Long Beach State officials are considering implementing a survey that will appear after students register for classes after concerns were brought up about the lack of available courses required for graduation during an Associated Student Inc. Senate meeting.
According to the Vice Provost for academic planning Dhushy Sathianathan, the survey would serve as a platform for students to tell the department what areas can be improved in the registration process.
CSULB officials said the amount of students taking more units has increased over the semesters. This propels the demand for certain courses, but Sathianathan said it should not create hurdles for students on track to graduate.
“There should be no excuses in not offering a particular class,” Sathianathan said. “There are no financial constraints for offering it from our perspective; we just need to make that accommodation needed for that.”
The academic planning department closely monitors students’ academic unit load so that students who want to take 15 units a semester should have the ability to do so without delaying their degree progress due to unavailable courses.
College of Engineering Sens. Aaron Chiu and Kiran Sajjan first brought up the issue after hearing from multiple students that said the registration process was confusing and needed updates. Chiu agreed that an online feedback platform could be a great way to implement a two-way communication system between administration and students.
“A lot of STEM students that I know will decide what class they want to take based on the teacher rather than what their road map says,” Chiu said.
Students have said that during their registration process many professors listed for a particular course were changed without notice.
“There are famous professors that everybody wants to take classes from and there are some not as known professors,” Sathianathan said.
Sathianathan explained that the process of instructors picking which courses they can teach is much like students registering. Professors take their personal schedules into account, which can result in late changes to the instructor teaching the course. If a professor previously taught a course, their name will remain listed initially as the instructor for the next semester.
“Sometimes their schedules are not firm yet,” Sathianathan said. “As often as possible we try to have all faculty names up there in October for something that is going to happen in January. There are some last-minute movements. I know it’s not the best match but that’s the way the schedule works, unfortunately.”
During the hiring process, professors that will teach upper-division classes are put under more scrutiny to meet requirements. Sathianathan said the university must ensure students are being taught by an expert in the field, which can delay when a course can be offered.
Another issue Chiu brought up was the varying windows of registration, even among seniors.
“Why do some people have a better chance of securing a class than others,” Chiu asked. “They want to even out the playing field for all students; then it should be all at the same time.”
Chiu said the open dialogue between students and administrators may help alleviate these registration issues.
“The main cause of the lack of change is the fact that sometimes if…administration doesn’t see a problem then they don’t fix it,” Chiu said. “If we as a group take the survey and the results are given out to the administration hopefully we can get some proactive change from that.”