Friday, October 15, 2021

ASMSU passes bill to reform colleges credit requirements

October 8, 2021
<p>Representatives applauding at the General Assembly meeting for ASMSU on October 7, 2021, at the International Center.</p>

Representatives applauding at the General Assembly meeting for ASMSU on October 7, 2021, at the International Center.

Photo by Lauren Snyder | The State News

Thursday night, Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, passed a bill to refine the current field experience credits required by MSU’s 17 degree-granting colleges.

This bill came as a result of General Assembly Rep. for the College of Communication Arts and Sciences Jack Harrison's discovery of the drastic difference in credits needed for each college. He wanted to make students’ college experience more accessible and useful.

Harrison explained the two main goals this bill is trying to achieve.

“Number one, just to get the support of ASMSU on reforming the system, and, number two, just to say that administration needs to look into each college's system and see how we can reform and make colleges’ systems more flexible,” Harrison said.

One example mentioned in the bill compared James Madison College and the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. The former has a requirement to complete two classes dedicated to job experience with a minimum of eight credits and a maximum of 12 credit enrollment, while the latter only requires one credit, with students allowed to enroll up to six credits.

General Assembly Rep. for the College of Communication Arts and Sciences Maxim Jenkins seconded the bill and shared his experience going through this process.

This past summer, Jenkins was enrolled in full-time internships for both colleges, in addition to another course. Because both internships were unpaid, Jenkins began working a part-time job to pay rent and cover basic living costs.

When all these obligations were combined, Jenkins said he only got two or three hours of sleep per night.

“This is not an experience I have alone,” Jenkins said. “This is an experience that has been described to me from many other students who have experienced this exact situation, whom themselves have experienced extreme difficulty, whether financially or in any other sector of their life, having to deal with these requirements.”

The bill mentioned three ways the current credit limits are hindering the success of students. 

Currently, the number of required credits may prevent students from having available credit hours to attend courses they desire, the cost of credits is burdening and most internships are unpaid except for ones offered in the summer.

“It's very important that they are seen, they are heard and that we as a student government serve them and attend to their needs,” Jenkins said.

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