As students begin another year engaging in the teachings and lifestyle of Dillard University, many enter ahead one semester as they have completed three full semesters of the 2005-2006 school year due to hurricane Katrina. Some students, however, lack classes based on the credits that may or may not be accredited through Dillard’s transfer policy. Others tend to go with the flow of the curriculum although some courses are now limited and course schedules are off track.
The main objective of course offerings is to offer courses that allow students to graduate in a certain time frame operated under the curriculum of a major.
“Each major carries a set-based curriculum of how the student should complete all four years of college,” said Kendall P. Mortimer, assistant to the registrar.
Today, as the faculty availability has dropped and the class numbers and prerequisites are varied, students face schedule issues and question course offering issues that they may face next semester.
“When school started, I realized that my schedule only consisted of ten credit hours instead 16,” said Sarah Watkins, a junior English education major from Bloomington, IL. “I had to ask teachers if I could be allowed in the courses based on when they were offering them and I think next semester will be even harder for me to find classes that I need to graduate.”
As the availability of faculty throughout the divisions decreased, professors made the decisions to teach more than four courses a week said a faculty fellow. Classes obtained very small numbers of students and caused the faculty to stretch beyond their border. The decision to drop the entire course based on class size had been made for a number of courses. According to the registrar this conflicted with students’ schedules as credit hours decreased and course offerings limited choices.
Along with issues of dropping and adding classes, students also faced the problems of having classes at the same time or the wrong time. In order to get these situations work out, students must talk with their advisors and deans of their divisions. Dean Danille Taylor, dean of humanities, said students need to be more conscious about their course offerings and how the guidelines work. “Students need to understand that we [deans of divisions] may not be able to offer what everyone wants,” said Taylor.
Although class size was a minor problem, many professors took the liberty of setting up an independent study with the class size of one student. This intensive tutorial helps students complete a course that has to be taken. It also allows the student to get a stronger sense out of the course. Jarrett Lemieux, a junior business management from New Orleans, takes the independent class with advantages as well as disadvantages. “I’m able to learn better and understand more in this class but I can’t interact with other students about the work and I have to learn all by myself.”
Freshmen also dealt with minor problems of the scheduling process as they were not satisfied with classes or misunderstood their curriculum. With only three faculty fellows to advise the small class, many changes were made. Faculty fellow and alumni Scott Kristopher said that one of the problems were that there was no communication of information and a lot of freshmen didn’t know how to handle some situations. “This is not a good first year experience for the freshmen, but hopefully things will get better soon,” said Kristopher.
There are of a number of advantages and disadvantages to the newly planned scheduling process. One disadvantage is that there are a number of late classes that last longer but an advantage to this is that a majority of the students don’t have any classes on Fridays. Students must understand the process of course offerings and that some classes can only be offered in the spring semester and other classes must have a prerequisite of another course.
As problems have been solved and students are slowly getting back on track, the thought of having the same issues next semester sits in many minds. “Next semester will be easier,” said faculty fellow Shanelle Staten. “Freshmen will get to schedule classes the way they want and upperclassmen will get back on the track of their curriculum.”