Class cancellation conundrum

How enrollment numbers have affected your schedule
Mel Buskirk
Copy Editor

Coming back this fall, one might have noticed that more of their classes have been cancelled or that it seems like there is less traffic along the sidewalks crossing the campus. With only 3,821 students enrolled this semester, low enrollment is clearly the cause of the phenomenon.
Student enrollment has decreased in the past few semesters. During the Winter 2015 semester 3,952 students were enrolled and during the Fall 2014 semester 4,226 students were enrolled. Since the Fall semester there has been an overall decrease of 9.6%, or 405 students.
With this drop in student enrollment, many classes weren’t filled to capacity. The week before classes began 33 classes were cancelled due to not having enough students to even hold the class. The classes ranged from prerequisite 100 level English and Speech classes to advanced 200 level Criminal Justice and Biology classes.
One class that was cancelled was Kathy Ruby’s Human Sexuality (Psychology 280). This is the first time in 15 years that this class has been cancelled, according to Ruby. “I was just blown away,” she said, “This class is always filled up.” This semester’s cancellation has not deterred Ruby, she plans on holding the PSY 280 class in two sections on Monday and Wednesday from 1 to 2:50 pm and from 4 to 5:50 pm during the Winter 2016 semester.
According to Jim Neese, SC4’s Associate Dean of Academic Services, classes are chosen and put into the registry based on anticipated enrollment and the anticipated necessity of the class for students to graduate on time. While student enrollment was expected to drop this semester, it was only anticipated to drop 3% (from the Fall 2014 semester) instead of the nearly 10% drop. “We hate to cancel classes,” said Neese, “It does impact the students. We try to do what we can.”
Neese also commented on the process of class cancellations. “It’s a mostly subjective process,” he said. Many factors go into consideration when cancelling a class such as class limits, previous success of the class, necessity for students to graduate on time, whether there will be enough students in the class to pay faculty, as well as faculty input.
With all of this semester’s cancellations, fewer sections of current required classes and fewer electives might be offered for the Winter 2016 semester. The classes offered for next semester will be posted on the Wave at least two weeks before registration opens in November. Neese offers the advice that students should plan out their classes and talk with their advisors before classes even open up for registration. “Students need to register early to make sure their class isn’t cancelled,” he said. If classes fill up early enough, sections can be added on. Neese stated, “It’s easier to add classes instead of cancelling them.”
Registration for the Winter 2016 semester begins on Monday, Nov. 2 at midnight. In order to prevent class cancellations, students should try to register early. Official class cancellations will be determined by Friday, Jan. 8 for the Winter semester.

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