Although some may disagree, the beginning of April is no joke for college students as it marks the beginning of the end of the spring semester.
Advisers have already begun to schedule meetings with students in preparation for the upcoming fall semester, initiating the scramble to get the best classes available.
As registration for the fall semester begins on Monday, several students are urged to not only meet with their advisers for class consultation, but to make sure they are financially prepared for the coming semester.
According to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, the scholarship deadline for traditional students was Jan. 15, while non-traditional students still have until June 1. Although the office has been accepting government and private loans since January, it will continue to do so up to the first week of August.
Despite the several months students are given to prepare for the financial burden of applying for the next semester, there are still students who fail to meet the deadline and as a result have their schedule purged.
The Murray State Bursar’s office said students have until 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 5 to meet all of their financial requirements or their schedules will be purged.
In the fall of 2012, 750 students were purged from their schedule, 89 of which were at the end of the first week.
Students who are unable to meet the deadline, however, are urged to sign up for a payment plan which will be available on July 22. The payment plan costs $30 and will allow the student to make a series of four monthly payments throughout the semester.
In light of the coming fall semester, several academic departments are either introducing new classes or making revisions and additions to existing programs.
Robert Lochte, chair of the department of journalism and mass communications, said the department will be introducing a new journalism minor to the program which will be available this fall.
“I hope it will be of interest to students in several areas,” Lochte said. “There are several professional and technical areas here at the University where people are interested in what’s going on and you need trained journalists to explain it to them.”
This new minor is an opportunity to attract students from other fields of study such as engineering, nursing or computer science.
The College of Humanities and Fine Arts will be implementing new classes as it welcomes a new professor to the history department.
Aaron Irvin will be teaching HIS 354: Ancient Near East, and HIS 362: Ancient Egypt. Both courses will cover the culture, art, history and religion of each civilization.
The department of English and philosophy will not be introducing any new classes for the fall; however it will be experimenting with current classes and fields of study. HUM 211, a survey of literature and philosophy which every student striving for a Bachelor of Arts degree is required to take, will be taught differently from the traditional, 35-student on-campus classroom.
Staci Stone, chair of the English department, said the class will be divided into four sections, two of which will be taught as large lecture classes of 70 students. The other two sections will be taught by Stone in a hybrid format.
“A hybrid means a mixture of face-to-face and online,” Stone said. “I am teaching two sections of HUM 211 in which I will be spending one hour and 15 minutes with my students, once a week and then the rest of the work will be replaced by active learning techniques that students will do on their own and in groups but in an online format. For those students who are self motivated, who like web courses or have thought about what it would be like, this is a good class for those students.”
The philosophy department will also be experimenting as it will be releasing three new tracks within the philosophy major.
Rory Goggins, assistant professor of Humanities and Fine Arts, said the department will be implementing a religious thought track, a political thought track and an aesthetics and media writing track to the current philosophy major.
“What we are trying to do with that is basically give students new options,” Goggins said. “We wanted to create what is essentially a philosophy major but with these interdisciplinary elements in it that would be more geared toward a student who has something more specific in mind.”
With several new and revised options for students to choose from, along with the upcoming registration date, many professors are encouraging students to speak with their advisers soon.
Story by Alex Berg, Staff writer.