Cancellations affect few students

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By The Staff

Dear Editor,

I want to respond to the small part of my quote in the May 13 article about UNM-LA: “A student had three classes canceled.” That came after I said, “In reality, very few students are affected by class cancellations, but occasionally one or two students are impacted greatly.”

The majority of the classes we cancel have zero enrollment, so no students are affected when we cancel these classes. Another large number of classes cancel with one to three students in them and only a handful of students are affected.

In the recent past, most classes with six to seven students have been held. Occasionally, we lose a teacher and can find no replacement, so a class is canceled with good enrollment, but this is very rare.

We contact students to let them know of class cancellations. As long as their contact information is up to date, we reach them via phone or e-mail.

One of our biggest problems is the students who come in angry a class was canceled and it turns out they never registered for it. This has happened every semester, as students wait until after a class has started to try to register. Without their registration we cannot know what they intend, so it helps if students actually register before classes start.

In some cases, we have re-created a class because three or more additional students wanted to register after a class started and we had canceled it. Such service would never happen at a larger campus.

We are very concerned that the perception is that we cancel too many classes, even if that is sometimes a mistaken perception. When we have students about to graduate, we make every effort to allow a course to make with low enrollment or offer, when appropriate, an independent study.

I so appreciate Carol Clark covering the advisory board meeting, which she does regularly, and getting the word out on so many items from the agenda. In this case, I just felt that clarification of what I was trying to communicate about cancellations was needed.

The reality that relatively few students (less than 10 percent of our enrollment) are affected by cancellations doesn’t make headlines. Still, we would like to get to the point where less than 5 percent of our students are affected.

Kate Massengale

Interim Dean of Instruction, UNM-LA