Class dismissed–for the rest of the semester

Nichole Danyla

Staff Writer

Class cancellations can be one of the most frustrating experiences in college.

This semester, the scheduling department cut 130 sections, up from the 115 sections cut last semester. However, they cut 20 less sections in comparison to last spring. The least cut classes are general education classes like english composition, nursing, dental hygiene and automotive majors according to Christine Helwig, the associate dean of the Educational Outreach and Academic Services.

Part of Helwig’s job is to oversee the scheduling department which decides what classes get cut. So how do they decide what classes and sections or parts of a class get cut?

“We’ve done some calculations on the break-even point. For a three credit lecture course seven is the threshold we are usually looking for,” said Helwig.

However, the threshold is different for four-credit lab classes. For students billed by credit hours, a professor is paid per contact hour. In other words, even though a student pays for four credits, the professor is getting payment for seven contact hours. “We need to re-establish the rules as it were in terms of breakeven points for those courses” Helwig said.

According to Helwig, the cancellation deadline is close to the beginning of the semester because the first student drop for the spring semester is Jan. 8. The Educational Outreach and Academic Service office has considered moving up the cut date but has considered missing out on the opportunity for more students to enroll or re-enroll in courses on the chopping block.

After the scheduling office identifies courses or sections of courses that are on the cut list for low enrollment they then refer that list to the individual departments to get their vote.

The departments look at factors that might affect students such as if the course is needed to fulfil a major in that department or if students can take other classes in its place. Once that is decided the revised list goes back to the scheduling office for the final cut.

 

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