CSUN officials have been beefing up the number of courses particularly in several bottleneck areas for the past several years. As a result, the average full-time student course load has increased. When combining together units taken by both full- and part-time students the average student load is expected to reach 12.0 this spring.
Associated Students President Sydni Powell said she could already see this semester “great improvement” in the process for getting classes.
“I think students can tell the university is moving forward in getting them the classes they need to graduate,” said Powell, a senior majoring in psychology. She added, “The university is paying attention. President Harrison has made it very clear that student access is very important to her.”
CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison said the university has made “a significant commitment to ensuring our students have the support they need to succeed.”
“We have made an all-out effort to ensure students have the classes they need to graduate,” she said. “From my office, to the Provost, dean and department chairs, we have made a commitment to provide an adequate number of class sections to meet the students’ needs.”
She noted that the impetus for this came from the spring 2012 semester when student class offerings were limited because the university was over its enrollment cap. “That is no longer the case,” she said. “We are offering more class sections than at any other time in the history of the university.”
University officials have been working to ensure students are making adequate yearly progress toward their degrees. They have spent the past several years revising CSUN’s enrollment strategies.
Among the programs and policies that have been enacted is a requirement that all freshmen meet with academic advisors during their first semester, as well as the creation of a personalized, online “checklist” designed to keep individual students on track as they move toward graduation.
CSUN now has a two-tiered registration system, where students can first register for 13 hours of classes. Once all the students are registered, there is a second, “expanded” registration period for students to add additional classes.
A new enrollment waitlist system, launched in the fall of 2012, helps students find seats in currently full classes and gives department officials more information to help them decide if they need to create additional sections of the class to meet demand.
“The waitlist system provides a way for the university to gauge the demand for certain courses. The data gleaned helps us to open more course sections to move students forward,” said Vice Provost Cynthia Rawitch.
As of Tuesday, Jan. 22, Rawitch said, the university has added about 75 sections to meet the needs of about 2,500 students.
University officials also created an “early warning system” in certain courses through which faculty can alert advisors at the first sign of missed assignments or exams for a given student.
They also point to the success of the univeresity’s “super senior” project which targets seniors with 140 credits or more. Advisors contact them with a series of options to move them to graduation.
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