Courses selected for Ames

The newly restored Ames Hall on the Mount Vernon Campus will hold more than two dozen course sections next semester, many geared toward freshmen.

The five-story building will host the largest classes in the campus’ history, including a 75-student calculus course and a 124-student American history course in the Vern’s first lecture hall.

Nineteen out of 26 courses are introductory courses open for freshmen.

“The classes we are bringing are classes that freshmen would want to take,” Rachelle Heller, associate provost for academic affairs for the Mount Vernon Campus, said.

Many of these courses, including calculus, have never been taught on the Vern before, Heller said.

The University Writing program, which will hold all courses on the Vern next semester, will offer seven courses in Ames Hall. The University Honors Program, which also moved to the Vern, will not hold any courses in Ames Hall this spring.

Heller said classes that would be popular among freshmen were chosen, because they are required to take a semester of University Writing on the Vern. She hopes the variety of introductory courses will enable students to take more classes on the campus and cut down on travel time between Foggy Bottom and the Vern.

“We want to meet students’ needs and have them choose to stay. We want to have classes on campus that would fit their schedules and fill their needs,” Heller said.

The decision to move courses to Ames Hall came from department heads, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Planning Forrest Maltzman said.

William Becker and Reza Modarres, chairs of the history and statistics departments, respectively, declined to comment for this story. Geography department chair Elizabeth Chacko did not return a request for comment.

Class size was also a large factor in selecting courses, Heller said. This semester will be a “trial run” for the types of courses to be held there, she explained.

“We don’t want to bring too many classes to Ames for the spring semester. We want to start small and see how it goes,” Heller said.

The building’s café will also open in the spring. Before construction began in fall 2010, the building held a dining hall, mail services and open student space, services that were relocated to West Hall when it opened last fall.

Students can also take classes at the Academic Building and the Acheson Science Center.

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