Scheduling always proves to be a difficult task for some, especially the battle that ensues with the sophomores who register last. Every student must prepare their plan A for classes and follow up with a plan B just in case that one class that has three spots left closes when it is your time to register. However, this year’s scheduling looked a little different than past years, in respect to the availability of classes.
According to University officials, the decision to cancel courses is made on a number of criteria and budgetary considerations happen to be one of them. In the memo sent out by Dr. McNairy a few weeks ago, she explained that in order to accommodate the shortfall of money that was given back to the Commonwealth, the university withdrew a planned 2.5 percent inflationary increase to departmental budgets. This is looked at as one of the reasons why students may see what appears to be a disparity in the number of courses canceled for a particular department. This might even help to answer why students are having difficulty in obtaining the classes they need, especially seniors.
Nevertheless, budgetary concerns or not, the removal of classes for the spring semester seems to have exceeded a more than normal rate of cancellations than in past years. In looking at classes for the spring semester, most departments have felt the effect of budgetary constraints. In breaking down the cancellations for the departments, the English department was hit the hardest with 23 classes canceled, where most of the journalism classes had been taken away despite holding a slot on the web schedule a week or two before. For seniors who plan to graduate in the spring, especially journalism minors, this hit has placed a roadblock in front of them, sending them to scramble for independent sessions and other paperwork so they can get the credits they need.
No other department came close to the cancellations that were within the English department. The Art department had the second highest with 10 cancellations, the Math and Psychology departments had four cancellations, Biology with six cancellations and two holds, Business had three cancellations, ELED had only one cancellation and the Educational Foundations department had five cancellations.
In respect to how the economy has been in a downfall for some time, it seems like a plausible explanation for the decrease in classes, however this has been a prevalent problem that has been spreading through campus. Millersville officials have assured the campus that based on administration decisions, no student will be shortchanged in terms of meeting their graduation plan time lines. Some students have been sent into a frenzy, scrambling to find every possible way to make sure they acquire the credits they need.
Despite budgetary concerns and the lack of funds that have been given to the departments, this scheduling year seems to be one of the worst felt for the English department and seniors in the English department who are trying to graduate on time. Paper work and internships seem to be the answer, however, there is only so much a student can do when the necessary classes are no longer available.