Succeed in Four, Five, Maybe Six

By Robert White

In the world of business, there are producers and consumers. In my four years as a college student I have come to learn that this fact is nothing but accurate in the business of higher education.

This realization returns every year during registration. My own issues have been unique in the sense that my program is undersized here at WSU. There are only a few concentrations in journalism on this campus, and because of that our class sizes are very small. Sometimes too small. My Opinion Writing course has a grand total of 3 people and was pushed into the realm of being an independent study. I got lucky, as I need journalism courses to graduate.

This issues differ with other students, particularly those in larger programs. I have two roommates in the biotechnology program who dread registration due to a lack of seats and course offerings. One of them even took extra credits every year in the hopes of graduating early, only to have his hopes dashed due to classes filling up.

What do these issues have in common? The mask that WSU wears as a “Succeed in Four” emphasis school. While my roommate may graduate this year, the fact that he has taken a copious amount of credits to do it should raise an eyebrow. The school website alludes to eight 15-credt semesters being between you and a degree. However, what that vision does not entail are the struggles of registration, lack of seats and/or class offerings and the abundance of what many see as pointless Liberal Arts and science Curriculum classes.

LASC is a great concept in theory, but in the end it is just another obstacle in our way to graduating. It instills the reality of students taking courses they do not care about, and while it is important that we leave WSU as well-rounded students, the idea that I need two art classes, three sciences courses and three history classes crosses the line of being excessive, especially when compared to this school’s beloved nursing students, who only have to take one of each, but that’s neither here nor there.

In order for us as a university to focus on succeeding in four, changes must be made to the structure. According to US News & World Report’s college rankings, WSU has a four-year graduation rate of 34 percent. We are ranked higher than Bridgewater State at 29 percent, but that is a hollow accomplishment.

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