Op-Ed: University curriculum holds students back

I need only to complete 17 credits to graduate from Pacific Lutheran. Most of the credits are easily completed with the few remaining communication core classes I need to take. With the 19 credit allotment per semester, one would be led to believe that this would be simple enough to accomplish. Why, you might even think that you could complete those credits in just one semester! But when you go to register for classes, you find that more than half of the classes you need aren’t even available this semester, even though they are a crucial part of the core curriculum, and everyone in your major needs to take them. Annoyed, you try to at least register for whatever classes are available, only to find that you can’t, because those classes that you couldn’t sign up for originally are the prerequisites for the other classes you need.

So what do you do? Last semester I had to sign up for the minimum of 12 credits, six of which were not in my major, nor were of any use in helping me complete my degree. I was told by a counselor that the courses I needed would most likely be available in the fall semester of 2013, but when I went to register, they weren’t listed.

Pacific Lutheran costs $34,440 a year in tuition alone. The PLU Office of Financial goes on to estimate that the total cost of attendance might easily reach over 48,000 a year. I would personally like to keep my student loans as low as possible, so you can imagine my frustration when I found out that I would be forced to graduate in spring of 2014, and not fall of 2013 as I had originally planned.  Talking to other students, I have found that they all face similar situations. There are currently over 100 students in my major, and we all have to clamor and pull strings to get into a class before someone else. Seating is limited, and with many classes only being offered once a year and taught by one professor in one or two sections, that means many students have to wait another year to try and enroll in the course if they weren’t lucky enough the first time.

I am growing increasingly frustrated with the poorly designed curriculum of Pacific Lutheran University. Once again, I have to jump through ridiculous hoops in order to fulfill some basic requirements, and I still am uncertain that the last courses I need will be offered in the spring.

Categories: Opinion

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