Sample 4 year schedules

<p>As I have discussed before on the board my D is interested in English (writing) while also obtaining a Secondary Ed. major. We are lucky in that she has now identified 3 schools she would be happy at. An in-state public, an oos public and an oos small private LAC. All research indicates the schools are likely acceptances and the in- state has immediate decision (non binding) so my D will hopefully have some good news by Labor Day. Is it unreasonable to ask each school for examples of schedules outlining how a student would graduate with an English/Sec Ed degree in 4 years- it would be nice to see real examples. To be honest I have been on their web sites and I have trouble seeing how it is possible in 7 semesters (need 1 for student teaching). If they provide examples we could check prior course offerings etc to see if it is possible- better still would be an actual students experience (with identifying information removed). As you can see I am an info/research junkee/nut. The request would not be made until the scool granted an acceptance and only to schools under serious consideration. Has anyone on the board ever requested this type of information?</p>

<p>Do they not have the four year schedule for English and the four year schedule for secondary education? If so, I'd sit down with pencil and paper and figure it out myself. </p>

<p>If they don't have the 4 yr schedules online, maybe you can ask them to send you a copy of their curriculum guides.</p>

<p>My guess is that there will be way too many variables involved for them to give you sample schedules that mean anything. (For instance, what are the odds that she can actually GET INTO the classes in any particular semester. Registration can be a jungle, even at small schools.)</p>

<p>The real problem as I see it is when you total all the required classes there are to many to fit in 7 semesters. Unless certain classes cover 2 areas and count twice to complete everything in 4 years is impossible. An example the in-state public has 4 credit courses and you take 4 per semester = 28 classes. Between the college gen ed, each schools core- both English and Educations schools have cores and the required classes for English and Education and you are well into 30+ closer to 36 required courses.</p>

<p>Some departments give sample "schedules." I know the Math Dept at Harvard does because there are so many options for Freshman Calculus and the requirements are fairly sequential. But this is only one department and it does not take into account the fact that far too many courses meet at exactly the same time (and they also conflict with Physics courses which are a popular combination with math courses). The schedules, in other words, are not schedules properly speaking but recommended sequences of courses, taking no account of possible scheduling conflicts even with the departments, let alone with other departments. So sample schedules have very limited utility.</p>

<p>Nonetheless, your D should make up her own sequence of courses. What are the requirements for each of her majors? What are the prerequisites for these required courses? If, for example, a particular course has prerequisites, she won't be able to take it in the fall of her freshman year, never mind that it looks like it could fit into her schedule. She should try to make a list of all the required courses for all her majors and see how she can fulfill them in her four years at college.</p>

<p>If there are 36 required courses to finish up with both degrees, and you have to take 4 per semester (which is what I'm understanding from your post)...then that would be 9 semesters. Why not just go 5 years instead of 4, and do the practice teaching the second semester of the 5th year?</p>

<p>Are you saying that all classes are worth 4 credit hours, therefore a normal semester would be 4*4 = 16 hours? I thought most schools have 3 hour classes, except for sciences with labs and some math classes.</p>

<p>It does take a lot of time and organization to figure out all the alternatives. Several weeks ago my oldest son was visiting, and he spend an entire afternoon (about 4 hours) coming up with various plans/scenarios for completing different majors/minors he was considering. And that was just for one college, after he's already completed his frosh year!</p>

<p>Education degrees are often already planned out before the student starts because of the student teaching semester. Most LACs will post schedules of their core online. You might also consider summer or mid term classes at a local comm college for some elective courses.</p>

<p>Don't forget winter sessions (some colleges have 3-week ones in which you can take a single course). The main disadvantage with these is that the dorms usually aren't open and the student has to make other housing arrangements. But sometimes, it is possible to take a course in a 3-week winter session at a college near the student's home and transfer the credit (especially if the course is something outside either major that's just being taken to fulfill a distribution requirement).</p>

<p>Most kids don't do anything useful with those 5-week December/January breaks anyway.</p>

<p>Another thing to look at is the credit total of each class. For instance, at the school I work at, though a normal class is 1 course unit, quite a few of the ed classes are one-half course unit. Thus, more than four per semester is not uncommon.</p>

<p>If it's a variable credit school, like my S's school, some classes can be three credits, some four, and students usually take five classes a semester.</p>

<p>Often, course catalogues give sample "ladders" which show a possible four year progression for each major--check if these schools do that. Otherwise, communication with Ed Departments on feasibility of four year graduation is in order. English is a fairly simple major to pair with Ed, so that should help make it do-able (not like a science major with a lot of labs, for instance.)</p>

<p>To be honest I want to factor in cost- if I can safely figure that the LAC English/Ed program can be done in 4 years but the in-state public most likely will take 5 the 40k LAC may be feasible. Also if the oos public can be done in 4 years that negates the extra cost.
I think the big factor is which courses can count towards various requirements- gen ed, core and English.</p>

<p>Don't forget going to college is getting an education and there needs to be room for fun, nonessential classes. Allow for flexibility, please don't let too rigid a schedule determine which school is best. Allow feelings, not just finances, to play a role. It would seem best to plot out the education major and see if the additional major requirements can fit in. Then allow time for those schedule breakers- full classes, time conflicts... No school can be expected to do this for you. You are lucky you can access information for probable schedules online these days. The easy way would be to just add a year and feel lucky if things work out in less time. By all means, do not hold your D to a tight schedule once she's in college; she needs to be able to take full advantage of the school she chooses and change any previously made schedules as she evolves. Good luck to you and her. You do not want regrets years later because she pushed to finish instead of getting the most out of her irreplaceable college years.</p>

