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Freshman Composition Classes

jsmomjsmom 261 replies75 threads Member
edited June 2010 in University of Pittsburgh
My daughter just got back from Pitt Start and was very discouraged in the number of classes that were closed. She is very much interested in taking one freshman composition class and her advisor told ALL the freshman composition classes were closed and he could not offer ANY freshman composition class. She is planning on majoring/minoring in music and she could not take ANY of the recommended first semester freshman year classes. She can take a music class but it's not one of the required music classes for her major/minor and some of the classes must be taken freshman year in order to graduate on time. I know next semester she should try to register early - but is there anything she can do about this semester? Shouldn't she have been automatically be placed in the recommended first semester classes that are required for your major?
edited June 2010
25 replies
Post edited by jsmom on
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Replies to: Freshman Composition Classes

  • MTnestMTnest 1766 replies27 threads Senior Member
    Sorry to hear about your daughter's experience. I would have thought they held some spots open for the later Pitt Start sessions especially the freshman composition. For engineering, they held spots open for the later Pitt Start sessions. Son was given a list of elective classes that they had spots reserved for the engineering majors so he was able to get all the classes he needed and he got his first choice for his elective. We were very impressed by the engineering advising/Pitt Start session we just attended (6/23-24).
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  • jsmomjsmom 261 replies75 threads Member
    MTnest - I don't mean to be bad mouthing Pitt and the Pitt Start session as we too were impressed with the Pitt Start session and the one on one advising. We also were told that spots would be held for freshman classes and would open up for later Pitt Start sessions - however, her advisor did say that all the freshman comp courses are full and he could not put her in one at this time. She went up with the classes that she wanted to take but ended up with entirely different classes. Was your son able to get a freshman comp class in his schedule for the fall or will he be taking it in the spring?
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  • MTnestMTnest 1766 replies27 threads Senior Member
    I didn't take it as bad mouthing Pitt :) If my son had the difficulties, I would be expressing my frustrations too!!! He placed out of the freshman comp classes but I don't believe it is required for the engineering majors (I could be wrong).
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  • stowmomstowmom 215 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Last year my D went to PittStart the end of July and was closed out of her Comp class. She had AP'd out of many of the other gen ed classes and they made room for her in a speech class that she wasn't suppose to take until her junior year just to get the credit for full time status. She didn't attempt to get comp in her spring semester because her schedule was already full with required classes so she scheduled it for the fall this coming year. Let me say that was with some difficulty, too. She ended up taking it once a week in the evening. She also said that she knows of some seniors that still have to take it. Apparently many people are cut out freshman year and then have to take it later and that makes it hard for each incoming freshman class to get scheduled. You'd think they would have a lot more comp classes since it is required for most if not all majors.
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  • lkf725lkf725 4596 replies184 threads Senior Member
    Seriously. Not only are some upperclass students taking requirements because they were shut out earlier, but some do it by design. I know of kids who procrastinated on the general classes because they chose to take some "more fun" electives. Then they are stuck with comp and speech classes later on. Pitt should really have the advisors push kids to take these classes earlier when they can most benefit from them. Also, electives would be better spent on upper level courses.
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  • momhippomomhippo 201 replies53 threads Junior Member
    What's the course name & number of the composition class that's closed already?
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  • drumbumdrumbum 43 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Don't worry. I'm also an incoming freshman who attended Pittstart in early June (around the 10th) and discovered that 9/10 classes I had chosen were closed or full. Not to rip on Pitt too much yet, but it's discouraging to find out that most classes were closed, and on top of that I got my 4th choice housing. I guess it's part of being a freshman, but still...
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  • lkf725lkf725 4596 replies184 threads Senior Member
    drumbum, what types of classes were closed?
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  • fishdontbitefishdontbite 57 replies5 threads Junior Member
    I went to PittStart May 22/23 and the film composition class I wanted was already full. My advisor said I could wait until next semester to take it, but I didn't want to risk not getting it next semester either so I just took the regular one. I'm in the business school but I want to double major in film studies so it would've been really nice to take the comp in film, but oh well.
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  • jsmomjsmom 261 replies75 threads Member
    My D's advisor told ALL the freshman comp classes were closed and she could take it next semester but the comp class she was interested in would not be offered. I'll have her contact her advisor again as the start date gets closer to see if perhaps some spots opened up. Drumbum - my D also felt frustrated to find herself closed out of almost all the classes she wanted to take and then on top of it got put in her absolute last choice housing - single in Holland Hall. She's feeling better about the living situation - I just wish she weren't initially disappointed in the classes available to her as well as her housing.
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  • LurkNessMonsterLurkNessMonster 1932 replies83 threads Senior Member
    I don't know if Pitt is cutting back on the number of classes offered. I certainly hope not! But as a freshman last year, my daughter was closed out of only one required course (philosophy). She went to PittStart at the very end of June. She was also closed out of a language course, but the department chairman signed her in. She placed out of freshman comp, but got the next level of comp with no problem.

