Under the current freshmen seminar system, students get to choose seminar courses on their own during the course registration period. Because the seminars are run on a small scale, it is easier for students to get close to their seminar professors. However, when dealing with all administrative matters in school, students are required to consult their academic advisors. Freshmen, however, seldom visit their academic advisors, except when they need to get approval in deciding their majors at the end of the year.
To resolve this problem, the College of Liberal Arts decided to assign about eight to ten students to one seminar professor, who will double-up as their academic advisor for the entire year. Under the new system, the Liberal Arts freshmen do not need to register for the seminar courses. One credit will be automatically given to them when tuition is paid. Students will continue to be graded on a S/U basis. Professors in their sabbatical years and professors from the departments of Korean Studies and Art History will be excluded from this system, for these departments are only in Graduate School.
No specific meeting times or places will be designated by the school administration for the seminars. It is solely up to each professor and the students in each seminar group to decide when and where to meet. It is recommended that they should meet at least five times in the first semester. No credit will be given for the second semester, but it is highly recommended that students meet with their academic advisor at least three times before deciding their majors.
In a reply to the concern that the new system will deprive students of their right to select their own seminar teachers, Chung Duk-ae, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts says, "It is a big plus for a student to know professors from diverse academic backgrounds. It will enrich and diversify her intellectual foundation."
The new system seems promising in its ability to consolidate the freshmen seminar and the advising system, which in turn will increase the convenience of the students and reduce some work redundancy for the professors. Dean Chung sums up its prospects for success optimistically: "We sincerely hope that the new system will do justice to the original purpose of the freshmen seminar. Hopefully, the freshmen seminar will not be evaluated as only nominal, but also as helpful and beneficial in a real sense."
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