“N” Requirement Waived for Underclassmen

March 17, 2011 Campus, Features

The “N” general education requirement is a lab class that most Rollins students must take to graduate. In the form of O-N classes (organic science-oriented labs) and P-N classes (physical science-oriented labs), the lab classes have been regarded by students as “easy and fun” to “painful, busy and long.” However, the Rollins classes of 2013 and 2014 are no longer required to take the lab credit, much to the excitement of many students in those classes, and to the annoyances of some of the upperclassmen and those who have already earned the “N.”

The main reason for the recent change is the renovation of the Bush Science Center. “Spaces will be limited,” said Assistant Professor of Physics Christopher Fuse, who was among those involved in the decision to temporarily forgo the credit requirement. “Because of the issues and stress involved in fitting into less space, we feel that this is the right thing to do,” he said.

Although the lab requirement would be dropped due to those circumstances, students whose majors still require an “N” credit will have no problem scheduling. “This will not affect science majors,” continued Fuse. “This method is designed to ensure that we’re serving the population of students at Rollins.”

Many Rollins underclassmen expressed relief about the change, but many upperclassmen— both those who have yet to take lab classes and those who have—are unenthused. Some have addressed other concerns. “I think the students will be less educated,” said Addison Sims ’11. “The ‘N’ credit is a vital portion of the liberal arts education Rollins offers.”

Given the circumstances concerning the Bush renovation and the limited amount of lab space, dropping of the lab requirement for Rollins freshmen and sophomores would be considered a most prudent choice. Despite this, students are still able to further their education with scientific courses. Fuse expressed hope that more students will continue to attend science classes as the professors strive to make it an interesting learning experience. “We would always love for students to take more science courses,” he said.

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