Engineering school to cease offering credit for UCollege classes

| News Editor

Starting this fall, engineering students will no longer be able to count most University College courses toward their graduation requirements.

Students will be able to receive credit for certain approved courses—primarily pre-medical school courses such as Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology and Introduction to Biochemistry—but the grade that they receive in the course, although it will appear on their transcript, will not be averaged into their GPAs.

Associate Dean for Students Chris Kroeger said that the decision to offer credit for only specific courses was made because the school sought to cut costs while still offering pre-health students the ability to take courses necessary for their post-graduate plans. Because the undergraduate college a student is enrolled in is required to pay the tuition to University College for each class a student takes in the night school, eliminating credit for University College courses was one of the measures that the engineering school took.

“Ultimately, we want to balance what is fair to students who truly need University College courses and to responsibly use our financial resources in a way that will have the greatest impact for all engineering students,” he said. “We don’t want to have a negative impact on a student’s pursuit toward long-term goals like graduate or professional school or any student’s second majors or minors…The biggest chunk in terms of groups of courses that engineering students have historically taken in the UCollege are the pre-med courses, and those are still going to be available to them.”

Many engineering students, however, were upset that they were informed of the decision only two weeks before registration for undergraduates opened.

Sophomore Stephanie Adamakos, an engineering student, said that although she had not yet decided to take any University College courses for next semester, she had been considering them because of the flexibility they lent to her schedule.

“I had a lot of issues planning my schedule this semester, and part of that has been that it’s hard to find courses to fit in terms of general courses and electives, so I was considering UCollege courses because they were at night,” Adamakos said. “I know at least one other person who had to change their whole schedule around. It’s pretty late in the game.”

“I understand the reasons behind it because there are financial concerns and we do need to make some sacrifices,” Adamakos said. “[But] there was no transition time—it’s just starting now; you can’t take these classes.”

Sophomore Arjay Parhar noted that even though he’s never taken a University College course, he still thinks the option should be available.

“I think everyone learns in their own ways, and by providing the largest breadth of options to all students, [it] will help maximize the benefits they can get out of them,” he said.

Kroeger stated that, if program advisors noted that there were certain University College courses that would help students prepare for their future goals, then the Undergraduate Studies Committee would likely approve students to take them for credit.