Course cancellation on agenda

Before the fall semester, department chairs requested that low enrolled classes not be cancelled prematurely.

Not all classes were saved, but the Academic Senate hopes a recommendation to deal with low-enrolled courses from being cut will be considered by administration.

During Monday’s Academic Senate meeting members discussed a proposal for low enrollment classes, stating that this interfered with students’ ability to complete their majors. The proposal will be voted on at the next meeting in two weeks.

President of the Academic Senate Anna Bruzzese said they tried to delay cancelling classes and urged students to register sooner.  

“It was a really unfortunate situation where students were having a really hard time registering with the new SIS system,” Bruzzese said. “Different committees, like the Academic Policy Committee (APC), Enrollment Management Committee and the District Senate were really concerned so, because of the new system, the idea was to delay cancelling classes as much as possible.”

According to College Outcome Committee representative Jennifer Moses, there is a contract rule the faculty has with administration that allows them the right to cancel classes if there are fewer than 15 students enrolled.

Moses said this summer was a unique challenge because faculty began using the SIS, and data suggested students had problems effectively enrolling in classes, which created under-enrolled classes that would have eventually been filled.

“There was more class cancellation then there was previously,” Moses said. “Many departments asked administration to hold out on canceling classes, and sometimes, those requests were responded to, but many were cancelled prematurely.”

Some department chairs are in favor of a proposal to allow classes with more than 10 students, but not yet 15, remain open during registration hoping that they’ll be filled, Moses said.

Vice Chair of the Math Department Edouard Tchertchian said that the different departments came to vote on a solution for premature class cancellation to prevent a similar situation from recurring.

“The APC and the group of department chairs on campus voted to have a situation where, if ten students were enrolled in a class, then the class would not be cancelled until the end of week one,” Tchertchian said.

After the senate touched upon that topic they moved onto to other items outlined on their agenda.  

Distance Education Coordinator Wendy Bass announced that the Title V grant, that started in 2012, ended. It served to fund faculty trainings to assist students with their online courses and to teach the use of software programs.

“We have no funding right now for the Title V grant for distance education,” Bass said. “We’re still here, everything is still moving well, but we do have to get the funding to support much of the software features that we use in teaching online.”