Can YCP look at other options besides canceling a class? | Opinion

By Autumn Miller

ENROLLMENT at York College, like many other schools has been dropping the past few years.

Whether that has been the reason or something else is to blame, too many classes has been canceled, and the issue has affected some students who are trying to graduate on time.

The average class size for York College classes is 19 students, with no more than 40 students per class. With York College of Pennsylvania ranking #85 in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges is Regional Universities North, according to U.S News and #51 in the Best Value Schools, you would think that the school would have enough students to fullfill the minimum number required for a class.

So whats the issue? Why aren’t there enough students signing up for certain classes?

One of the big issues is that students are switching majors and the majors they are switching too require prerequisites before they can take certain classes.

Why is this a problem?

Because the prerequisites classes aren’t being offered during the semester when the student needs to take it, and therefore it is causing a scheduling conflict, especially when classes only want to be offered once a school year.

If a student decides to switch majors starting in the spring semester, and their classes are only being offered once a year, and the classes needed are fall semester classes, then the student is sorta out of luck. They either have to get special permission to replace the class with another class that could fulfill the requirement or they have to play around with the schedule and find classes that they can take that don’t require a prerequisite class (unless of course the prerequisite is being offered that semester).

I personally had this problem throughout my college career.

I had to constantly try and find classes that I could take, which was hard since the classes I needed were not being offered that semester and I couldn’t go ahead and take another class that was being offered because it required a prerequisite. Onlly the prerequisite class isn’t being offered.

It was simply frustrating and actually put me a semester behind. 

Since students are switching majors later in the semester, and classes aren’t being offered, it’s putting students behind, which then affects those who have not switched and been “on track” the entire time.

If the students who switched majors later in the semester are unable to take certain classes that requires a prerequisite before taking that class, then the number of students signing up for the class that requires the prerequisite drops.

Not many people signing up for the class means the class gets canceled and then therefore affects the “on track” students, and then they are forced to find a replacement class.

I took a survey within the 2022 senior class, interviewing 15 seniors: 6 mass communications majors, 3 engineering majors, 2 education majors, 3 fine arts majors and 1 film and media arts major.

All 15 seniors said they all had at least one or more class be canceled due to low enrollment throughout their college career.

Eleven out of 15 said that the canceled class(s) had affected their class scheduling in some way.

Ten out of 15 said that most of their classes are only offered once a school year.

And 14 out of 15 said that a majority of their classes require a prerequisite class.

If just randomly surveying 15 students and more than half of them saying that they had a class canceled due to low enrollment at one point and that it has affected their scheduling at one point throughout their college career, shouldn’t York College stop canceling classes and just allow for a small class size?

After all, the college prides itself on being a “small classroom size” college that allows students to learn better and interact with the professors more. So why cancel classes that have low enrollment? If the average class size is 15 students, and the minimum requirement of students in a class is let’s say, 10 students, and only nine signed up, how does one student not signing up affect that? Its just simply one student. It’s just not fair to the nine students who signed up and  that need that class in order to graduate.

This problem is just going to get worse as fewer high school students apply to colleges each year, including YCP

It’s time for the school to look at the numbers – all of them – and look for ways to keep more classes from being canceled.

Autunn Miller is a senior majoring in Mass Communication.

ALSO READ: Come along on a walking tour of downtown York

ALSO READ: Many students find changing majors the right move: ‘Each class after the switch reinforced my decision’

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