Op-Ed: Show students syllabi before class registration

We were a bit surprised to learn of the Student Association’s priorities.

It is commendable to fight for more student space, organize a student event calendar, ensure students’ wellness and remove some fees.

But these questions surely pale in comparison to a real issue of concern. How many students have signed up for courses, under pressure of registration deadlines and program requirements, with little information on what the class entails? It is also common for students to pay thousands of dollars in tuition, only to learn that a course they signed up for does not meet their expectations.

At present, there is no obligation for the various GW schools – or individual faculty members – to make available the syllabus at the time of registration. Students are therefore left in the dark about the actual content of the course, the required readings and the structure of evaluation. As a result, we are forced to make choices and hope for the best.

To make matters worse, there is no official evaluation of courses or faculty members attached to the course list. When signing up for a course, you are forced to do Google searches or ask peers. And, if you are an incoming student with no friends at GW yet, too bad.

Even when you are purchasing a new laptop, you read reviews, talk to friends and look at ratings. You take your time and gather information. Yet when you decide to spend thousands of dollars on a course, you do not because, sadly, you cannot.

The time is ripe for GW to make a step forward and make syllabi and evaluations accessible while registering for courses.

John Brittell is an MBA/MA candidate in the graduate program for international finance and Marko Bucik is an MA candidate in international affairs.

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