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

El Camino to reduce amount of initial classes scheduled for future semesters: ‘Big paradigm shift for college’

Academic Senate Vice President of Educational Policies Darcie McClelland, right, speaks to attendees of the Academic Senate meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 7 in the Distance Education Center as Academic Senate President Charlene Brewer-Smith observes. (Nasai Rivas | The Union)

El Camino College plans on changing the way class schedules are created for future semesters.

Starting in the spring 2024 semester, smaller class schedules will be created and offered to students instead of the larger class selection offered this and in recent past semesters.

As classes are filled up and waitlisted, El Camino division deans will then add new classes for students to register.

Previously, deans would create schedules with multiple classes and then cancel classes that haven’t been filled, Academic Senate Vice President of Educational Policies Darcie McClelland said during the Nov. 7 Academic Senate meeting.

“That’s a big paradigm shift for the college,” McClelland said to meeting attendees.

McClelland said deans are currently working on the new schedules and added that faculty members should be more involved in these kinds of decisions in the future.

“I was surprised that such a big change happened without there being more information going out to faculty, classified staff, other people who work with students,” McClelland said.

The smaller class schedules could change how counselors help students with selecting classes.

Extended Opportunity Programs and Services Counselor Maria Garcia said students will have to check with counselors to see if new classes they need have opened up.

“I would certainly prefer [students check for new classes] over a student thinking they were gonna enroll in a class then the class gets canceled,” Garcia said.

Garcia said during the COVID-19 pandemic the original way of scheduling made it difficult for counselors to help students register for specific classes.

However, Dean of Behavioral and Social Sciences Christina Gold said El Camino was creating larger class schedules during the pandemic as a method to get students back on campus due to the loss of enrollment. 

Speaking to The Union after the meeting, Gold said she sees the implementation of larger schedules during the pandemic as a stopgap measure and does not see the switch as a big change.

“We did [larger class schedules] for a few semesters and it caused chaos and the counselors were losing their minds,” Gold said during the meeting.

Gold said issues with the larger class selections brought with it unforeseen complications that made the counselor’s jobs unintentionally difficult. 

“Now we are being told to rein it in, tighten it back up,” Gold said.

Gold said now that El Camino is looking to get enrollment back up, the administration is implementing smaller class schedules again. She sees the shift to offering smaller schedules as a return to regular business as the college looks to increase enrollment to pre-pandemic numbers. 

Mathematics professor Lars Kjeseth said the change should help reduce the number of canceled classes. 

However, he is concerned about changing working conditions brought on by the change in class schedule options and how it can affect instructors.

“What they’re teaching that semester might have to change at the last minute, that’s very disruptive to the faculty,” Kjeseth said. “It has an effect on the students.”

Editor’s Note: Article altered to provide clarifications about class schedules and new information on Nov. 8, at 7:20 p.m.

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