Credit where credit is due: Let’s talk Chapel, lifetime fitness, labs

By Ashlyn Kennedy | Reporter

Baylor has always had specific class requirements for graduating, such as taking Chapel, lifetime fitness, a foreign language and a science. Each of these classes counts toward attendance, tuition and GPA, so why don’t students get proper credit toward their degree plans with them?

Let’s start with Chapel, which gives zero hours of credit to students. Every student is required to take two semesters of Chapel, which is considered a pass/fail course. Attendance is taken, and students traditionally give between one hour and a few hours a week to fulfill their Chapel credit. Some Chapels even require students to do assignments. On top of all of that, students are charged a Chapel fee, with next year’s fee sitting at $90. The least Baylor could do is give students one hour of credit if it requires students to attend and pay for the class in order to graduate.

Lifetime fitness classes give students one hour of credit, but they should be considered three-hour classes. All students are required to take a class under the lifetime fitness label, and in some majors or colleges, they are required to take more than one. Most of these classes take the same amount of time as a three-hour class, and they take grades on both physical activities and information learned through quizzes and tests. Many of these classes tend to have finals too. Per its website, Baylor calls lifetime fitness classes “activity labs,yet they fit the bill of what is required of normal three-hour classes and should be counted as such.

Labs are a big point of contention, as they sometimes count for degree credit and sometimes do not. Some introductory sciences with labs do count as four-hour classes, but many labs do not give the extra hour of credit, even with the additional work. Foreign language labs are required alongside the regular classes, yet they do not give the extra hour of credit either. Many film classes require movie labs, in which students spend four hours a week watching movies related to their classes, and even though attendance is taken, no credit is given.

Lab fees are normally $50, yet even with the extra expense, students rarely receive credit for participating. If students are required to pay for the lab on top of other classes and are taking the time to complete assignments that affect their grade and their GPA, the least Baylor could do is consistently give labs the extra hour of credit.

All of these classes do not give students the credit they deserve. The money, time and work we invest in these classes should be recognized by Baylor through appropriate credit hours. If we are putting the same energy, time and effort into these classes as we do our three-hour classes, then we should see that reflected in our credit toward graduation.