June 5, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 72°F


Editorial: Controlling class selection choices removes freedom

Ithaca College proposed a pilot program that will make faculty select fall semester courses for all incoming students — taking away their freedom to register. The creation of this new system is based on the stress that incoming students experience because of course selections. However, taking away responsibility from students for only one semester is not going to improve the problem but rather push it into the future to the next course registration deadline.  

Requiring this proposed program for all incoming students is problematic because the college experience starts with the ability to study what one wishes. Students know what they want better than the results from surveys. Taking this responsibility away delays students’ self-growth. 

Another disadvantage is the possible lack of class availability during the drop or add period. Even though the pilot program suggests that students can always change a class, it leaves out the fact that very few classes happen to have open spots. When they do have spots, they might not be of student interest or a major requirement. Dropping a class without adding another one, on the other hand, might put students below the minimum credit requirement. 

Getting stressed from time to time is part of life and college is the place to grasp lessons for adult life. Students will always meet hardships that will make them anxious. Instead of trying to control how students deal with stress, the college should find ways to guide those stressful moments.  

Because of faculty reductions, faculty workload has risen, yet not enough classes are available. So, instead of controlling students’ choices, the college can address these issues by strengthening its advising positions and increasing faculty positions with class offerings. The pilot program, however, can be available as a choice for students who prefer that way of course selection. Yet, no student should be controlled and required on what to study when they have the ability to choose instead. 

The Ithacan can be reached at ithacan@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @IthacanOnline