The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Office hours rules enforced loosely

Stressed out over the upcoming test, a student staggers down the narrow hallways searching for his professor’s office and all he finds is a veil of darkness behind the door. Feeling defeated, the student walks away wondering why professors even post office hours if they’re not going to keep them.

Instructors choose their own office hours. They are required to have one office hour per week for each class. Part-time instructors, however, are not required to have office hours.

“For a 15-unit load, there are five hours of office time. That’s why we give them schedules and ask them to put in the times of their office hours on their doors,” Dr. Gloria Miranda, dean of behavioral and social sciences said. “Sometimes they fall short and we remind them to adjust that.”

Whether or not a professor will actually be in his office is rarely a sure thing, yet some students let it affect them more than others.

“I’ll try to contact the instructor during his office hours, and if I can’t reach him, I don’t like it at all because even though the hours are posted, he’s never there,” Martinez Ileana, biology major, said. “It’s sort of influenced me to not try to reach other instructors during their office hours.”

Many of the professors try to make themselves available when it is most convenient for their students.

“I try to schedule office times that are close to my class times,” Dr. Christina Gold, history professor, said. “I also try to have different hours for every day.”

When a professor has inconvenient office hours, the division office will usually ask that professor to change the hours available to times that will be more available to students.

“We make offices available for part-time instructors here, but not all divisions can do that,” Miranda said.

“Many of our part-time faculty volunteers have office hours even though it’s not required of them. They want to be accessible to their students,” she said.

Of course, not all part time instructors are readily available, and they may not have office hours at all.

“I haven’t had trouble reaching an instructor, but it’s hard when the part-time faculty aren’t required to have office hours,” Jonathan Pascua, communications major, said.

Ensuring that instructors are in their offices is not handled by divisions; they don’t want to end up policing their staff.

“We know when an instructor doesn’t keep office hours when a student comes to the division office and asks for the instructor. We usually call the instructor or send them a note to ask them to explain where they were,” Miranda said.

Students faced with the problem of having an instructor who won’t keep office hours arent without options.

“Students who have a problem with an instructors’ office hours should go to that division’s dean and discuss the problem. If that instructor is constantly not in his office when he or she is supposed to be, the staff member can be docked pay for that,” Miranda said.

“It is a contractual obligation to hold office hours; however, usually a friendly reminder is sufficient,” she said.

Few students are willing to go to the division office about a professor because some students think they will be treated unfairly if they get their professor in trouble.

“My instructor is not bad; it’s just that I can’t communicate with him one-on-one. I haven’t had the opportunity to talk to the dean, but I’m definitely going to do that,” Veronica Delarosa, health care management major, said.

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