Editorial: New suggestions made to improve course selection

Course selection started on Oct. 19, and since then, classes have been closing left and right. Students have had to sit by and watch as their carefully tinkered schedules for next semester fall apart, class by class. It seems that the process of course selection is more stressful for students this year, and there are several reasons why.

The promise of small class size is what brings some students to Rider. But it can be a curse. When a class is a prerequisite and only has 15 spots, it is going to fill up quickly. Intro classes that students are required to take in order to sign up for other courses should have a large number of spots available. It isn’t fair that just because a person can’t sign up right away, he or she shouldn’t be able to take a required class.

One major problem with course selection is that, for some reason, a lot of classes are scheduled at the same time. It’s not even general electives or classes that can be put off for another semester, but classes that are required for a student’s core. But it seems almost impossible to finish our core if two required classes are scheduled at the same time. For example, a popular class period next semester is Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, from 2:20 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. While we can take one of the classes at a different time, what do we do if sections of the classes close up, and the only remaining ones are both scheduled at 2:20 p.m.?

Also, the number of sections of each class offered needs to be increased. The university has been careful to create 20 or so sections of courses like Expository Writing and World History, but is less attentive to some courses required for certain majors and badly needed by upperclassmen. It doesn’t add up.

Even though there are a lot of classes that can be taken only by people in a specific major, there are classes in one major that can be taken by someone in another. For example, Mass Media Communication can be taken by psychology majors to fulfill part of their social sciences and communication requirement. But when only one section of that class is offered for non-communication majors, what are the psych majors supposed to do when that one section fills up?

More classes should be taught in the mornings. That would help students who have to choose between two classes scheduled at the same time. If one section of a class closed, they could take that class in the morning, and another in the afternoon. As of now, there are fewer than 20 sections being offered in A period, which is Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. By comparison, D period, Tuesday and Thursday from 9:45 to 11:15, has 59 sections, and G period, Monday and Wednesday from  1:10 to 2:40, has 72 sections.

As far as 8 a.m. classes go, most students aren’t eager to take them. But with such a small number of classes being offered then, who is really having the problem with early classes? Students or professors?

One suggestion for helping improve the variety of times in which classes are taught is to have a board of students review each department’s schedule before it is finalized. This way, any scheduling conflicts within a department can be spotted early, and the classes scheduled at the same time can be switched around.

Hopefully, in the future, course selection won’t be as stressful as it has been during the past two weeks. All it would take is a few changes to the system to make scheduling much easier.

This weekly editorial expresses the majority opinion of The Rider News editorial board and is written by the Opinion Editor, Angelique Lee.

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