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The Columbia Chronicle

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The Columbia Chronicle

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Editorial: Deficit is dark cloud hanging over registration for Fall 2024


Registration started this week for the Fall 2024 semester, with fewer class offerings and some larger class sizes.

Students are trying to find classes and build their schedules in the midst of possible structural changes to the college and to the core requirements. Decisions around both could come this summer after students have registered, although the provost has said the college does not plan to make any changes to the schedule beyond those typical for a registration period.

That means possibly adding or removing sections to adjust to student demand or individual instructor availability.

With 1,000 fewer students expected in the fall and uncertainty around financial aid delays, this hardly seems like a typical registration period.

Students will have “ample time to update their fall course selection if desired,” Senior Vice President and Provost Marcella David wrote in an email on April 18 to faculty and staff.

Across the catalog, the college has cut 304 class sections for the next academic year, which is about five fewer sections per program.

It may not seem like a lot, but students are understandably confused and disappointed by the offerings. 

Katelyn Adler, sophomore marketing major, told the Chronicle that when she tried to find classes she needed, there were only one or two options available. In the past, there were more. “Some were online or asynchronous, which is what I necessarily was not looking for,” she said.

Mahlia Schneck, a junior photography major, also noticed fewer courses.

The college tried to address some of the concerns by offering RegFest earlier this month to help students select classes prior to registration. The annual event was targeted towards first-year students but anyone could attend. The potential changes coming this summer, including programs closing or merging, overshadowed the event.

Registration is stressful even in a typical year because classes get filled and students have to find courses that will keep them on track within their studies. 

The college needs to assure students that they will get the required credits that they need. It is also imperative that the college continues to be transparent about any changes, with students and with faculty, and to offer substitutions and workarounds for students who need to stay on track for graduation. 

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