Classes Filling Up for Fall
Yes, classes are filling up for the fall term. Students are advised to register as soon as possible, if they want to be assured of getting into the classes they need at the times and places that fit their schedules. In the past, we’ve maintained waiting lists at each campus for certain high demand courses, but recently we’ve implemented this function in our registration software, because we have students registering all over our three-county district for classes at each of our campuses. The demand for classes increases as enrollment grows.
The problem is this. When the fall term of 2009 begins this August, we expect to have 25 percent more students enrolled than in the fall of 2006, only three years ago. Yet, these students will be served by the same number of full-time faculty. Since that time, state funding for SFCC and for all of education has been declining. We add sections of classes in response to student demand, but we can only do that if we have qualified and excellent faculty to teach those additional sections. To respond to the addtional enrollment demant, first we ask our full-time faculty to teach extra classes, then we pursue adjunct faculty to the extent they are available to teach when classes are offered. In certain disciplines, there simply are no qualified adjunct faculty to be found. If funding tracked enrollment growth, we would have hired 25 percent more faculty than three years ago. The result: larger average class sizes, more classes fill early in registration, and students who delay registering are unable to get into the classes they want or need.
Most of our students work, many have families and children. Our students live busy lives, and it is sometimes difficult to fit college classes neatly around all of their other committments. We alway advise students to register early.