IWU needs to rethink class requirements

Kelsey Robertson

 A class in session in State Farm Hall.
Photo: Illinois Wesleyan University

Things that would have been useful to me throughout my time at IWU:

  1. Double counting credits for a major and a minor.

As of the Fall of 2020, students are now allowed to double-count a course for not just a major and a general education requirement but also have the option to count a qualifying course toward their major requirements and another major/minor requirement. 

In my case as a senior, if this would have been in place earlier, my Econ 227, statistics, would have been counted as one of my requirements for my business major as well as for my psychology minor. Instead, I had to overload a semester to fit an extra course into my schedule. I am glad that they are allowing it now but I wish they would have done this sooner. If you only allow us to take five classes at most a semester then you have to let us double count or how are we supposed to complete double majors and minors without going insane? 

  1. Upper Level Class Requirements

If you were not already aware, incoming and current classes are no longer being held to the 11 upper level class graduation requirement, instead it has been decreased to nine. 

As a senior graduating in May who has already filled this requirement, this is not very useful to me now but still may be to other current students. If this had been in place earlier, it might have opened up mine and other students’ schedules to take more enjoyable classes, which is something we should be able to do at a liberal arts school.  

We could have taken classes that did not apply to our major but were interested in learning more about, or would have allowed slackers to slack even more. Let’s be honest: it goes both ways. 

However, with the timing of this change, I have to ask myself, why now? Isn’t the concept of more rigorous classes what makes this an above average institution for education? 

Here’s a theory, could the decrease in required upper level class requirements be due to the decrease in upper level classes being offered in the coming years, since we did cut numerous programs this past year? 

Personally, when trying to fulfill my English minor this semester, more than two 300 levels to choose from would have been nice. If you are going to require us to take eleven you should at least offer a better variety of classes for us to choose from. But, who knows, I don’t make the rules.

  1. Dual Credit transfer 

I know I am not the only one who took dual-credit classes in high school only to show up at IWU and have them count for jack squat. They said if you got credit for it in high school, you cannot get credit for it in college. But that’s the point of it being dual credit. It is just like an AP class that can count for both and is not all based on just one exam. At the very least, I wish I would have known that they wouldn’t take dual credit courses before I wasted my money and effort on them. 

Also, most colleges take a score of a three or higher on the AP exam for credit but IWU insists on requiring a four. To me, it seems that they are making it as difficult as possible for us to get outside credit. This makes transferring into or out of IWU extremely difficult and if you want to graduate early, good luck.