The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Editorial -Course cuts hinder academic progress

Canceling courses because of a lack of student interest is one thing. Canceling a course that’s offered only once a year or is part of a field of study because there aren’t many taken seats seems a bit counterintuitive.

Amanda Boyd/The Collegian
Amanda Boyd/The Collegian

At TCC, the life of a course offering depends solely on how many students sign up. From the moment registration opens until the last day, faculty members and the livelihood of their classes hang in the hands of thousands of students who sift through countless sections.

While every student enrolled at TCC has to take two sections of English Composition, not every student will have to take a World Literature course or a British Literature course. But for students whose field of study is English or who wish to transfer to a four-year school and major in English, these courses are needed.

To put it in perspective, TCC has well over 30 different offerings of an in-person English Composition I class for this year’s first summer session. The school offers only six in-person classes of World Literature, a sophomore-level course, in the summer.

This is understandable. If every student has to take English Composition I, more courses should be offered. And if one class has only eight seats taken, then yes, canceling it can be justified. It’s also easy to shuffle students from one class time that didn’t make to a different section that’s almost full for courses that fall into college basics.

But students are sometimes penalized in this process. While TCC employees contact students about course cuts and try to shuffle students into other class times, it doesn’t always mean they can make the change. And if that’s the case, students can end up owing financial aid the tuition for the course they never got to take.

Course cuts due to small enrollment numbers tend to greatly affect classes that are more specific to a field of study or degree program. These are typically classes that don’t have many different offerings, so when that one class is cut, students can’t take that course for another semester or even another year.

TCC prides itself on offering courses that are both low-cost and easily transferable to a four-year institution. If that is the case, that sophomore-level class that has only five students signed up should still make.

From an administration standpoint, this method can help save the school money. It costs money to provide a classroom, furnish it and equip it with computers, appropriate software, smart boards and qualified faculty to teach.

If there are only eight students paying for a three-credit-hour class in a course that should seat 30 or in some cases as few as 15, the cost of having the class surpasses the amount of money taken in from tuition.

So if the school can save money by cutting that class instead of keeping it, it will.

Students edging closer to their dream of furthering their education shouldn’t be hindered by dollar signs.

TCC must understand course interest isn’t always visible in taken seats. Course registration isn’t based solely on student interest as much as on what and when bills have to be paid in conjunction with when tuition is due.

Registration could also be dependent on a student’s time that semester. Students may work during the day and can take only night classes or have a family and can register for only six hours that semester. So they’ll fashion their school schedules around their life and work schedules.

Maybe that should be a consideration before a small-enrollment program course is cut.

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