Registration week is a migraine for students and academic advisors. Registration was more of a hassle before the introduction of the Bobcat Schedule Builder and the new self-service portal. However, one problem that has not been resolved is the number of credit hours a student can take. This limit is set at 18 for Texas State, while other universities cap at 19 hours. Students should be able to determine how many hours they can personally handle. Putting a cap on credit hours causes problems for graduation. It is a hassle to override and restricts students to working at a certain pace.
The university lays out a chart students are encouraged to follow according to each degree. This plan changes along with the individuality of the student. The mapped out degree does not consider classes that are only available during certain semesters. It ignores the possibility of failure, as well as excelling. There are students who have to take 20 or more credit hours their last semester to graduate, because each person works at a different pace. If they choose to split those hours between two semesters, they would not graduate on time or be eligible for financial aid. Students who have to drag their education out an extra semester have financial issues and cannot graduate or get a high-paying job.
Overrides affect academic advisers and deans. During registration week, advisors are irreplaceable lifelines booked with appointments, having to confront every possible problem a student can have. Seniors are usually first priority because there are so many students needing help. The advisers confront different issues with seniors, mostly credit hours and transfer courses. Even if seniors are only one credit hour over their limit, they have to go through the process of overriding. Once the request has gone through, classes could have already filled up. Not only do the deans have to accept the request, but the advisers have to manually approve overrides for each student’s special appeal. It becomes a lengthy process that can ultimately be avoided.
When students enter a university environment they are given new freedoms. They are asked to make their own decisions. Yet when it comes to their future they are asked to work at a certain pace. While it is understandable the university wishes for students to become involved and have time to work, they should accept every student as an individual. Those who work slower should have no limit to the number of credit hours they can take. The only restriction would be financial aid. If students who work at slower paces are allowed as few hours as they choose, then those who work at an accelerated pace should be given the same option.
Students should learn their boundaries of what they can do within a semester. The university should not decide that for them. Having a limit on classes is a hassle for everyone and can be avoided. Every degree plan has a different number of required hours, and nothing works out in real life as it does on a degree plan. Credit hours should not be limited. Students should be allowed to have the freedom of choice in their education.