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Senate discusses decrease in credits for graduation

Trevor Dietrich, student trustee, consulted Senate members about the possibility of reducing the required credit hours for a four-year degree from 125 to 120.

Many schools across the country have a 120 credit hour policy, both Dietrich and Randy Rhine, vice president of enrollment management and student services said. Dietrich also said that the reduction may help students earn their degree with less difficulty.

“Five credits won’t change the years of schooling, but the hope is that it would help financially,” Dietrich said.

“One of things driving this conversation nation-wide is the cost of education.

“It’s something that’s very important to you, and I would encourage you to get involved,” Rhine said.

Susan Schaeffer, Senate sponsor, said that faculty is looking at all classes required for a degree.

“Elements of Music, what do I need that for?” Emery Dye, senator at large, said.

Riley Machal, constitutional court, said it would be beneficial if classes were offered at more varied times.

“I feel like maybe you can get [the needed classes] worked out with our credit hours, but not with our class schedule,” Machal said.

“We want not a committee, but a community, and I think that would be a great time for students to join,” Schaeffer said.

Jacob Karmazin, Senate president, said while five credit hours may make a small difference to the individual, the whole of the lost hours may hurt CSC financially.

“That’s a lot of money the institution would be losing. I think we should keep it at 125 [credit hours],” Karmazin said.

Senators asked if tuition and fees would be raised to compensate for the reduced credit hours. Rhine said while he could not speak for the administration, he did not anticipate that happening.

“I doubt we would turn around and make cost increases to make up the loss. That would be self-defeating.

“In my humble opinion, I would be very surprised if that would be the case,” Rhine said.
The issue goes to vote in January among Nebraska State College System board members.

The credit hour discussion prompted conversation about the cost of online summer courses.

Karmazin said that, according to the registrar’s office, in-person on-campus courses are less expensive to ameliorate the costs of commuting.

Karmazin said that he felt this reasoning was poor.

Rhine listed the expense of hosting classes online as a major factor for the higher cost.
Dietrich referred senators to the NSCS’s website, nscs.edu, for more information.

Karmazin, who sits on the technology fee committee, said that to clarify from last Senate meeting’s discussion, specialized labs, not general labs, may have their funding cut.

At the Nov. 15 meeting, Travis Doht, senator at large, said that funding may decrease, and while computers may not be taken out of labs, they would also not be upgraded.

Karmazin also said that because the student body is saturated with surveys, a student forum might be established as an alternative method for obtaining feedback.

Department heads and professors would nominate students they feel would perform well and create a forum where students could express specific opinions and answer questions posed by administration and the committee.

Doht said that plans for a redundant internet connection, which would increase wireless connection speed on campus, will move forward in January.

Senate approved a new decorating scheme for the Student Center, presented by Sarah Kingsbury, senator of B.E.A.M.S.S.

This plan dictates that the north and east walls would be painted CSC maroon, while the south and west walls would be done in tan.

Kingsbury said that the Student Center’s current decorating scheme has been in place for about 15 years.

Senate executive board members also agreed to write a letter of approval that would give the go-ahead to place a glass case in the alcove that currently houses the ATM.

Senate allocated $400 from its foundation account for its Christmas party.

Leon Swiftbird, senator at large, resigned his position.

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