The Reality of Fitchburg State Courses

By Emily Martin

Are students scrolling through social media, or taking notes? You decide. (Photo by Holly Wentworth)

In most cases, students take courses that do not interest them because the course is required for one reason or another.  Isn’t the whole reason students go to university to learn more about a field that interests them the most?  Why should these hard working, paying students be stuck taking so many required classes that they’re not interested in?  
The reason students are at school is to develop the pre-existing interest in a field of study.  Yet, in cases like Fitchburg State, certain classes are restricted and often difficult to find or get into.  The course catalog at Fitchburg State lists the classes offered at the school, but students are often plagued with the words, “Offered every fourth semester,” or, “No classes were found that meet your search criteria.” Former Fitchburg State student, Erin Martin says, “There were so many interesting courses listed in the course catalog that I wasn’t able to take because they were offered every fourth semester. Or courses were listed and filled within minutes of being posted.”  Martin stated that she wished she could have been exposed to a larger variety of classes while studying for her Bachelor of Science degree.
As an English major, Martin claimed, “So many classes have just stopped being taught. I’ve known a lot of people who wanted to take a tech writing class, and now the school doesn’t offer it.  It’s a shame that students are unable to take certain classes.”  
Student Jane H. claims, “Most of my classes are rather repetitive; the material never changes and the assignments are the same as a similar class I took a semester ago.” Students are in need of new classes and new class material.  Many courses are the same class hidden under a different name.  For example, “Feature and Magazine Writing” is so similar to “Journalism,” and “Neuroscience” to “General Psychology”. Students are paying quite the price for an education and are too often only being educated on the same repetitive topics.  
In English classes, students are constantly taught and retaught the dynamics of close reading.  In psychology classes, students can only go over the same experiments.  The classes at Fitchburg State need to have more classes geared towards students within a specific major.  The required number of classes take away from students in specific majors learning new and specialized topics.
Jane H. exclaimed, “Students are supposed to be able to go to class and be challenged, most students in my classes, are dazed or caught texting or on Facebook.  It’s not fair that students suffer through boring, required classes, or classes where they aren’t learning new material!”  The Fitchburg State students most often express their rage during class registration.  So often, students are unable to get into the classes that they needed or were interested in taking.  Perhaps less classes should be required, or possibly many more independent studies should be taken advantage of.  Or better yet, the curriculum needs revision! It’s clear that perhaps something needs to change at Fitchburg State.