    She's had little or no trouble signing up for this year, too. Maybe she's just lucky?

    Seems to me that all the Pitt kids should be able (and encouraged) to take comp as freshmen. The whole point of teaching them comp is that they have the writing skills to get through the coursework and do well in college. What's the point of delaying that until they're upperclassmen?
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  • drumbumdrumbum 43 replies6 threads Junior Member
    I was shut out of most of the comp classes, as well as a bunch of psychology classes. Like I said, I understand that I'm a freshman and that some classes will be full, but it was very disappointing to not get into a single class or housing assignment that was requested.
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  • dadinatordadinator 1326 replies113 threads Senior Member
    This discussion is a black eye for the school as far as prospective students (or their parents) are concerned.

    Pitt has gone down a few notches in my book.

    Freshmen not getting into classes and getting their last housing choice...ugh!
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  • jsmomjsmom 261 replies75 threads Member
    I was afraid I might be giving Pitt a black eye. As I understand it, they reserve spots for freshman in classes and they gradually open the spots up as the summer goes along and more students come up for academic orientation. (PittStart takes about 125 for two days beginning early May through mid August for academic orientation, registration and first meeting with their advisor) I am not sure if visiting at the end of June meant that if we came a week later in the beginning of July that would have made a difference. While initially disappointed, my daughter is now pleased with her classes and still hoping a spot will open in a freshman comp course. As for housing, she is also OK now with being in a single in all women's dorm. We found out that the dorms are pretty nice and that the entire floor is freshman and that the girl next door is in a single. My D thought that perhaps a single would be better than a bad roommate. So while it wasn't her first choice for housing (as well as her classes) she is hoping that it all works out for the best. I think she handles it better than me. While these are two BIG issues - I must say that Pitt has handled everything else quite well - everything has been organized, well communicated and when making her final decision the school set up meetings with various dept's, etc and really made her feel like she was getting small school treatment at a large school.
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  • chris07chris07 508 replies22 threads Member
    I think he was being sarcastic.
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  • LurkNessMonsterLurkNessMonster 1932 replies83 threads Senior Member
    Well then, he should have put one of those winking-face emoticons at the end of his post so we would know! :)
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  • dadinatordadinator 1326 replies113 threads Senior Member
    Thank you for the response, jsmom. I am glad to hear that everything else has been well communicated and organized. It is good to hear that your daughter is now OK with her dorm arrangement.

    (I was not being sarcastic in my previous e-mail - these are causes for concern.)
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  • lkf725lkf725 4596 replies184 threads Senior Member
    Not to defend Pitt regarding difficulty in getting courses, but you find the same thing at many, if not all, big universities. I know kids at Penn State who didn't get a single class they wanted as a freshman either.
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  • LurkNessMonsterLurkNessMonster 1932 replies83 threads Senior Member
    lkf, I know that what you're saying is true. It's just that my daughter last year didn't have trouble getting into freshman comp or anything else that she wanted. How about your son?
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  • chris07chris07 508 replies22 threads Member
    Oh, well the reason I thought it was sarcastic was because there are sophomores who don't get their first housing assignment and sometimes even first choice classes. So expecting every single freshman to get them is a little foolish.
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