Value of learning is lost in minimum requirements

Students beware: Some of the courses that you are taking may not count towards graduation. In recently selecting an intersession course, I have discovered an entire list of courses that do not count towards graduation from the College of Arts and Sciences. In fact you may have one of these courses on your schedule this or next semester. I know that I have in the past.
Many students are now taking SCUBA, Swimming and Lifesaving, Tennis and Golf, and other courses that are not considered to be academic. These courses do NOT, I repeat, do not, count towards graduation. If you have taken these courses you will need to graduate with more than 120 credits. The idea is that these courses do not have substantive academic value. Granted, the curriculum does not hold a tremendous amount of academic value in some of the named courses on the list, but what surprised me the most was what else was on that list. Over intersession I wanted to take an Educational Psychology course, EPS 593, until I was informed that it would be a waste of $2200. The course I wanted to take is on this famous list of what does not count towards graduation and what is considered non-academic. Two words: Educational Psychology. Personally, that rings my academic bell. Among other would-be academic courses on the list are selected Teaching and Learning courses and several Management courses in the upper 400’s.
What upsets me the most about this list though is that I thought college was about experiencing new things. I do not understand the justification in limiting students’ studies. If a student completes the minimum requirements and the requirements for their major why are they not entitled to study whatever else they like? Our course selection is already so limited by the enormous amount of minimum requirements and the stress they put on students to complete them. If someone can explain to me why I really, truly need the 12 credits in science when I have no interest in science at all, I would be happy to take the courses. Yet as of right now, the idea of trudging through another science class, which will just end up hurting my GPA, does not whip me into a frenzy. So beware fellow Hurricanes, you might be caught victim to the higher-ups on this one. Make sure you get a list from your advisor to prevent a potential graduation disaster. I might get to take my intersession class anyway, if I can prove to Arts and Sciences that the course content is suitably academic.

Denise Kolb is a senior