It is not easy being a freshman. Incoming students are meeting new people, getting used to a whole new way of living and trying to choose the right courses. Registration does not have to be a difficult process though, and GW has come up with ways to make it less stressful.
A new set of general curriculum requirements will be introduced to students in the Columbian School of Arts and Sciences this fall. The new core curriculum is designed to give students more flexibility. Instead of having to take sequential courses from various categories as in past years, the new curriculum allows students to take any two courses in the same subject area to fulfill a category requirement.
The core curriculum gives students opportunities to do sampling to discover where their talents and interests lie, said Kim Moreland, associate dean for Undergraduate Affairs at CSAS said. That sampling will lead them toward selection of a major and perhaps a minor, that would best suit them.
Returning students also have the option of switching over to the new requirements.
Incoming freshmen are also part of the first class that will be able to register via the Internet at Colonial Inauguration. Working with faculty and peer advisers during CI, the freshman will select their courses for fall of 2000.
The Student Association offers a helpful tool for choosing courses. On the SA Web page, students can view evaluations of courses and professors by students. The Academic Update is based upon course evaluations from fall 1999.
Academic Update is really good for incoming freshman because the evaluations we have are recent, and they’re for courses offered in fall semester, said Elizabeth Cox, SA vice president of Public Affairs.
The Website, sa.gwu.edu, includes evaluations of different aspects of courses, such as workload, expected grade and how interested students were in the course. Students can also view evaluations of professors, course summaries and a comments section.
Moreland said once students know what courses they are interested in for fall semester, they should keep an open mind for changes.
The most important thing is to develop a schedule of multiple alternatives both in times and in courses, Moreland said. They need to be flexible and if they create a single perfect schedule they are likely to find themselves frustrated. It’s more important to be open to possibilities.
The advice is particularly helpful to those incoming freshmen who will be attending CI’s later in the summer and find many of their preferred classes already are filled to capacity.
When I was registering during CI, I got locked out of the Spanish class I wanted without having a backup, junior Tom Conroy said. I spent the next half-hour desperately trying to fill in that gap and it messed up my entire first semester. The class I ended up getting was a class I had no interest in and I hated it.
Another junior said it is important to focus on mandatory classes first.
The most important thing is to get your requirements out of the way first, Andy Brown said. You’ll be thankful sophomore year when your schedule is more flexible and you can adjust it to fit your other obligations and interests.