<p>For many schools, secondary education and a field of study (english, math, social sciences, etc.) are not handled in the same way as other double majors. The course requirements may be completely different (and usually are) for individuals who are english majors and individuals who are english education majors. You should be able to contact the education department at each school to find out if this is the case.</p>

<p>If your D intends to double major rather than declaring an area of study as an education major, it might not be possible to do so within 7 semesters. Though, as someone who is double majoring in two unrelated fields (as a transfer student) and spending a semester abroad, it can generally be done with careful planning, a good adviser, and an extra class a semester if need be. Though I don't know that they could help with showing potential schedules.</p>

<p>It's a good thing to try to plan this out but please don't have this be your only considertion. Remember, most students change majors once or twice as they are exposed to things they never had a chance to study in high school. Your daughter may think she wants to be an English teacher now but her career goals could change in the future.</p>

<p>My 2 cents is I would never sign up to a plan which calls for mandatory conclusion in 4 years. You never know what will happen. Your D could change majors, as others have said, or have to drop classes, God forbid if she were to get mono or something and end up dropping an entire semester. Too much pressure. I'd look at it like...we can afford to do 5 years if we absolutely had to, but we don't want to so hopefullly that won't happen.</p>

<p>I agree that it would be nice to relax and enjoy the 4 or 5 years of college-that is easier at a 20k public compared to a 40k private. To be honest I feel that schools lock students into a rigid schedule if the student is even going to consider being a teacher. I wonder if all those specialized classroom education classes are needed-. I wonder if subject matter knowledge and field experience (time in the classroom) is best. Classroom theory can be limited.</p>

<p>tom1944 - I imagine you've dug deep into the websites, but just in case...</p>

<p>Sometimes you have to go into the Current Student section in the Academics area of a website, for a particular major. At that point, you may find an Advising Manual or something similar with sample schedules.</p>

<p>I know that there is great variability in what you can find online, even with digging deep, as I was the "Research Assistant" when my S had to transfer. In his field of Engineering, I found some schools had detailed 4-year sample schedules and some virtually nothing at all.</p>

<p>BTW, it is certainly possible that some courses will count to fulfill more than one requirement. For example, at my son's school (Hopkins) a single course can be tagged both H (humanities) and W (writing intensive) or S (social science) and Q (quantitative), thus fulfilling two distribution requirements. Those examples might not fit the situation you describe, but there could be parallels.</p>

<p>My opinion is that it would certainly be fine - once she is accepted - to try to get the kind of information you describe. I'm not at all sure it's inappropriate to seek it out before applying either. Perhaps ask an Admissions Officer how to go about it. Or, I'm guessing there might be an Advising Staff for Education majors (akin to the Advising staff many schools have for Engineering majors). These are staff people, not faculty members, who can be very knowledgeable about what it takes to put together viable term schedules and 4-year schedules. At both of the schools my son attended, he had a faculty Engineering Advisor and then the staff of the Engineering Advising office as additional resources. I would think a call to them, blind, along the lines of "I/my D is considering your school. Are many/most students able to fulfill their major requirements, their Ed degree requirements and the distribution requirements in 4 years at school X?" "Are there sample schedules to look at?" would be perfectly in line.</p>

<p>My daughter just graduated with degrees in Education (she's certified K-9 in IL) and Sociology. She did it in four years at a very small private LAC. If she had not planned to do ed right away I don't think she would have been able to do it in four years. Her college required all ed majors to double major. I don't think that's unique either. Most of the private LAC's that we visited made a point of their four year (not six year) graduation rate. </p>

<p>It was definately hard to work in all the classes in the right order, especially since her school required three student teaching experiences, but most of the ed majors were able to do it within four years.</p>

<p>She was able to sneak in a study abroad as well but had to take two classes on-line to make it work.</p>

<p>jmmom and kathiep- thanks. I am finding that most of the schools we have looked into (15) you double major for teaching- subject + educ. I do know some colleges have English Ed or Math Ed etc but none that we have looked at.
jmmom- While I like to look at the web sites I always appreciate a college that is willing to answer direct questions. I am both surprised and disappointed when colleges seem unwilling to answer direct questions</p>

<p>Often double majors are possible when courses count towards both degrees.</p>

<p>And I wouldn't be too rigid about the 4 year schedule. Even going one summer might provide the extra credits needed, and it's worth it to be at a college you love.</p>

<p>I found, when training for a degree in teacher education, that the theory courses were a frustration to other students. They were eager to get on with the practice teaching, and wanted their professors to give them "a bag of tricks" while the profs said, "there is no bag of tricks." The profs repeatedly said you have to know your theory so that when real situations arise in the field, you have some inner rudder to steer your way through them and make sense of it all. THat turned out to be so. </p>

<p>Although I didn't find the education theory classes as intellectually stimulating as other disciplines, I did find the theories melded together so I could work in the field. Some of the practice teaching is good, but the teachers themselves get bogged down in the present so much they sometimes lose a bigger picture, too. It's refreshing to have some new theory to apply to what is often a "stuck" school situation that even the supervising teacher can't see. (Just don't be rude to a supervising teacher.) Anyway, the theory isn't a total waste, although many ed students moan about it. As my Dad told me once(I don't know if it's original): "Sometimes there's nothing as practical as a good theory. "</p>