Some seniors have found that courses for their major or minor — courses they need to graduate on time — won’t be offered when they need them most.
If students cannot take the necessary courses their senior year, they have choices to make: take courses at one of the other tri-colleges, do an independent study, take summer courses, or forfeit their major or minor.
Junior Zoey Schlemper, pre-professional studio art major and psychology and business minor, said he felt his stomach drop after discovering that only one class pertaining to his business minor is offered next semester, a class he has already taken.
“You would think that they could offer more than one class pertaining to a business minor for students each semester in the new business school,” Schlemper said.
Registrar Ericka Peterson said each department decides which classes to offer in upcoming semesters. These decisions depend upon the demand of the course and which faculty is available to teach the course in extenuating circumstances.
Within the description of the class of the course catalog, it states when the class is offered. However, these seemingly cemented times can change.
Schlemper plans to take businesses courses at Bemidji State University this summer, where he can attend for free due to family connections.
“Others may not be so lucky,” Schlemper said. “They will be copped out of the education they want and deserve after paying.”
To avoid this issue, Peterson suggests students frequently check their degree audit because it displays all previously taken courses. If a student runs into the issue of a class that isn’t offered, he or she should talk with the department.
“I know one faculty who had three or four students approach her about a capstone course and she decided to offer that course, even though she wasn’t intending on it,” Peterson said. “It can happen, but for students who sit back and expect something to come to them and figure it out, it’s just not going to happen.”
Some juniors have found other difficulties, specifically regarding the core capstone requirement. Junior Marisa Habel; psychology major and neuroscience, chemistry, and biology minor; originally believed that one has to take the senior capstone in his or her major.
“I was under the assumption that my capstone had to be within my area of study,” Habel said. “So I was worried that I wouldn’t get in and then I would have to take another one in the fall, which would limit my chances of taking other classes important to my area of study.”
Schlemper had similar misconceptions about the senior capstone requirements as well.
“The common conception of the capstone I and my fellow students have held is that it is the ultimate class of your college experience,” Schempler said. “The final, crowning achievement of our time at Concordia. Thus, it would logically follow that this class is supposed to be in our major.”
This is not technically the case.
“Your inquiry was the beginning of your core, the core capstone is the summation of your core,” Peterson said. “There are several majors with a capstone and some do not. That decision is based on the department.”
Within the course catalog, it states: “the final course in the Core Curriculum is a writing-intensive capstone course. This course invites students to apply their liberal learning to significant problems of a global nature.”
It does not explicitly state that the course does not have to pertain to one’s major.
Both Habel and Schlemper agree that more communication about the capstone, such as what it should pertain to and when to take, would benefit students.
“I think that there should be more capstone options in each department, or at least have the capstone classes larger,” Habel said. “Another option would be to have capstones offered in both fall and spring semesters. There is a psychology capstone course offered next spring, but due to my pre-planned schedule, I would have to give up other important classes for it. So, I am currently taking a Communications capstone, and the only [Communications] class I have taken my entire college career is IOC.”
Schlemper said he should be able to find this information easily.
“Making all registration info more readily available to students, rather than deep in Cport, would also help,” Schlemper said.
But Peterson remains firm.
“Your education is your responsibility,” Peterson said. “It is your responsibility to juggle.”