Selecting Courses

Your academic advisor will help you select courses that are appropriate for a person with your goals and interests. Ultimately you are responsible to see that you are selecting the right classes. Here are some tips.

What classes do I need to graduate?

Find your program of interest in the catalog and follow the recommendations listed. Keep in mind the general education requirements and the required major courses if you are in an A.A.A.S. program.

If I’m not certain about my major, what courses should I take?

Follow the general recommendations in the catalog for the associate of arts degree and the General Studies program. Test various areas of study by taking a beginning level course. These often have titles like “Introduction to _____” or “Principles of _____.” Also enroll in Career Development, a one-credit course designed to help students with choosing a career.

Are there any courses that I cannot take?

Basically all courses are available to all students with two exceptions. First, some courses list prerequisites. A prerequisite is a course, an experience or status that you must have before you are permitted to enroll in a particular course. For example, to enroll in General Chemistry II, you must have taken General Chemistry I. To take the Hesston College integration course, you must be a sophomore. The second reason you may not be able to enroll in a course is if it has already reached the enrollment limit. Many courses have restrictions on how many students can enroll because of lab space, available computers and instructor work loads.

Courses are numbered in the 100s and 200s. Courses at both levels are generally available to freshmen and sophomores.

Can I take courses at other colleges while I’m a student at Hesston?

Yes, under certain restricted conditions. Some commuting students take courses at community colleges that are nearer their homes. This should be discussed carefully with your academic advisor. Hesston also cooperates with Bethel College and Tabor College, two nearby four-year schools. Courses may be taken at Bethel or Tabor if they are a required part of your program and they are not taught at Hesston. Approval by the Hesston College vice president of academics is required. You can find the Bethel and Tabor course offerings on their websites. Courses taken at Bethel or Tabor are enrolled through Hesston by a special arrangement.

Which writing course is right for me?

The standard writing course for most students at Hesston is Engl 125 College Writing I. However, under-prepared students should take Basic Writing first. Select Engl 100 Basic Writing if your ACT ENG is below 17, SAT VERBAL is below 350 or ASSET Writing Skills is below 18. Otherwise, select College Writing I.

The associate of arts degree requires two semesters of writing. but all other degrees require only one. However, if the school to which you plan to transfer after Hesston requires six hours of writing, take College Writing I and College Writing II.

Do I need to take a math course? If so, which one?

To earn the A.A., the A.S. or the A.G.S. degrees, you must complete a math course. For the A.A.A.S. degree you can meet the math requirement in other ways.

There are many good reasons to take a math course even if you do not need to do so to graduate from Hesston. You may need a math course to provide background for other course work. You may need a math course in order to graduate from a transfer school. And you may just find the topic interesting. See the course catalog for details of each degree’s math requirement and for descriptions of all math courses.

Do I need to take a computer course?

A computer course is not required, but Introduction to Computers (or equivalent skills) is a prerequisite for most computer courses and some courses in other departments. Discuss the computer competency advising guide with your advisor to determine if a computer course may be helpful. You may begin with higher level courses instead if you have had background like either of following:

  • Experience with Windows and Microsoft Office
  • Experience with data base management, word processing, spreadsheet applications and presentation software and have at least been introduced to Windows.

Do I need a foreign language course? If so, at what level do I start?

Hesston does not require a foreign language for graduation. But taking a language course opens windows into other parts of the world and that’s always a good idea. And it may be a requirement at the school to which you will transfer.

As a general rule, one year of high school foreign language is roughly equivalent to one semester of the same language at the college level. If you have no experience, you should begin with a course at the elementary level. If you have one year of high school language, you may be ready to enter Hesston’s Spanish sequence at the elementary level during the second (spring) semester.

How well you are actually prepared to do college level work depends on the quality of your high school language program and the extent to which you have used the language in other settings. The foreign language instructor at Hesston College has developed written and oral tests to help determine proper placement. If you or your advisor are in doubt about your ability, contact the instructor. He or she can help you determine the appropriate level at which to begin.