Honors classes causing scheduling troubles

Katie Roupe

Josh Kissell rescheduled his classes three times before he finally got it right.

Many honors students, like Kissell, said they are having difficulty finding honors classes that fit their schedule and go with their major.

“I don’t want to be like one girl in my class who can’t graduate because she still needs an honors class,” freshman architecture major Kissell said.

Because of the small amount of honors classes offered, honors students tend to take more honors LERs instead of honors classes in their major. The honors college offers around 100 different sections of honors classes, 43 of which are LERs.

“There are never any honors experiences in the classes that I need for my major,” sophomore English major Kelsey Rubenking said. “Besides the honors colloquium, there aren’t any English classes.”

Because the popularity of the major itself determines the availability of honors classes, students in an unpopular major don’t have as many opportunities for honors classes in their major, Honors Coordinator of Curriculum Victoria Bocchicchio said.

“If we are going to have a class, we have to make sure we have enough students to fill it,” she said. “It is the departments who decide what classes they give us and we certainly wouldn’t ask a department for an honors section of a class that we knew we couldn’t fill.”

For students in less popular majors, they will have to fill their honors requirements with LERs.

“I would like my honors classes to be in my major to get more of an intellectual experience in what I want to do with my life,” Rubenking said.

Bocchicchio said it doesn’t matter what classes students take, just as long as they take classes in honors. The main difference is the size of classes and the ways the professors teach.

“The experience is going to be richer,” she said. “It is an advantage for students in the long run.”

She said the classes aren’t intended to be more difficult, though.

“Students shouldn’t be punished for being in honors,” Bocchicchio said. “Faculty members can be confident these are good students, so they can stretch what they are doing.”

Contact honors and international affairs reporter Katie Roupe at [email protected].