Eastern assigns freshmen schedules

By Lelia Thatcher, Staff Writer

As of this year, freshmen at EWU are being assigned schedules by their advisor prior to orientation to ensure that all students are able to take only classes that they need.

Mark Baldwin, Associate Vice President of Academic Planning at EWU, said that there were two main reasons for the change. The first was that the time allocated in the first step program wasn’t enough for every student and advisor to be able to meet and create a schedule. Instead, incoming freshmen completed a survey that advisors used to make each individual schedule.

The second was that assigning schedules allowed the advisors to disperse enrollment more evenly and decrease waitlists significantly. With a record high freshmen enrollment this year, popular classes would have filled up quickly and some students would be left with limited options.

“For the first time, through a major switch of strategy, it has worked about as good as it can,” said Baldwin, but some students have expressed frustration.

Freshman Ryan Hooper was assigned only 13 credits and then told he could pick up a PE class for extra credits if he wanted. Baldwin said this is something that advisors are working to fix and will likely not be an issue next year. He pointed out while credits do matter, it is important to recognize that every single freshman is taking three classes that count for either a general requirement or a major prerequisite, which he said is “something we’ve never been able to do before.”

Freshmen Riley McNabb said he would have liked a say in the timing of his school schedule so that he could have coordinated it with his personal schedule. As far as this issue, Baldwin said students were welcome to contact their advisor to change their schedule, but very few students actually did.

“It is a little bit of a trade off,” said Baldwin, “but if you look at the 1700 students that came in as a whole, it is better for everybody.”