there were two biology classes that she had to take that would prevent her from taking the Biology 260 course until her junior year.

Some prerequisite courses should remain, for subjects such as language in which students need a fuller vocabulary and more experience with the language. However, prerequisites should be reserved for classes that focus around requirements for the major, not general education courses that everyone has to take.