One of the first things you do upon choosing the college you want to go to is schedule your classes. The thing is, with the choice of where to go looming over your head, it can be easy to forget that you need to actually plan for your college career. But how do you do that? How can you get organized? How do you know what courses to take? Follow the tips below and you’ll be able to make the most out of your first year of college. Get on the right track now, and you won’t have to play any catch up later.
Know Your Major Path
One of the keys to planning a successful college career is knowing what courses you are required to take in order to gain your degree. I know, this sounds simple, but many students get to their final semester of college only to realize that they are missing a class or two and won’t be able to graduate. To avoid situations like this, reach out to your advisor or an admissions staff member and ask for a course layout of your major. Most colleges should have one on-hand that they can send over to you. If you aren’t sure what you will be majoring in, you can still receive guidance on generic courses to take (that will count towards any major) until you do.
Pay Attention to Prerequisites
As you probably know, a prerequisite is a course you have to take prior to taking another course (ex. a prerequisite for Screenwriting 2 might be screenwriting 1). When you are deciding what courses you want to take it is important to look to higher level classes to see if any require multiple prerequisites. If you are looking at your major and you see a higher level class that requires 4 or more prerequisites, you should try to schedule at least one of those classes during your first year. You don’t want to get to your junior year and have to cram in a bunch of prerquisite courses just to graduate.
Get Your Gen Eds Out of the Way
They are a pain, but they are necessary. The chances are that regardless of what college you go to, you will probably have around two years of general education courses to take. Taking them right away isn’t something you are going to want to do, but it is something you should do. It is nice to set yourself up for an easy final semester of college, but you aren’t going to want to show up for Spanish 2 during the spring of your senior year. Do yourself a favor and get all of your boring Gen Ed requirements out of the way early.
Know Your Options
Be sure that you are aware of all of your course options and how they will count towards your degree. There will most likely be many courses to choose from and with some creative planning, you may be able to explore your interests while fullfilling credit hours that at first glance seem boring. For example, that film history class you want to take might count for you general education history requirement. A school counseler or advisor should be able to help you find the right courses for you. All you have to do is share your interests with them and dive into your schools course catalogue.
Throw in a few fun electives or major courses
Taking care of what is important doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun. Make sure that you don’t overwhelm yourself with boring or hard classes each semester. We recommend scheduling at least one fun major course or elective every semester (especially during your first year).
If you follow these tips you should be on your way to a great course schedule. Of course, you don’t have to do it all on your own. As mentioned in some of the paragraphs above, your best resource for scheduling your classesis your advisor. An experienced faculty member should be aware of what courses you need to take and how to schedule them to reach your goals.
Want to start scheduling your courses at CCH? First things first, you need to get enrolled. Download our application checklist below to see what you need to do to become a student with us!