Finding the perfect combination of classes while maximizing your time on campus is a challenge for anyone. Working from a limited number of options makes getting to that desired degree harder every semester it seems. Add in the complications of only coming to school on a Monday Wednesday Friday block or Tuesday Thursday, and you’ll be left with a list of classes offered that reminds you of high school electives.
The university wants to figure out what its students want to learn about in their chosen fields. It only serves them a benefit if they offer classes they can fill. Paying an instructor to teach ten people isn’t quite the financially efficient model that benefits the establishment. So why aren’t they asking students directly? Every opportunity to capture their target audience is available.
Utah Valley University knows it has a diverse student pool to draw from. But are they on the map? For a trade school specializing in a few industry supplying programs and expanding on others, knowing the market and supplying the current demand are going to make this a regionally impressive university. Some are just out of high school or back from a mission. Many are working students trying to balance a schedule that is already packed with commitments.
UVU is on the map. The state legislature has set aside $ 54 million for a new classroom building. Our administration knows it has a huge student population to support. Utah County is a Mecca for business and haven for growing families. There couldn’t be a more critical time to focus on what the community and its college attendees need and want in their collegiate education.
Some professors are more comfortable teaching some classes in lieu of others, but all teachers want students engaged in their own education. If they have a chance to choose the focus of classes and an early opportunity to sign up for them, the administration ought to be more responsive.
Gauging interest by posting classes during open registration with no times and no dates is not a very intelligent way to figure out what students want. Nobody has time for that nonsense. Limited budgets, part time jobs, full time parents, transportation schedules and a variety of campus locations make this lackadaisical and free-form registration process almost insulting.
The amount of classes offered online is encouraging. Every effort to provide an environment for maximum efficiency and minimal difficulty is preferred. Some classes are not so easily learned or taught with a Wi-Fi connection. Cutting into a cadaver, conjugating French nouns, playing a Pizzicato piece in f-minor, you get the idea. Sometimes you just need to be at school.
The unfortunate part of the confines and requirements of a chosen minor may leave you with limited options for electives and various classes within your chosen field. Finally seeing that option available and having no idea when it might be scheduled is frustrating. Perhaps a dozen more people saw it too, but were reluctant to sign up because they needed a full course load with a set schedule.
No matter how you slice it, there is a better way. Department chairs and tenured professors can make up a simple survey. It doesn’t take much work to ask a class to fill out a form, mark their top five classes they would be interested in taking over the next two semesters. I’m no college graduate yet, but the current way this academic institution approaches student interest in the variety of courses offered could use an overhaul.