As you think about developing your fall semester course schedule, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Overall, you want to think about how your courses relate (or not) to one another and to think about taking courses across divisions (H&A, SBS, NSM) and within a division rather than loading up on several courses in one department, so that you get both breadth and depth. Your first year is a time to explore while keeping connected to areas of interest and possible majors. Other suggestions are to:
- challenge yourself in a new subject area—maybe in a course unique to Wes—as well as in a subject you love;
- choose courses with different kinds of work: analytic, creative, quantitative, experiential, written (not all reading and writing);
- enroll in courses with means of evaluation that differ from one another (papers, tests, labs, performance, etc.) and that come at different points in the semester;
- get courses that vary in size (seminar and an intro);
- begin fulfilling General Education Expectations;
- strengthen your Essential Capabilities;
- distribute your courses throughout the week (not all Tues./Thurs.);
- spread your courses throughout the day (three in a row is a killer!); and
- make sure you schedule time for lunch!
For each of the four courses in your ideal schedule, you should identify a back-up course (in case you do not get in due to classes being full, schedule conflicts, etc.). Then you should identify a back-up for each of your back-ups (for the same reasons), keeping in mind your overall educational goals. This strategy will generate good course options to discuss with your faculty advisor in your individual meeting on Thurs., Sept. 3. In this focused discussion, it is important to stay open to your advisor’s suggestions as well. Your peer advisor will be available to work with you on Wednesday, if you would like help in your planning.
This “back-up” strategy also will help you stay organized and on track during adjustment and drop/add. While you may not get all four of your ideal courses, you will certainly get some of the twelve you have identified, and will continue to find new course possibilities through this process. With the permission of your faculty advisor and the course instructor, you also may drop and add classes during the first two weeks of classes.