Waitlisting for classes problematic

posted in: Opinion | 0

The waitlisting policy at a private school like Pacific is frustrating and should be completely avoided so that students can choose classes freely and be guaranteed to graduate in four years.  Numerous students each semester, usually those with fewer credits, go through the displeasure of finding themselves waitlisted for a desired class.  These classes include general chemistry, general biology and other basic classes that are necessary prerequisites for upper division courses.  With no other alternatives or open sections in their schedules, students can do nothing but wait and hope that someone will withdraw from the class.  In unlucky cases, students have resorted to online, summer, or community college classes in order to fulfill their needed requirements to graduate.

Limited amount of seating in classrooms is the main reason Pacific waitlists, as very few hold more than 35 students.  Prospective students who find themselves suited to small classes are pleased to hear that the average class size at Pacific is around 19 students, as I was one of them.  Small class sizes are welcoming, encourage discussion and interaction, and facilitate direct interaction with professors and their students, which is well worth the money.

However, another benefit from our tuition should be the guarantee that all students will be able to graduate in four years by taking the necessary courses at Pacific.   Waitlisting at larger universities that have up to 40,000 students is understandable, and many students willingly accept the fact that it will take them extra semesters to graduate.  Private colleges should have an advantage over that.

The issue of limited seating can easily be fixed and since a trend for which classes are usually waitlisted occurs every year, planning ahead and allocating those courses to the bigger classrooms on campus is the easiest solution.  Although bigger classes aren’t desirable, I’m sure that most students would agree that a few extra students in general chemistry is much better than being waitlisted and stressed for an entire summer.  I sympathize with those students who have been placed on the waitlist, as I have had my fair share of that experience.  I ask that you please consider the effects of this policy, and alleviate the frustration that continues each semester during registration.



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