Students stressed about fitting in required classes to graduate on time have a little less to worry about. Twenty departments in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts have expanded their course offerings for the spring and summer terms.
Twenty-five new courses will be available during the spring term and 37 during the summer term. Introductory courses that have not been offered in more than four years — including Biology 172, Chemistry 125, Communication Studies 101 and Political Science 111 are now available this summer.
Students will also be able to fill the first year writing requirement by enrolling in English 125, Comparative Literature 122 or History 195, which are each being offered during both terms.
Robert Megginson, associate dean for LSA undergraduate and graduate education, said one of the reasons LSA is expanding the course list is so students can graduate on time.
“When I was an undergraduate 45 years ago, it was automatically assumed everyone would finish in four years,” Megginson said. “We know the students are having more and more trouble doing that for a lot of reasons.”
Megginson said one reason students have difficulty graduating in four years is because students choose to minor in a concentration. When students need to take more required classes for a minor, it becomes harder to fit their classes and other distribution requirements into schedules.
“Students have approached us before about this,” Megginson said. “They would love to be able to take courses during the summer that would let them use the summer as a way to compress the college time that they have to be here, but we haven’t been offering enough courses for them to choose from.”
Megginson said another reason students stay extra terms may be because it’s tough to sublet 12-month leases and apartments in Ann Arbor during the summer.
“It can be that students may just choose to be here because they have the space rented already, and they have to pay for it so that can be some economic benefit to the student,” he said.
JoAnn Peraino, LSA curriculum and enrollment manager, said LSA enrollment corresponds with national trends of students taking spring and summer classes. There has been a 9-percent increase since 2007 in enrollment for a full load of classes in the spring and summer terms at the University, Peraino said.
“We’re trying to meet the needs we hear not just from our students but from trends across the country,” she said.
In addition, Peraino said waitlists for prerequisite courses have lengthened in the fall and winter terms, which may cause delays in completing concentrations.
“We’re hoping — especially for some of the big classes in fall and winter that students just can’t get into because they fill up so fast — that this will relieve some of that pressure as well,” she said.
LSA freshman Victor Jones plans to stay during the spring and summer terms to take classes that will fulfill his English major requirements. He said he’s glad LSA is offering a wider course selection.
“More class options is a good thing because there’s usually not enough spring and summer classes to take, and it will probably get more people to take them,” he said.
LSA sophomore Molly Borman is also an English major staying for spring term. She said she has to take classes during spring semester to graduate on time.
“A lot of my classes are only three credits, and if they’re only three credits each, I don’t have enough credits to graduate in four years,” she said.
Borman said LSA adding more classes during spring and summer terms is “definitely a move in the right direction.”