Faculty comments on the importance of balancing student obligations in relation to the high demand of Senior Projects.
Professor Scoggins said, “We have discussed as faculty that if a student has to miss a class for involvement in [a] senior project, it’s their responsibility to communicate ahead of time with a professor about the intended absence and to work out any issues with them.”
Professor Dunn said, “It’s a challenge that comes up every year around senior projects. The ideal goal is for the students to be able to schedule their senior projects in a matter that doesn’t impact the rest of their academic obligations.”
Tom Dunn further explained how faculty has been examining various restructuring options to minimize scheduling conflicts. “We would love to get to a point someday where we would have a production quarter,” said Dunn. This production quarter would be dedicated solely to senior projects. Nathan Scoggins added, “I think the senior project is an evolving process. I think there’s always room to grow and change.”
Senior JP Huckins commented that he was upset with a particular professor giving push back when he used senior projects as a reason for missing class. “For me, I have invested my own money into my film, I can’t graduate without this film…why would I skip [senior project], the one I’m trying to get a job in.”
Professor Dunn explained that, “Each faculty member is gonna have their own level of acceptance… each individual faculty member has the academic freedom to determine those aspects of students not being engaged in the class.”
Deb Culbertson, Dean of Student Success, emphasized the rigorous demand of senior projects and how a student must carefully practice balance. “I think this is a critical skill that’s needed in life, that balance so that one doesn’t turn away from their faith or their friends, their family, academic or work obligations when following their artistic passions.”