Program to Help Freshmen Find Spring Courses for Majors
A new program is underway this week which may help freshmen who are unsure of their concentration to select spring courses.
Under a plan worked out by representatives of the Undergraduate Council and the Freshmen Dean's Office (FDO), departments will hold advising sessions and extend their office hours to answer questions about requirements and courses.
Meetings began two days ago and will continue through Wednesday of next week.
"A lot of freshmen need help so they don't enter their concentrations blindly." Brian C. Offutt '86, a council member who helped draft the new counseling plan, said yesterday, adding. "A lot of them wanted electives in the fall because they picked courses in a way they shouldn't have."
Information and advice has always been available informally from departments, Associate Dean of Freshmen Susan W. Lewis said yesterday. But she added that few students took advantage of the opportunity because they "felt intimidated, or thought that large departments simply didn't have enough time for them."
"The course book is so fat and confusing to new students, "said Venessa A. Davila '84, chairman of the council's academics committee, which worked on the Proposal.
"We wanted to encourage students to seek advice from faculty members," rather than try to figure out their course selections alone, she added.
Some departments, such as History and Literature, offered counseling sessions independently last year, but the FDO "wanted a comprehensive series of opportunities" for students interested in all fields, Lewis explained.
The department sessions will focus on questions about specific courses, "not esoteric discussions about the value of majoring in each field today," said Davila.
The first meeting was held Wednesday night in the Freshman Union, where more than 40 freshmen turned out to ask questions about Computer Science and Applied Math.