Number system costs students credits

By CHELSEA ANDERSON/Montana State News

The recent shift at Montana State University Bozeman to the MSU Billings numbering system for literature classes has resulted in a loss of credits for a number of students.

The two universities have been working towards a standardized numbering system to make transitions of transfer students and their credits more efficient, According to the English department Chair Kirk Branch.

According to Branch, before the transfer to the new system, the department worked with the MSU Bozeman registrar to make sure that the new classes would count for the same credits as the older classes. Changing the numbering system involved the rewriting of the British Literature courses from time period-based class titles to Advanced British Literature I, II, and III.

The transition was supposed to simply be a renaming of literature classes, instead it was a complete change of the British Literature curriculum. As a result of, new classes that were supposed to cover the same curriculum of older classes, covered entirely different subjects within British Literature. So a number of students became enrolled in what appeared to the registrar as repeat classes.

One particularly troublesome class, British Literature of the 15th and 16th Century, was renamed Advanced British Literature I. However, the two classes, offered in two different fall semesters, covered entirely different material. Considering the two different curricula and that the new class names were not advertised to the English students, many were left confused when they only received the credit hours for one.

Carrina Neiman, a senior in the English Literature program is one of the students affected by the transition. “I was really confused because when I looked on DegreeWorks a class that I had gotten an A- in was marked insufficient,” she said.

After the issue was brought to Branch’s attention by a student, the department began work with the registrar’s office immediately.

“Fixing the issue involved an entire review of the British Literature classes to ensure no other mistakes had been made in assuming curriculum overlapped when it really did not,” Branch said.

According to Branch the issue is expected to be resolved before the end of the semester to ensure graduating seniors who have been affected will not be prevented from graduating.

– edited by Sarah Snebold

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