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Credit: Alison Stephen

Unavailable classes cost students time and money

College is typically seen as a four-year chapter in someone’s life – at least it’s supposed to be. However, now taking five to six years to earn an undergrad degree is quite normal. This extended college stay can be partly attributed to students hopping from one major to another, but other reasons are the lack of flexibility in class schedules and the ever-rising cost of higher education.

When students attend college, they expect to be given all the tools and resources needed to succeed. In many ways, VSU achieves this goal, but one area where they miss the mark is scheduling.

Many classes required by certain majors are only offered every one to two years. If you just missed that one class you needed to graduate, better luck next time – a.k.a “see you back here next semester.”

The university’s rigid schedule is causing students to stay longer than anticipated, meaning they have to spend much more money than originally planned. Instead of joining the workforce and beginning to earn a decent income, students are forced even deeper into debt, and all because certain classes are offered so sparsely.

All of the blame cannot fall on the university, though. While it is always difficult to create a schedule that works for all the programs on campus, this task is made even harder due to recent cuts in state funding for colleges.

A reduced budget means VSU can only pay so many professors to teach so many classes. It also means tuition goes up, and students respond by either getting more loans or getting a job.

More loans mean more financial stress in the future, and students with part-time jobs have less time for school. As a result, their undergrad takes even longer to complete.

Do you see the vicious cycle here?

We are the future and the fate of society rests on our shoulders. VSU and the state government need to recognize this truth and take measures to ensure that we acquire a proper education before we’re old, gray and broke.

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One comment

  1. There is a hope, I think, in the USG to create an environment where students could have better opportunities to not have to wait on these kinds of classes.

    One approach my fellow VSU classmates in my day took was to beg members of the faculty let them do the missed class as an independent study. That appears to still maybe be an option based on what I see on the web site.

    A relative while at VSU was one class short of completing her foreign language requirement when it was dropped She was able to get it through the distance education program from another school. Similarly, GATRACS https://www.gacollege411.org/College_Planning/GATRACS/Transfer_Student_Planner.aspx can help a student figure out if the same class taken at another university will transfer to VSU. http://www.georgiaonmyline.org/ can help identify online versions of the desired class.

    VSU students can use eCore to take core classes online without the hassle of working through the transfer process. Of course, the ones most likely to be rarely offered are major classes. When many schools pool their students into a class, it is easier to get enough students to keep a program alive.

    Probably more of a long shot, look for a MOOC equivalent and discuss with a department head about the possibility of taking the MOOC and testing for mastery of the content. There were rumors Georgia State was interested in allowing something like this. No idea if that work, but it would make an interesting story for the Spectator.

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