The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 10, 1981-Page 13-B
Plenty of academic
By PAM FICKINGER
It might seem reasonable to assume
that course work is the most difficult
part of college, but the point is
debatable. Before students can even:
think about coursework, they have to go
through CRISP, and give at least some
consideration to selection of
distribution plan and area of concen-
The University's academic coun-
seling program is a helpful source of in-.
formation about these often frustrating
STUDENT'S FIRST encounters with
counselors are usually during orien-
tation. After that, appointments are
primarily optional; seeing a counselor is,
however, required to declare a concen-
tration at the end of the sophomore or
beginning of the junior year. But it's not
such a bad idea to take advantage of
counseling services before then.
General counseling for students in-
terested in any program is available at
the Academic Counseling Office in 220
Angell Hall. Appointments can be made
Mon.-Fri., from 8:30 to 11:45 a.m. and
from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
In addition to aid with selecting cour-
ses, counselors will provide infor-
mation about distribution requiremen-
ts, and they try to guide students
through the technicalities to successful
completion of graduation requiremen-
A DIFFERENT counseling service is
available to students enrolled in the
Honors -Program. Honors counselors,
located in offices at 1210 Angell Hall,
require that students see them before
registering each term.
Entrance into the Honors
based on grade point, SAT
counselor approval. Studer
not in the program but r
grades in difficult classe
semester and want nmore cl
encouraged to talk to the
about joining the program.
The Student Counsel
located just down the ha
other two at 1018 Ange
unique approach to makin
a Program is Getting used to the University and its
scores, and workings and making the transition
nts who are from high school or another college is.
eceive high not always easy. But sifting through the:
s after one sometimes all too-confusing mess of .
hallenge are courses and instructors can be made
counselors much easier with the help of academic
ll from the
ll, offers a
The ubiquitous frisbee
If frisbeeing were part of the curriculum, it might draw more students than LSA. A typical day on the Diag finds
an army of frisbee flingers, waiting for the day credits are granted for their discipline.
THE OFFICE is student-run, and it
offers peer counseling - an advantage
to students who prefer 'first-hand in-
formation about specific courses and
One of the office's main draws is the
availability of course evaluations filled
out voluntarily by students each term,
and copies of old exams. Both can be
very helpful in choosing courses and in-
structors suited to individual tastes.
The Student Counseling Office can
also help with dropping and adding
classes, scheduling, and other
academic difficulties. The counselors
say they try to do anything that will
help a student around University red
STAY ON TOPOF
THE MICHIGAN DAILY!
ra staple in most
in troductory classes
By SUSAN McCREIGHT
In addition to pursuing a graduate
degree and carrying a large percentage
of the teaching load at the University,
teaching assistants struggle to bridge .
the gap between the student body and
the faculty by simultaneously taking on
the role of peer counselor and authority
"TAs have to offet a kind of en-
thusiasm that can give vitality to the
ourses they teach," said Mark Pit-
1nger, teaching assistant in the Depar-
ment of American Studies.
"CURRICULAR innovations preven-
ts a teacher from relying on habit and
adds fresh excitement," wrote history
professor Raymond Grew in a faculty
memo. "In this light, the use of
teaching assistants should be con-
sidered less in terms of ratios and more
in terms of strategic opportunities for
Some TAs embellish their courses
with current research straight from
their faculty advisors. But their
primary import lies in their numbers.
The widespread use of TAs reflects the
University's need to devise a strategy
that will enable them to instruct the
"zillion taking calculus 115."
The University frees up its tenured
faculty to conduct research while it
simultaneously provides graduates
with educational opportunities in the
face of declining government support
for graduate study and research.
TAs are also cheap labor. On the
average they earn roughly $2500 per
semester; full professors average more
than $30,000 annually.
"TAs SALARIES have been declining
steadily for over a decade now," accor-
ding to Paul Harris, a member of the
Graduate Employees' Organization
steering committee. Since 1967, they
have gone down 50 mpercent relative to
the real wage," he said. GEo is the
legal bargaining agent for TAs.
