UPDATE: The SGA has passed the credit resolution. The resolution essentially says that the student body feels that adding a half credit for these courses is something the administration should consider.
As it stands, Middlebury’s credit system is pretty simple. Every class is one credit, regardless of the number of hours spent in the classroom, the difficulty , or the department. There is no such thing as a credit-hour here which means that every class is weighted exactly the same. While this is your traditional liberal arts credit system, it has aroused discontent from an array of students who feel that the system treats them unfairly.
Primarily, these objections come from the students who are pursuing lab-intensive science majors. Labs typically constitute 3 or 4 hours of in class work in addition to a lecture and a discussion. These classes also have a separate professor from the lecture and a separate set of work. Central to the argument to modify the credit system is that these students feel they are simply in class a disproportionate amount of time.
SGA announced some time ago that it is considering a resolution regarding the college’s credit system that will recommend granting an additional half credit for lab classes as well as introductory languages and studios. In an email sent out to the student body, the SGA stated:
The premise behind this [resolution] is that these courses meet for significantly more time than other classes and it would make it easier for all students to take time intensive courses that they otherwise would not be able to fit into their schedule if the course only received 1.0 credits.
However, the resolution has certainly not been universally accepted. Students against the credit modification claim that it goes against the principle of the liberal arts institution to treat some courses as more valuable than others. Furthermore, these students claim that there is no direct relationship between the difficulty of a class and how many hours a week they meet.
The SGA votes on the resolution tonight after which, if approved, the administration will have to consider the new system. As an issue that is clearly very important to the continued education of Middlebury students, every student has a right to have their opinion heard, so feel free to weigh in on your thoughts about this issue in the comments.