Small college means fewer class option

The course catalog for the winter 2016 semester has been released.

Every year around this time, and then again in March, I am anxious to see what courses will be run, and how I’m going to fit everything I need into the short three semesters I have left here.

As a student who declared a major pretty late in the game, I have a lot of catching up to do.

I still need 21 credits for my major, 18 more credits between both my minors, a few filler courses – a total of 51 more credits to graduate.


Obviously, these next three semesters are going to be busy.

But I do have to say, I’m a little disappointed by the catalog of courses.

One of the disadvantages in going to a small school is the small number of courses offered, and the likelihood of only one section per course.

For example, I need to take Mass Communication to fill a requirement for my major, and it is being offered for the first time next semester since Winter 2015, when it was cancelled. The last time it ran was in Fall 2014.

However, there is only one section of it and it is on Tuesday/Thursday from 9:55 to 11:10 a.m.

All the other courses I plan on taking are Monday/Wednesday/Friday or just Monday/Wednesday.

As a commuter with a daily drive of nearly an hour each way, having to come in on Tuesday/Thursday for one class is not my ideal.

I guess that is one of the beauties of living on campus, but that’s beside the point.

I just wish there were more section options for most courses.

But I also know that if there were two courses and each course hypothetically had five students, neither would run, according to university policy. Whereas if there were just one course with ten students, it would run.

I have also been into situations where there are two courses I need to take in order to move on to the next consecutive courses, and they’re both being offered on the same days, at the same time.

What would be ideal for students – having multiple sections of every course – is just not ideal for the university as a whole, and that really stinks.

I know that I really need to take Mass Communication, but I really don’t want to come on Tuesdays and Thursdays if I don’t need to.

But then, what if it’s not offered again before I graduate, and then I have to stay an extra semester for one class?

I would probably dislike that more than having to come to UDM an extra two days a week next semester.

At the same time, I love having a day or two off during the week to get things done.

Needless to say, I have a lot of thinking to do before Nov. 9, the first day of registration.

I don’t really know what the solution to this problem is, but I know I’m not the only one facing these issues.

Maybe the only real solution is to recruit more students to come to the university, and have enough to fill more than one section of each class.

I’ll probably end up just taking the Mass Communication course next semester, so I can get it out of the way.

If I want to graduate on time, I need to do what I have to do.

In the long run, it will be worth it.

I just have to remind myself of that.


Daniel is VN news editor