September 14, 1998
98-256

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

VSU administrators to teach special fall 'mini-mester'

'Take Three Hours on Us' launched to help students graduate on time

Four VSU leaders are headed into the classroom this fall, teaching a special "mini-mester" of core curriculum classes.

With the conversion this term from quarters to semesters, many students didn't sign up for 15 hours of classes, according to Dr. Lloyd Benjamin, vice president for Academic Affairs. Twelve hours is technically a full load under the semester system, but in order to graduate in four years, students need to take at least 15 hours-or usually 5 classes.

"We're trying to be proactive in helping students make timely progress toward their degrees," Benjamin said.

Approximately 5,743 undergraduates are currently taking 12-16 hours of classes, according to Tom Archibald, assistant to the president for Information Technology. About 1,825 students are taking only 12 hours, Archibald said. Dr. Tom Dasher, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, believes some students didn't register for five classes because they were afraid of becoming overloaded.

"For students used to signing up for three classes (under the quarter system), five may have seemed terrifying," Dasher said.

In order to help students have the best chance of graduating on time, a special fall "mini-mester" will run Oct. 1 through Dec. 10. Courses taught will be tuition-free for qualified students-those currently taking 12-16 semester hours.

Four of the five core classes offered will be taught by VSU administrators, since regular faculty teaching assignments for the term have already been made.

Courses planned as part of "Take Three Hours on Us" include:

* U.S. History Since 1865 (HIST 2112)-Dr. Hugh C. Bailey, president (West Hall 150)
* Art Appreciation (ARAP 1100)-Dr. Lloyd Benjamin, vice president for Academic Affairs (Fine Arts 235)
* College Algebra (Math 1111)-Staff (Nevins 1009)
* World Literature III (ENGL 2130)-Dr. Tom Dasher, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (West Hall 154)
* Social Problems (SOCI 1160)-Dr. Louis Levy, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs (West Hall 256)

VSU administrators note that part of the university's state funding is determined by the number of class hours students sign up to take.

All classes will be taught 2-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Registration for the special "mini-mester" ends Sept. 30, with drop/add set for Oct. 1.

"It's going to be a fun experience," said Dr. Hugh C. Bailey, VSU president. "We consider it to be a tremendous privilege to get back in the classroom to teach even one course."