Whether you agree with this or not, there's a perfectly good reason for this strategy - it keeps the class size down in the junior and senior classes. When you have 4 professors each able to teach 4 classes and you want a class size of 20 or less, that means you can have 80 students per professor, or 320 students total. (The actual number is less than that because many upperclass students take more than one class in the major.) When each of your four freshman classes is 250 students, what are you supposed to do? You can only expect a 30-40% attrition rate due to non-major aspects. you still need to get rid of at least 280 students, if not more.
in reply to Problematic post on teaching programming
In the school I went to, the killer classes were biology and psychology. There, the failure rate was expected to be between 25-30% with no more than 10% being A's. Every school has the killer subjects - these are the subjects the school is known for, so they get a higher proportion of freshmen taking those courses.
My criteria for good software:
- Does it work?
- Can someone else come in, make a change, and be reasonably certain no bugs were introduced?