MC aims to lessen credit requirements

Maryville College transitions from a minimum requirement of 128 credit hours to graduate to a minimum requirement of 120 credit hours to graduate.
Maryville College transitions from a minimum requirement of 128 credit hours to graduate to a minimum requirement of 120 credit hours to graduate. Photo by Beau Branton.

Due to recent uproar about fitting 128 credits into four years at Maryville College, Academic Dean Barbara Wells, faculty, and students aim to change the credit requirement in order to graduate. Students’ concerns have been heard, and the discussion to change four-year credit hours from 128 to 120 has launched.

When Maryville College compares itself to other colleges, 120 credit hours seems to be the new academic norm. The conversation seems to be headed in favor of mimicking MC’s collegiate counterparts and reworking towards a 120 credit hour minimum.

Only eight of 60 majors that Maryville College offers hit and/or exceed the current 128 credit hour limit for graduation, most of them being a science or teacher licensure major. This means that anyone who does not major in any of the eight majors hitting the benchmark has to take several electives in order to graduate. There are 14 majors, however, that would meet a 120 credit hour minimum already, due to their strenuous paradigm. All other majors remain steady in the upper nineties.

The committee heading up this discussion is called the Academic Life Council (ALC), which consists of Dean Barbara Wells, several professors and three students. Grace Plemmons, a junior and student representative on the Academic Life Council, gave insight to the committee’s inner discussions.

“The Academic Life Council is a really important group that students don’t often know about,” said Plemmons. “We discuss and deliberate on certain topics that are presented by faculty and approve or deny them based on how we think it will affect the faculty and students.”

The Academic Life Council has been diligent in discussing the change thoroughly.

“Currently, we have been discussing the pros and cons to making this change. When we compare Maryville College to our ‘sister’ colleges, we see that they are all mostly at a 120 credit hour minimum to graduate,” said Plemmons. “It could, potentially, save a student from having to pay for an extra semester to simply fill missing electives, even though they have already filled their requirements for their major.”

It is important to note that this change wouldn’t mean that 120 credit hours is a cap on how many credits a student could take, but a minimum requirement for graduation. Many students who major in Chemistry, English, History, Music, Physical Education, Spanish and Theatre Studies will still be required to document more than 120 credit hours because that is what’s required for their individual major.  Other majors will have to take electives, or classes somewhat related to their major, in order to hit a 120 credit hour benchmark.

The next step for the Academic Life Council is to vote on the change once the conversations on the subject seem to be exhausted. Anyone who wants to give feedback or be a part of the discussion should email Dean Wells at [email protected].

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