Class seems ready for changes

Class seems ready for changes

The effectiveness of the University Scholarship classes, required of all freshman students, is getting what we think is a well-deserved going over.

A survey questioning the course’s usefulness has been circulated among students and faculty.

Academic Success Center Director Katherine Stahl Kinsinger provides the curriculum, but had no part in designing the survey.

She said she welcomes any criticism to better the course.

The survey to gather feedback on the classes is a good idea.

What should be evaluated and narrowed further is the course’s primary objective.

Maybe the class should be designed as more of a one-time orientation program rather than a semester-long academic course.

Perhaps it should be voluntary instead of required.

New students to Pitt-Johnstown,whether freshmen or transfer students, could benefit from being made aware of what offices, services and resources are available.

That probably wouldn’t require a one-credit course lasting 15 weeks.

Academic Mentor Tessa Smith said she noticed that campus office personnel utilize these classes to advertise their services to students.

Perhaps well-written brochures or web pages would offer similar information without the need for a student’s classroom presence.

As far as being an academically enriching course, freshman Mitch Evans said that the activities in this class didn’t seem to have much meaning behind them.

Smith said students have complained about the course being boring or unrelated to their majors.

However, it can be argued that students tend to resent many of their general-education classes only to discover later that they benefit from what they learned in these classes.

Also, each student’s University Scholarship experience may vary based on who taught the class.

A staff member may not have developed the skills to teach a class because they don’t teach often.

However, staff may be more knowledgeable in campus services.

In addition, if the course was optional as opposed to mandatory, perhaps this would give the administrators and instructors more incentive to make changes.