The mess created by the recent supplemental education requirement change has been a direct result of bureaucratic miscommunication — one administrators should have seen coming.
Currently, students majoring in the College of Arts and Sciences must complete a supplemental education requirement — three courses above the 200 level in each division of the college.
But the recent change affected students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the School of Education who have a secondary major within the College of Arts and Sciences.
Last Tuesday, Academic Advising sent an e-mail to these students relieving them of this burdensome supplemental education requirement.
And the timing couldn’t have been worse.
Not only was the requirement change announced mid-semester, it occurred one week before the registration date for seniors and the day after the deadline to drop a course or declare it pass/D+/D/fail.
The end result: under previously correct guidance from Academic Advising, students are now stuck in classes they neither want nor need to take.
In an e-mail to journalism school administrators obtained by The Daily Tar Heel, Academic Advising gave the unofficial go-ahead for advisers to extend the grace period for students affected by the change to drop or declare a course pass/D+/D/fail.
But still no official announcement of the grace period had been made at the time of publication.
Even though the professional school major takes priority, there can often be confusion between academic worksheets.
Courses that satisfy the requirement are limited and can be difficult to get into because students within a course’s department always take priority. Thus, many College of Arts and Sciences majors don’t get their first, second, or even third pick for supplemental education.
Therefore, the requirement change is a good thing — and better late than never.
Officials have still not signaled how they will handle the problem in the future.
But administrators should be more transparent. They need to be clear about expectations and ultimately, cannot leave students in the dark.
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