Reduced number of courses cause for concern

By
April 1, 2004

There is a buzz in the air around the Mills campus these days
and it is not just bees in the spring flowers.

The new Fall 2004 course schedule has provoked a flurry of
observations and concerns by Mills students.

“The catalog for my entrance year lists classes and requirements
that are not present on the new fall schedule,” said Rosalie McGie,
sophomore. “Students are also being required to make substitutions
to satisfy originally listed requirements.”

Provost and Dean of Faculty Mary Ann Milford was surprised to
hear that the fall schedule was such a hot topic or that there is a
perception of fewer classes being offered.

Assistant Registrar Kristin Smith, said that 484 classes are
being offered for Fall 2004; less than the 507 offered for Fall ’03
or the 512 offered this spring, but this number does not include
independent study that cannot be counted until registration
actually begins.

Much of the discussion has centered on the omission of
Information literacy from this fall’s schedule. According to
Milford, Mills has chosen to address this issue in a completely new
way.

“We will be offering this as a web-based course that students
can complete it independently, rather than using valuable teaching
time,” she said. Information regarding this course is available
from Renee Jadushlever, director of Library and Technical
Services.

Students also report not being able to schedule classes because
of an overlap in timing. “It seems that most classes are offered at
11:00 a.m. doesn’t anyone teach at 9 or 10? What about classes
after lunch?” said Kimberly Lew, a junior.

“One of the problems is in the Psychology department,” said Lew.
“They have a lack of classes for the fall. They also don’t offer a
variety of classes at different times so students can work them
into their schedules.”

For Ashley Groves, a junior, the problem is more complex. Having
switched from an English major to one in the sciences, her course
load is tightly packed and leaves no room for anything but work
toward her major. Mills financial aid will only extend until her
anticipated graduation time. If she is unable to get the classes
necessary, it may leave her unable to complete her degree in the
time allotted.

“When a class I need for my degree says it will be offered in
the fall in the course catalog, and I have planned accordingly,
then it is mysteriously not offered, I have a problem” Groves said,
“I may not be able to finish my course work in the time Mills has
allowed me. I cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket after my aid has
run out.”

Students are under pressure to make more decisions with fewer
options,” said sophomore Lynne Sloan, “perhaps we need a little
less landscaping and a little more variety with the fall
schedule.”

“With so many students, there are many variables” said Milford,
who is an academic advisor with over years of experience. “I would
urge any student having difficulty with their schedule to go first
to their academic advisor for assistance. Each student’s case is
different.” Milford also suggested utilizing the Registrar’s
office, which can, at the request of a student, provide a detailed
junior evaluation to map out a strategy for scheduling all
necessary classes.


Reduced number of courses cause for concern was published on April 1, 2004 in News

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