Administration maintains nothing has gone wrong despite initial complaints over roll-out
The roll-out of the 3-11 academic calendar has begun and there is disagreement about how well it is going. Augustana administration maintains that things are going smoothly, but some students are concerned or confused about course offerings.
Augustana Students Association Vice President Academic Hope McDonald has heard concerns from students about the upcoming calendar change.
“I think for the most part a lot of students, as it typically is in March every year regardless of what year it is, are panicking and they have every right to be,” said McDonald. Adding that, “going into a new system is pretty scary because nobody’s ever been there, nobody’s ever done it.”
Associate Dean Academic Karsten Mundel, said the frustration and panic being felt by students is to be expected with such a significant change. “This is a big change, there are impacts related to the fact that we’re changing the rhythm of the campus,” said Mundel.
McDonald said one of the recurring complaints is about course selection. “One of the things that I’ve been hearing from different students is that if you’re done your core already it’s hard to find courses for the three week sections that are appealing to students,” said McDonald. “In that manner, I’ve heard that course selection is not great.”
The sentiment was echoed by third -year student Richard Henschel. “If you look at the list of science courses, or courses in general, that you can take in the three-week winter slot, it’s pretty sparse,” said Henschel.
“The course selection process doesn’t actually answer the 3-11 questions that students have,” said McDonald. “Originally course selection sessions were supposed to teach students to use Beartracks but were also supposed to act as a mechanism for seeing if they [campus administration] had any holes in the system.
“So in those regards I think that student expectations for those course selection sessions were not met.”
Mundel maintained that nothing had gone wrong during the initial roll-out of 3-11. “I don’t know that I would say anything has gone wrong,” said Mundel. He then added, “I think in terms of things that have gone well. […] We’ve had strong uptake on sessions put on by advisers that are helping with course selection and helping students think through what does it mean to study liberal arts and sciences core at Augustana.”