The summer/fall catalog of classes began being distributed this week across campus. A quick glance at the offerings reveals a scant variety mostly due to budget cuts. With so few choices, the university should seriously re-evaluate the mandatory nine summer credit hours students must take in order to graduate. In response to the budget cuts and the lack of summer course offerings, USF should eliminate the nine-credit-hour rule and instead allow students to take summer courses on a voluntary basis.
Many departments in the university are barely offering more than introductory courses this summer. Some departments, such as religious studies, are offering only two actual classes (not counting internships, directed studies or thesis hours).
Many students find themselves in binds during their junior and senior years because during their freshman and sophomore years no courses were available that were either needed or that hadn’t been taken yet. Many upperclassmen find it difficult to finish their hours in time to graduate and often seek waivers of their remaining hours in order to get their degrees.
Summer courses have always been slim as funding is always more readily available during fall and spring. This summer’s especially noticeable slim pickings are ridiculous.
One solution to this problem would be to eliminate the nine-credit-hour mandate. Another solution could be to establish a specific summer schedule that would not change each year, meaning certain classes would be guaranteed to be offered each summer (they could still be offered during spring and fall).
However, it may come to the point where the university may have to eliminate summer school altogether and redirect the funds to provide more classes in the fall and spring semesters.
Regardless of its decision, the university must act now to help its students find credit hours that are becoming more difficult each year to fulfill.