Dear Simmons College,
One of the frequently stated goals of this college is student-centeredness. There are several ways that this goal is implemented, be it through supporting organizations such as clubs and academic liaisons financially; providing extra lab sessions to science students who have schedule conflicts but must fill requirements for their majors; and creating an overall environment in which faculty and staff are available to hear students’ concerns.
All of this is fantastic. However, there is another issue that should be addressed in all of this: cancelled classes.
Of course, no one wants to cancel a class; it is something that departments are loath to do and students dread. And, furthermore, it is something that happens every year. The Communications Department in particular is notorious for cancelling classes that students need in order to complete their major requirements on time.
For instance, the Journalism class, which is required for students majoring in Journalism (shocker), has been cancelled multiple times throughout the past few years, which makes it very difficult for students to meet all the requirements necessary in time for graduation—and, aside from requirements, makes it difficult to provide students with the skills necessary for working outside of an academic setting.
Scheduling classes is a complex and difficult issue, one that not only departments but the college as a whole struggles with every semester. However, when there are several students who are unable to take classes because they are cancelled due to low enrollment, some investigation seems necessary.
Many classes within the Communications Department are offered on the Tuesday-Thursday schedule; in fact, 10 of the 28 classes offered in the spring 2015 semester are on a Tuesday-Thursday schedule. Many of these classes overlap, which means that even if the classes are not cancelled, students may still have difficulties fitting in all of the classes that they need to take.
It would be of great benefit to all Communications majors if these classes were coordinated such that students had the ability to take all the classes they needed when they were offered, so students would not have to worry about schedules conflicting.
It is an important aspect of student-centeredness to ensure that students graduate in a timely manner with the skills necessary for a “real-world” job. While it is fantastic to have student support in an extracurricular sense, paying attention to the needs of students from a scheduling perspective is just as important, if not more so.
A Simmons Student