One- and two-credit courses rarely shine on our course rosters. They are hidden in small departments, seldom publicized and most of the time fail to list who teaches the course. But, these courses remain some of the most invigorating, thought-provoking, engaging and impactful classes that most Cornellians have never even heard of. I have fortunately taken many one- and two-credit courses in my past two years here and I am here to encourage you all to do the same.
For students from non-traditional majors looking to build transferable skills for the professional workplace, choosing classes can be overwhelming. Two Cornell undergraduates and two recent graduates offered tips for ways to gain transferable skills for the workplace through Cornell’s many courses.
Less than a week after Cornell unexpectedly cancelled all instruction until April 6, the University has finished ironing out details for how the academic calendar will be structured following spring break.
Ithaca College, Tompkins County Community College and the Ithaca County School District had canceled classes and told students to stay home, but Cornellians were still trudging up the slope to make it to classes and work for early morning classes; Cornell cancelled classes as of 10 a.m.
If you spend enough time on the engineering quad, you’ll eventually hear some variation of this: “I was going to do [insert some engineering major], but then I took the ENGRI for it and it was awful.” The Introduction to Engineering classes, or ENGRIs (pronounced by sounding out each letter), that all engineering freshmen are required to take to explore a major are good for one thing: elimination. They come from a well-meaning place from the engineering administrators, who are aware that the rigid scheduling locks us securely into our majors before we can get a good sense of what they’ll be like. They attempt to let us explore majors we’re considering more before we fully commit to the years-long process of knocking out our flowcharts of requirements one by one. But the fact that we’re only supposed to take one of these classes can lead to some unfortunate consequences. It means that those fairly certain about their major, and those who like or feel neutral enough about their ENGRI, often end up choosing it because they’ve never known anything about the other majors.
As a 20-year-old with the attention span of a squirrel, it takes a truly phenomenal professor to hold my attention for 50 minutes, let alone an hour and 25. Cornell definitely has more than its fair share of life-changing teachers; I’ve had about one per year, and considering the implications of “life-changing,” I know I’m inordinately lucky. But it’s not just luck. I seek out — and successfully pinpoint — these professors with the help of a website called RateMyProfessor. Most students have heard of RateMyProfessor, but not many consider it a serious tool in the biannual quest for classes that fulfill requirements and don’t make one want to throw oneself down Libe Slope.