“So basically what it comes down to—If I don’t get into this class I will have to stay another semester at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB),” said Mari Figueroa, a Super senior at CSUMB. This is the struggle that she is currently facing when it comes to signing up for classes for the Fall 2018 semester.
Figueroa has been attending CSUMB since Fall of 2013, and has been struggling to sign up for the right classes to fulfill her Marine Science degree with a minor in Statistics. Fall 2018 registration starts on April 16 and is filling her, like many students, with anxiety and copious amounts of stress.
“There was this class called Quantitative Field Methods (QFM) that I wanted to take, but there’s also a class called Quantitative Marine Science (QMS) which my advisor said were essentially the same thing and would fulfill the same requirements,” said Figueroa. “I thought that QFM sounded like a more fun class and would help me diversify my learning because all the class I take are about the sea and it would be fun to learn more about land. However, little did she know that QMS is 100 percent required by Marine Science majors in order to take a Marine Science capstone.”
“I am unable to enroll in the majority of capstone classes because I was advised not to take the prerequisite. Many other students in my major were also given this same wrong information. Approximately 50 students are now struggling to take the right classes in order to enroll in a capstone. There is one small chance of hope for [my] situation though. There is one capstone that has opened up that will allow me to take a capstone class without the prerequisite of Quantitative Marine Science. But there are only 23 spots available in that class,” said Figueroa.
Figueroa is staying positive about her situation, and hopes that her super seniority gives her enough priority to register before that class gets filled. However, Mari’s situation is not unique. There are many other students in her major that are facing the same issue; needing one final class in order for them to graduate.
This problem has become common knowledge among upperclassmen that class selection has become smaller and smaller, with each class filling up before you can check what your plan B or C even is. Even Sarah Boulerice, a Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) Major is struggling to get the classes she needs, since the classes she needs to graduate are very limited.
“Being a senior and registering for my last semester of courses for the fall, I wanted to make sure I was able to get all the remaining courses I needed in order to graduate in December as planned,” Boulerice states, “I thought maybe going into my last semester having to register for courses, I would strike luck and not have any issues with my schedule. I should not have gotten my hopes up, as it seems every semester something usually conflicts with a class.”
Boulerice also has a minor in Spanish Language and Hispanic Cultures, and is able to graduate a semester early, graduating in fall 2018. “The sad part is that only a couple of options are offered every semester, so if I miss an opportunity to take a necessary class, I will have to wait a year to take it as it is not offered that next semester,” said Boulerice.
“I did have the right list of classes, but yet I did not know with SPAN 316 and SBS 405 I would need permission codes as OASIS would not register me for SBS 405 due to me registering for SBS 404S. When it came to SPAN 316, I didn’t know I would need to have taken a different prerequisite than I have taken so I needed to get that code as soon as possible,” Boulerice states.
“What sucks is that with the upper division courses, most of the classes are only offered for one section, and if I did not get the courses I would delay my graduation date that I cannot afford to move. Thankfully after a few phone calls, emails and needed substitutions, I was finally able to get the classes that I needed and I’m taking less units than I originally thought. One more semester and only taking 17 units, I’m excited to have finally registered for my last semester and on track to graduate on time and the units required to,” said Boulerice.
“I would never have expected myself to graduate a semester early, but I am. Things haven’t came easily, especially being put in the right classes. I am just thankful I was able to get the classes I had left to complete so I can graduate on time,” Boulerice says.
David Reichard, Humanities and Communication (HCOM) chair at CSUMB, commented on how the scheduling is set up for this department.
“I don’t want to speak for all programs, but in HCOM scheduling classes is a process that starts about a year in advance. We have a multi-year course offering plan developed by the faculty to make sure we have offerings across the curriculum from GE to the major,” Reichard states, “We then schedule from that plan and within our budget–adjusting for anticipated enrollment needs and minor changes,” said Reichard.
“Until it is published, there are various levels of approval–from the Dean to the scheduling office–all of which weigh in on available times, spaces, budget etc. We sometimes have to tweak that schedule up to when it is published. But, we mostly try to align with our plan,” Reichard continues.
If a senior is in their last semester and needs a class, but can’t get it, Reichard mentions that seniors register sooner than other students, and there is also a process to add more sections of a class.
“…we also monitor enrollments to see how many students are on wait lists in our classes (and who those students are–assessing the number of graduating seniors, for example) which allows us to request additional sections as needed,” Reichard states.
“Offering additional sections is not a given, as the Dean’s office and ultimately the Provost make the call on what funding is available. And, we work with HCOM’s advisor, Gladys Cabadas, to monitor registration all through the process. So, we do our best to anticipate, and respond to students’ needs as we can,” he continues.
As a student of this college you expect the academic advisors and your professors to have the correct information. There are too many students that are misled, or given misinformation about classes that they are required to take in order to graduate. I urge all of you to double check that your advisors have their information correct, and to question them when you think they might be wrong. Academic advisors are people too, and sometimes they make mistakes.