Monday, December 12, 2011

Timely Graduation

When I attended BYU, there was a great concern over something called “timely graduation”. What does that mean? Well, that it was taking too long for students to graduate. The school had a way of identifying students who were taking too long and inviting them to come to one-on-one meetings with an advisor to review what could be done. (In other words, “inspiring” them to hurry up)

I dare say a good number of people change their majors at least once while they are in college, hence the reason it took longer. My wife switched. Several of my friends and family member switched. I switched as well.

I won a scholarship for my work in electronics while I was in High School. I took a year of classes at a 2 year college in electrical engineering. What did I discover? I didn’t enjoy it.
I went on my LDS mission and when I came back, I decided to finish my Associates Degree and then transfer to BYU.

When I started attending BYU, I chose the Communications—Broadcasting with an emphasis on Production. Why? When I was in High School, I used my electronics knowledge to become one of the engineers at our radio station, KOHS. While doing that, I got to learn how to edit music, promos and the like—and I thought it was fun.

However, to get into the program at BYU, I was required to take a number of pre-requisites before I could even start to take the classes I wanted to take. By this point in time, considering the credits I had earned at the other school, I was a Junior before I was even in the program.

In addition, we were required to take a 0 credit class 4 times while in school. It was a 1 hour a week lecture where we got graded for showing up. It was only offered during the fall and winter, so that was a minimum of 2 years right there you would have to attend the school.

After I got accepted into the program, we, as students, were told that the number of credits required for us to graduate with our degree was too high and couldn’t realistically be done in 4 years. Aside from all the communications classes, we were also required to take a boat load of English classes. I had to take so many, in fact, that I realized I only needed to take an additional 2 English classes to get my minor—which I did.
How did the school resolve the issue of too many credit hours being required? Simple. They took all of the communication classes and reduced the number of credit hours they were worth by 1. In other words, the number of classes didn’t change—just how many credits they were worth.

And the biggest irony of all? The one class I spent the most time and effort on was one of my required directing classes. I had to direct several programs, including an interview, a dramatic scene, a musical number and a few others. In fact, I spent more time on that one class than all of my other classes combined for that semester. Guess how many credits it was worth? That’s right: 1.

1 comment:

  1. Oh the good old days under President Lee. Good man, silly policies. I remember writing a letter to the editor at the time pointing out exactly what you stated in this article. It was nothing more than a paper shuffling numbers exercise which cost a good deal of money with little to no results, unless a massive increase in student frustration was the goal. Great article as always Lloyd!