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Friday, January 15, 2021

404: Computer science classes not found

While the cancellation of classes is not uncommon, the loss of two computer science sections could have a lasting effect on both students and teachers.

According to Computer Science Department Chair Natalie Gregoriants, class sections 501 and 541 have been cancelled due to low enrollment.

Lyn Clark, the department chair of Computer Applications and Office Applications, said that the cancellation of CO SCI 501 is not an immediate problem, but CO SCI 541 will affect students more.

“CO SCI 541 is a culminating class needed by all of the students in several programs,” Clark said.

Clark said that CO SCI 541 is needed to obtain an associate degree. The cancellation of the class means students have to wait longer to receive certification to go into the computer technology field.

“It’s difficult when your students need to be successful or move on,” Clark said.

Clark said that the low enrollment is partially due to the bugs in the new student information system. A large portion of the students in the department were ESL students and the new system is more challenging than the last.

Classes will either be replaced or be back in later semesters, Gregoriants added.

Clark said that she may have to substitute a class next semester to make up for CO SCI 541. Clark said this is not a simple fix. She said that the substitutions will be on an individual case-by-case basis depending on the program.

The CAOT and computer science departments at Pierce are also having budget problems. Joe Perret, a full time professor, said that there is a yearly budget that will be lowered if a certain quantity of students is not met every two years. Enrollment numbers keep funds stable, but with the cancellations, there is worry that requirements will not be met this year.

“If you made base, you get a bit more,” Perret said.

According to Perret, not only is the budget hurt, but adjunct professors are also affected. Perret is a full-time instructor, so he is not worried about not having a class to teach. Adjuncts rely on a large number of classes to get work.

“When the classes are cancelled, the adjuncts don’t get a class, and they suffer as a result,” Perret said.

Perret said a domino effect happens when classes like this falls through. He said full-time professors will be given another class, and the adjuncts will be bumped down to lower and fewer classes.

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