Science student asks faculty for help

posted in: Opinion | 0

As part of Pacific University’s academic programs, there are many classes that require prerequisites, especially for the science classes.

However, Pacific does not offer those classes needed for prerequisites every semester, which has been an issue for many students.

For example, if a student who is pursuing a Biology major doesn’t pass General Chemistry 220 in the fall semester, that student can’t take General Chemistry 230 in the spring and must wait an entire year in order to retake General Chemistry 220 the next fall.

This poses a huge dilemma, since students who need to take General Biology 204 the following fall semester (after taking General Biology 202 in the spring) can’t take it unless they have passed General Chemistry 230 the previous spring.

Also if a student decided to take a break from a prerequisite class in the fall, they must wait an entire year to take that class since it’s not available in the spring.

Or if a class that is needed for a focal study is only available every other year, how are students supposed to be able to complete the requirements on time? Especially if their schedule didn’t allow for it the first time around?

This is my case, where I decided to take the classes needed for my focal studies this fall semester, so I didn’t take a 300-level organic chemistry class that I need for my major.

There is only the 400-level advanced organic chemistry classes available in the spring semester, so I have to wait until next fall to take a 300-level organic chemistry class, which puts me behind my sophomore peers.

This is an issue that I’ve heard from many other students, who are now behind on their major or minor schedules. I’ve had some friends who have had to change majors and some that even left Pacific because they couldn’t manage the academic setback and didn’t want to waste their money and time taking classes that didn’t go towards any of their core requirements or their interests.

A solution to this problem is for Pacific to offer at least one class with at least one lab section for the needed prerequisite science classes in the spring and fall, as well as other needed prerequisite classes for non-science majors.

This will help students who failed the class, withdrew from the class, or simply decided not to take the class at that time to stay on track to graduate within four years and not fall too far behind their peers.

This change would take coordination within the departments to figure out class and lab schedules as well as classroom availabilities. However, I think this request is not too much to ask from Pacific, especially with how much money and time us students are investing in our education.

I am happy that I chose Pacific for my college career, since it has a lot of great classes and professors that have helped me grow in my academic pursuits.

In order to make my pursuits more realistic and timely, it would be appreciated if the school could seriously consider this option in order to help students succeed and not have to constantly worry about falling behind simply because a needed class is not offered every semester.


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