A month has passed since the new school year 2019 began. Freshmen who entered this year must have adapted to their campus life to some extent, and other students may also be living their busy lives as usual. Since it is April now, a month after the freshmen’s entrance, some of you will have already finished counseling with your professors, while others may not yet know much about CAU Seminar. For whom does CAU Seminar exist? CAH would like to talk about the unsuitability and inconvenience of CAU Seminar.
1. What Is CAU Seminar?
CAU Seminar is a subject for freshmen at Chung-Ang University and is literally a seminar run by professors in charge. The aim is to help students orient towards their careers as well as college life, and both the professor and the student get to utilize the ‘Rainbow system’ of CAU. All freshmen of CAU must take the course for the first two semesters and are considered to have completed a total of one credit with 0.5 for each seminar. There is a peculiarity that grades are marked only by Pass/Fail. Although CAU Seminar is slightly different depending on professors, introductions of the subject and professor are usually made in the first week according to the time table. Classes after a week are no longer done. In order to get a ‘pass’ on the subject, students must have at least one meeting with a professor. In addition, in the first semester, taking the Strong Interest Inventory Test (job interest examination) or writing about their own career orientation is required. In the second semester, students should join one of the off-campus activities run by the rainbow system of CAU or write a self-introductory letter on the site. These two classes of CAU Seminar are a requirement for graduation too.
2. It Does Not Fit the Purpose
As mentioned earlier, CAU Seminar is only open to freshmen. Therefore, students who failed to take the subject twice in the first grade are not allowed to take it anymore. However, since it is a graduation requirement, students must take them. In such cases, it is only possible to be given space in the class by directly contacting the office of respective departments and then explaining the situation. This obviously shows that CAU Seminar is a thoroughly prepared subject for freshmen.
In general, however, freshmen do not have clearly defined career or future plans yet. Even students who already have clear goals can change them anytime during their college years. This is why CAU Seminar is regarded as inappropriate in that it conducts career counseling for those students. In addition, all other tasks that are required from the students other than counseling are related to their career paths. In the case of the Strong Interest Inventory Test, it may be useful for students who have just entered university, but there will be other ways to involve students without having to go through CAU Seminar. Therefore, with all those considerations, CAU Seminar is more suitable for other students than for freshmen.
3. Inconvenience in Applying for Classes
CAU Seminar takes 0.5 credits per semester and takes up an hour on the students’ timetable. However, classes do not run weekly unlike what it is marked on timetables. Usually, the professor and all the students meet only in their first week, but not anymore after that. However, the students’ timetable still has CAU Seminar marked. This prevents students from taking other courses at that time. Obviously, students have to stay on campus doing nothing because they cannot apply for classes given during the CAU Seminar time. (Of course, it may not be so if CAU Seminar is held before the classes of the day start or after they are all over.) In addition, even if a course one really wants to take is opened at the appropriate time, a student may not be able to take the class. In particular, the schedule of the freshmen’s first semester is compiled by the office of their respective departments, so students must cancel CAU Seminar before they take another course at that time. This would be very cumbersome for students.
4. Interview with students of CAU
1. What did you learn from taking ‘CAU Seminar’?
Jo: I think it was a great chance to speak with the professor about my major. I could ask some questions about the major.
2. Have you ever thought that the system of CAU Seminar is uncomfortable? If yes, please tell specifically about it.
Jo: I think my answer to the first question, which is “Students can know about their majors in depth.” It is possible only if we studied our major in advance. In my case, since I am majoring in applied statistics, it is a bit awkward to ask the professor “What kind of job can I get after studying programming?” without studying any computer programming in advance. The professor would also have a hard time answering my question since I do not know anything about it.
3. In what way do you think CAU Seminar should change?
Jo: I think taking CAU Seminar in our first grade is really useless. I have also met some friends who just had a conversation such as “What restaurants do you prefer near campus?” with their professor just because they have nothing to talk about. It would be better if we take CAU Seminar after we learn more about our own major and think more about our career.
The original purpose of CAU Seminar is to orient students toward their careers, which is a great idea. However, it can make students uncomfortable in the way the classes are conducted. It seems unnecessary to have all freshmen take this as a mandatory subject. If the students’ need for the subject is carried out according to their convenience, and not by force, the number of students who receive it will surely increase. Furthermore, since most of the CAU Seminar classes are only taking place once during the first week, there will be no inconvenience in using the rainbow system and no problems will be reflected in their timetables. If CAU Seminar changes its way of operation, CAH is sure it will achieve more of its goal, which is to help students.
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