Low enrollment pushes one-time procedure for winter

By Vanessa Valdez

There will be a one time change to class cancellation procedure for winter semester, canceling classes with fewer than 15 students until close to the opening of the session.

As voted by the Academic Senate, and in agreement with the administration, the upcoming winter semester will have a one time change in regards to East Los Angeles College’s class cancellation procedure.

Department chairs will consult with deans and make a decision about canceling classes with 15 students or less on Dec. 15.

Once the course begins, classes may be canceled for low attendance at any time during the first 10 percent of the term length, regular or short term, if the number of students regularly attending is fewer than 15.

Academic Senate President Jeffrey Hernandez said ELAC is in a unique situation. There is a fiscal crisis after the scheduling of winter.

“(ELAC) is at a huge pressure to reduce cost. We are at a multimillion-dollar deficit,” Hernandez said.

Enrollment has decreased compared to last year’s. So far, student enrollment for winter is 75 percent of what it was last year. Two weeks ago, it was at 61 percent. Faculty is hoping that it increases.

The shortfall is district-wide. While ELAC was able to avoid the problem before, it has recently become an issue. The one-time change in cancellation procedure is an attempt to resolve the problem.

The Academic Senate acknowledge people have made commitments and want to avoid canceling classes is possible.

Psychology Department chairperson Sherrie Davey said the department chairs were upset when short-term classes were canceled just before several changes were implemented to boost enrollment. Boom Days, an event to help students enroll in appropriate courses, were also meant to increase enrollment.

But some of the classes were canceled before Boom Days. Department chairs agreed with the administration to cancel low-enrolled courses a few weeks early, if the courses have shown a pattern of low enrollment. This will give students enough time to look for other classes.

Currently, winter enrollment for priority groups have passed and it is now open enrollment. However, some classes are really low in students.

The Academic Senate did not decide on extending this to spring semester, regardless of circumstance over enrollment. More discussion will take place at upcoming meetings.

The next Academic Senate meeting will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017 at 12:10 p.m. in G1-301 A/B. Visitors are welcome.

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