Dr. Michelle Cheang, dean at East Los Angeles College’s South Gate campus, and a committee are working to create a more focused class schedule for the spring semester. Cheang said the group is made up of department chairs, both South Gate deans and Vice President Armida Ornelas from Continuing Education and Workforce Development. Cheang wants students to participate with input on what is essential for the schedule to have.
Cheang said that the summer and fall semester schedule will stay the same. This is being done in large part to the committee’s effort to include student opinion in any future changes. “We will be conducting focus groups and surveys because we are thinking of strategies to help students. One, accelerate if they want to, as well as complete most of their classes here at South Gate,” Cheang said.
Offering the most meaningful and searched for classes for course completion is something Cheang has strived to get on campus since she started working at South Gate. The main idea was to cut down on the commute time for students and make the South Gate campus feel and work for students as a complete college experience. The adding of faster-paced learning classes to the schedule could also be ideal for some of the campus’ more time-constrained students.
Having the chance to offer eight-week courses could definitely help students that are on the fast track to finish up classes that they have outstanding. Disciplines like Psychology and Administration of Justice have offered these types of courses before. Cheang said this type of fast-paced class scheduling could benefit students at the South Gate campus. Only making sense if the student population finds these changes acceptable.
“We’re trying to figure out if it’s something students would be interested in. We don’t want to offer something that students will not support or will not really fit into their schedules,” Cheang said. She also said that the majority of these classes can be taken by anyone in ELAC, but that the goal was to focus more on the South Gate student community. That’s why the committee wants to take into consideration student needs and points of view.
This is where the focus groups and surveys will come into play. The plan is to start rolling them out to students during the fall semester, with it being done to figure out what classes and needs the students at the South Gate campus really want. Cheang said that while the department heads are excited to provide classes that students want, actually getting student input would make the choices much more well informed. Cheang said that being able to offer the most demanded classes while still being aware of the campus’ classroom and size restrictions was important, but any decision would be based on student interest.