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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Academic Senate discusses class sizes

The Academic Senate met in the Faculty and Staff Center to discuss Student Enrollment.

One of the primary focuses in the meeting was to have better scheduling so students could sign up and stay in the classes.

President Larry Buckley of Pierce said that there has been a massive increase in numbers, over 18 thousand students are currently enrolled at the Pierce Campus. These numbers have seen a jump from the previous year at 102%. Pierce continues to do well in enrollment and they are trying to see that the more undervalued classes continue to stay open for students.

President Buckley said that he wants to see the classes that help students grow and get the degrees and experience they need stay available.

“It’s not just a numbers game, it’s dependent on the students needs, in terms of getting their degrees. If you’re one transmission class away from getting your certificate in an automotive class and their are only twelve students, we aren’t going to cancel that class, we want those students to get those degrees and certificates,” said Buckley.

Micheal Gent, Professor of Performing arts and the Vice President of Senate also added that its valuable to keep classes with students in the single digits.

“If the class has nine students and you cancel that class, you are essentially turning those nine students away, and as a bi product, those students may un enroll from other classes,” Gent said.

One of the ways that they used to help with the student enrollment is by using a new plan of action called Guided Pathways.

Guided Pathways is like a set of road maps that were created for courses that maps out the entirety of the students four year plan.

There have been a total of 38 programs currently mapped alongside Mission College and Valley College to help students who attend one or all three to keep a consistent record of what they took and what to do next.

Angela Belden, the Guided Pathways Coordinator, spoke about the completed maps and that it makes a strong impression of new students who need help with taking the next classes they need to stay on track.

“So it’s essentially a mapper that shows students all of their course requirements, their GE’s, and their electives in a four semester path. It also has job information on it, potential salary information, and even potential of growth market,” Belden said.

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