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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Enrolled in an overcrowded class? You’re not alone

<ring term registration for courses has not been a fun affair for many students at Carleton. Numerous students faced difficulty in getting into courses of their choice and the waitlists for many classes were enormous. This registration was stressful for many students who spent their first few days of classes running around, trying to sit through classes for which they were waitlisted. Many of these students ended disappointed when they were unable to get into those classes,even when many professors greatly extended their class sizes.

Many students were wondering whether this reduction in classes was the result of budget cuts due to the recession. But this is not the case, assured Elizabeth Ciner, the Associate Dean of the College. Regardless, the registration was problematic; according to Ciner’s statistics, this was the worst registration Carleton has experienced in the past decade. The difficult registration was one of the by-products of the shift to the five courses per faculty course load which the College is adopting. Ciner stated that the College has been hiring new faculty to adjust to the reduced course load for faculty, which is why such a problem in registration had not occurred until now.

However, because many faculty members are on leave during spring term as they get grants which are tied up for use in spring and summer, many departments, especially in the humanities, offered fewer courses this term. Ciner stated that the College was trying to control this problem by limiting the number of faculty who went off campus during one term. Another reason for registration problems is the number of seniors registering for intro-level courses, something which has reportedly happened more this spring term than in the past years.

Many students have also been troubled because of the large number of students attempting to register for courses in a particular department which does not offer that many spots. The psychology department, in particular, has faced this problem for the past few years due to the rapid increase in psychology majors. While Carleton is trying to adapt to the increased demands for places in psychology courses, Ciner stated that the College could not be immediately responsive, as the process of hiring new faculty takes time.

“We don’t hire people off the street,” said Ciner as she explained that Carleton would hire only the best teachers. Trends like these are often the result of students wanting to take a course with a particular faculty member and not the course itself, something which the College cannot change. Ciner reported that immediate action on such trends could also pose problems later.

Ciner stated that these things could not be fully controlled, and the College’s best bet was to choose a student body with a diverse range of interests. This would lead to strong and uniform departments, which make up an integral part of Carleton’s liberal arts experience. Ciner explained that the College and its deans remain attentive, concerned and aware of the problems students face and are responsive to these problems, but with a proper plan of action. According to Ciner, while this term has been a problem for students who have been unable to take classes they wanted, a Carleton student has never been unable to graduate in the proper time because of an inability to register for classes they needed-something that regularly happens at bigger schools.

Ciner also acknowledged that while spring term registration was the worst in a decade, the past fall term registration was the best registration in Carleton‘s history. In the end Ciner said that she was sorry for the problematic registration and would make sure that future registrations did not face the same problems.

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