Students and faculty share mixed opinions about wait lists for courses

Monica Wilson, a freshman education major, is one student who has witnessed first hand what it’s like to be put on long wait lists and how frustrating the process can be.

“Last semester I had a hard time getting into my Math 112 class,” she said. “I was on the wait list for about a month before someone eventually dropped the class and there was enough room for me.”

In Monica’s case she got lucky. However, there are some students who aren’t as fortunate.

Jasmine Summers, a freshman journalism major, was in a similar situation, but unlike Monica, she had to wait until the next semester to get into her course.

“Last year I was on the wait list for BIO 101 and I stayed on the wait list until the following semester when I registered for spring classes,” she said.

Director of Students and Academic Services Barbara Henry works first hand with students in similar situations and agrees that a lack of seats in some courses can be a problem.

“Course accessibility can be problematic for some students,” she said.

These problems may arise when a certain class is in more of a demand. This is usually where wait lists come into play.

Students who are not able to get into a certain course because the class is too full sign up to be put on a wait list. In the event that a seat does become available, the department will add those students from the wait list into the class and then notify the students by campus e-mail.

Although Henry admits that this is a problem, there are other school officials who

think differently.

Julie Barnes from the College of Arts and Sciences is one faculty member who doesn’t think wait listing is problematic.

I haven’t had a lot of complaints pertaining to course accessibility, she said.

“There are some courses that are more popular than others,” she said. “Different students need different courses.”

Henry explained the lack of course accessibility might be due to limited resources.

“The University departments all create their class selection for the next semester based on the faculty they have,” she said.

She said the wait list isn’t the problem. The problem is students not being able to register for certain classes and she offers a simple solution.

“I recommend students put why they need the particular course,” she said.

There is a comment box attached to the wait list where students can explain why they need a particular class.

This way, when faculty go into the wait list to add people, they will see why a student needs a particular course and the students will have a better chance of getting placed in the class as opposed to those who leave no explanation at all.