Although TAs are given the same per-
centage increase in salary as the
faculty, they pay a tuition which had in-
creased 13 percent. The added increase
in tuition makes teaching assistant
salaries decrease faster than those of
faculty, according to Harris. TA
salaries are second to welfare mothers
in terms of declining support, he said.
"There has never been a very great
economic incentive to go into the
academy," TA Pittinger said. "As the
economic gloom deepens," he wrote to
the faculty, "one can only hope that the
University will strive to reverse the
growing feeling among graduate
students that serious commitment and
superior performance may well be
rewarded by termination."
But, according to Jens Zorn, a
physics professor, "very few cases can
be shown where a very talented person
gets passed up for tenure." There was a
rapid build-up of the University in the
1960's, then an employment crunch hit
in late 1968-70.
."Students who enrolled in graduate
school in the 60's hit this ghastly disap-
pointment when they were looking for
jobs. Students looking for employment
now, on the other hand, are coming in
with realistic expectations. This tem-
pers the kind of disappointment they
may feel," Zorn said.
ACCORDING TO A statistical profile
published in may of 1979 by Western In-
terstate Commission for Higher
Education, an increase in the number
of doctorates conferred in the western
region of the U.S. from the years 1920 to
1977 explains the widely-reported
overabundance of 'doctorates. This
oversupply is expected to increase in
the next few years, possible to near-
record levels nationally, the profile
"We really do have to look ahead,"
said Caroline Copland, Assistant Dean
of LSA. "There is a bulge in the tenured
faculty . . . that will be retiring about
the time that those (graduates) starting
in the program right now will be
According to a research publication
by Solman in April 1979, current doc-
toral students are staying in school
longer as a means a delaying entry into
a tight job market.
"I THINK A person gets an education
because they want it," not to avoid the
job market or gain a professional
position, Copland said.
But according to a 1978 publication on
teaching assistants, the majority of
TAs eventually accept positions on
academic staffs where their major fun-
ction is teaching. Since one quarter to
one half of the total undergraduate
teaching load is currently handled by
TAs, many students get their only ex-
posure to college level math,
chemistry, history, for example from
students mastering the art of teaching
themselves "in a learn-via-grape-vine
or sink or swim philosophy". The
publication concludes that despite some
excellent programs (the University of
Michigan is cited), there has been a
great deal of dissatisfaction with the
quality of teachers and the training of
TAs remains an areas of general
"Your graduate training is your
competency test," Pittenger said.
Graduate students say they feel they
gain most from extended contact in
leadership roles with a small group of
undergraduates and the attendant
responsibilities, close contact with
faculty members,, and the variety of
materials with which they become
familiar during the year.
Thursday Sept. 17, 7 PM
Film: HEARTS and MINDS
Kuenzel Rm., Michigan Unioi
Wednesday Sept. 23, 7
Anderson Rm., Michigan Uni
This will be the first PIRGIM
of the fall. We are working
Control, Prison Reform, Stud
Draft Counseling, and will be
on some new issues too.
PUBLIC (pub'lik) adj., 1. of, b
to, or concerning the people as
of the community at large. 2
use or benefit of all.
INTEREST (in'ter-ist, in'trist),
share in something. 2. any
which one participates or has
3. a group of people having a
concern in some cause. 4. a)
of intentness, concern, or
about something. b) the p
causing this feeling. v. 1. t
the interest of. 2. to cause to
interest, or share, in.
RESEARCH (ri-surch, re'-su
careful, systematic study and
gation in some field of kn
undertaken to establish facts c
ples. v.i. to do research; stud
GROUP (groop), n. 1. a numbe
sons or things gathered toge
forming a unit; cluster; band.:
ber of persons or thingss
together because of common c
istics, interests, etc.
IN (in), prep. 1. contained or enc
inside. 2. amidst or surround
MICHIGAN (mish'e-gen), n. 1.
Western State of the U.S.: are
sq. mi.; pop., 9,197,000; cap
sing; abbrev. MI.
. for. the
n. 1. a
r of per-
2. a num-
ported by U
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" Chili and Cheese Omelette
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PIRGIM (purge'em) n. Publi
Research Group in Michiga
known as PIRGIM. 2. sups
student contributions at regis
works on variety of issues c