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The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

What to know about new curriculum before Advising Day

Bethel University has changed from a 3-credit course-dominated system to one that has 1, 2 and 4-credit courses.

I assume everyone panicked a little when Assistant Provost Julie Finnern emailed all CAS students about the new curriculum. Or maybe you didn’t open the email. Either way, all Bethel students are required to meet with their adviser before registering, so anyone graduating after spring 2024 should be paying attention to the new credit system. 

As the designated meeting attendee for The Clarion, I have witnessed my fair share of conversations about this change, including new general education requirements. I have spent hours diligently examining documents shared with faculty about the change. In my time at Bethel, the Department of English and Journalism has gone through two curriculum changes – including the new 4-credit system change. 

Oh, and I made my sister seven four-year plans before she started at Bethel this fall. 

Advising day is Oct. 25. There will be no classes between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Registration takes place over four days: Nov. 7, 9, 13 and 15. Your registration time and date depend on how many credits you have taken. Find your slot on MyBethel under “Student Academics.

Here is a non-comprehensive list of what I think you should know before you walk into your advising meeting: 

Degree credit amounts won’t go up

DON’T WORRY. You will still need 122 credits to earn a bachelor’s degree, which means the number of general education credits and degree-specific credits you are required to take will stay the same. That said, if you choose not to change to the new curriculum, you may end up taking more credits since the same classes may be offered at a higher credit load. This means freshmen may benefit more depending on their academic department. If the changes mean you have to stay at Bethel longer, talk to your adviser. Finnern also wrote in the email that the time and cost of completing your degree will not go up. 

A four-year plan is a must

Flying by the seat of your pants with graduation requirements works until you get to your senior year and realize you have way more credits than you have time to complete. Advisers will give you a transition plan, but you must apply it to yourself. Pay attention to your transfer level — it changes what general education courses you need to take. In small departments, courses are not offered as frequently, so ask your adviser when it will be offered.

Prepping for registration

The best way to get ready for Registration is the “Plan Ahead” option on Banner, which will show you what time all classes are scheduled for. Knowing what classes you want to find first using “Look Up Classes” will make your life so much easier. Otherwise, you will have to scroll through every class a department offers and click on “See Section” for each one to check whether it is being offered. 

Petitions are your friend

During a curriculum change, your biggest tool is the petition form. Talk to your adviser before filling one out. These can be used to get transfer credits or Bethel classes that are no longer offered to count toward degree requirements. Any petitions go through the department chair, so be sure to keep them in the loop.

The “What-if” button

This is a tool for later. Once the catalog for 2024-25 is uploaded into Degreeworks, go to the “What If” function and see how switching catalog years will affect the classes. It can help you predict any problems that could arise and decide if you want to change curriculum years or not. This will be especially helpful for upperclassmen trying to graduate on time.

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About the Contributor
Molly Wilson
Molly Wilson, News Editor
Molly Wilson, 21, is a senior journalism and political science double major and math minor. She likes her Retro Boardwalk Owala water bottle, being a student manager of Lucia Chorum and experimenting with her newly pierced ears. [email protected] | 763.242.6904

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