Scheduling is a time of the year for SRU students to meet with their academic advisor to prepare for the upcoming semester by discussing classes and progression towards graduation, but Amanda Yale, Associate Provost for Enrollment Services, said that students not receiving the classes that they need on time may delay their graduation.
“At times students will report that they can’t get courses and we act on this immediately with the college/department,” Yale said. “Many departments will find ways to help these students.”
Elliot Baker, Executive Director of Academic Records and Summer School, said that the order of scheduling is based off of which students are closest to graduating, but that there are some exceptions to the order. He explained that there are about 1,000 students who can register before the seniors, but that most of those students can’t register for upper level classes.
“We start with our grad students and then we start with our postbaccalaureate students because usually the graduate students are only taking graduate courses,” he said. “Postbacs take undergraduate courses, but there are very few of them, only about 150 of them, and most of them are not back to get a degree. Most of them are back because they need a specific course for teacher’s certification, something like that.”
He then explained that because of a new law, undergraduate veterans schedule next.
“And then students with disabilities schedule next because that is also part of Pennsylvania law that we have to make accommodations,” Baker said. “Not every student with a disability goes, but our Office for Students with Disabilities determines and then before the seniors go, we let the senior athletes go.”
He explained that every class is then divided into twos, based off of credits earned. Senior 2s have 105 credits or more and senior 1s have between 90 to 100 credits.
“We want to get our seniors into classes that they need to graduate because they are a semester or two away from graduating,” Baker said.
The master schedule for each semester is based off of the schedule of the preceding year. About 80 percent of the master schedule for each semester is the same as the preceding semester.
“They start with this template from the preceding year and the department chair persons revise it,” Baker said. “Depending on sabbaticals, leaves, new hires, retirements, changes in the curriculum, you know, new requirements for incoming students, etc., they will build over the initial schedule, which will be sent to their dean and then must be approved at the dean’s level.”
He said that any time a student can’t get a spot in a class, the student usually goes to their advisor or department chair, who will then write the student into the class.
“We have 8,500 students,” he said. “Each of them are trying to register for anywhere between one and five courses, maybe six courses if you’re taking 18 credits. So you always have to look at it in perspective. If we get ten calls a day, each day of registration from a student who’s complaining that they were closed out of a course that they need to graduate, that’s not good, but remember, that’s 10 a day and we only register four days a week, so that’s 80 calls and we have 8,500 students registering.”
Baker said that there is no way for his office to monitor students holding classes for other students and that he can’t be accusing students of doing so. He said that the only way to catch this would be to keep a closer eye on students.
One class that most SRU students are required to take is Public Speaking. Baker said that it is ideal for students to take Public Speaking during their sophomore year, but that usually doesn’t happen.
Baker said that if a student can’t take Public Speaking, that there are other options like taking the course during the summer or winter or taking a substitute course.
Baker said that no faculty member wants to see a student not be able to graduate because they can’t get into all the classes that they need.