Here are answers to common questions about the courses your student may be taking and the path to achieving a degree here at Carroll.
Why is my student taking classes not related to their major?
During your student's time at Carroll, the majority of the courses they will be taking will be related to their major; however, they will also be required to complete a set of courses to fulfill the Pioneer Core general education requirements. For example, if your student is a biology major with a pre-physical therapy emphasis, they will be required to take at least one course from either art, music or theatre to fulfill their fine arts distribution area.
Is my student still going to be able to graduate if he/she changes their major?
Your student's time to graduation may be adjusted depending on:
- When they change their major in their academic career. For example, did they change their major after their first semester at Carroll or after their junior year?
- If the new major require your student to be admitted to the program. For example, if your student is looking at changing their major to nursing or athletic training, they will need to apply to the program after taking and completing (with appropriate grades) the prerequisite coursework.
- The required coursework for their new major, since some majors at Carroll have fewer requirements than others. For example, changing to a psychology major later in their academic career may not affect a student's time to graduation as much as changing to an accounting major due to the fact that a psychology major consists of 40 credits of required coursework compared to 80 credits required for the accounting major. Regardless, every student is required to successfully complete at least 128 credits, the Pioneer Core general education curriculum, BS or BA requirements and all required courses of at least one major before graduation.
Will the classes my student took previously be wasted if they change their major?
No. All courses students have earned credit in will count toward the graduation requirement of at least 128 credits. When a student changes majors, they do not lose any of the course credit they have earned at the collegiate level, any of the knowledge they have gained or the development that they have gone though. Each course, regardless of subject, teaches the student more than just the topic of study. When a student changes their major, they work with an academic advisor to talk through a new academic plan, how what they have taken benefits them, and what knowledge and skills they possess will work into the new major.
How many classes should my student be taking per year?
On average, we will typically advise students to take 16 credits per semester (or 32 credits per year) as this will keep them on track to reach the total of 128 credits needed to graduate in 4 years. If a student takes a lighter semester, maybe 12-14 credits, this may mean that they will need to take 1 or more semesters of 18 credits to stay on track to graduate in 4 years. Students can also take courses during winter term or summer terms to stay on track or earn credits toward their degree program of choice, which may help them be able to graduate in 4 years, even if they need more than 128 credits to graduate with their programs (major(s)/minor(s)) they would like to earn at Carroll.
How do I know my student is taking the classes they need? How can I make sure my student is doing what they need to in order to graduate?
To guarantee your student is taking the appropriate classes to fulfill their major, minor, degree and Pioneer Core requirements, you can reference the Carroll University Undergraduate Catalog. However, urging your student to meet with their academic advisor 2-3 times per semester and keeping their academic plan up to date is the best way to support and empower your student to stay on track to their anticipated graduation date and earning the degree they are striving to complete.