Classes fill to capacity despite lower enrollment

As of Jan. 28 there are 150 fewer undergraduate students on campus compared to fall semester’s 2,803 undergraduate students, according to the California Lutheran University Registrar Office. Yet students across campus this semester have struggled to put together a schedule that works well for them, as many have found classes to be filled and waitlists too long.

“It’s definitely not a student number issue this spring. We’re not larger this spring than we were in the fall,” said Maria Kohnke, associate provost for academic services and registrar. “The issue is physical space.”

There are only 48 general purpose classrooms on campus, some of which are larger than others, Kohnke said. She said that when there are more students who want to take certain classes more than predicted from past enrollment patterns, “[the university] runs into an issue of there are no classrooms left to move a class into.”

Ineke Dyer, director of first-year admission, confirmed that the issue is not the number of students. Although there are approximately 100 more first-year students admitted last fall compared to the previous academic year, there is a higher-than-average number of transfer students.

Dyer said the Admissions and Registrar offices “like to make sure the students that do decide to come, we can accommodate them.”

“I had a perfect planned out schedule … I had four different courses or options, I just had to take one of those four and they’re all supposed to be offered in the spring and none of them were offered,” senior psychology major Nicole Cameron said.

As a result, Cameron said she had to rearrange her schedule last-minute and look to her faculty adviser for help to work out what she could take.

Senior English major Virginia Anderson said she had a similar experience. Anderson said she struggled the most this semester with her schedule because the night before classes were set to resume, she was the only person registered for her capstone.

She said that as a result, she was offered a tutorial class that added two extra credits she did not need.

“I have had this anxiety and stress for months not knowing what to do. And now it’s like the first day of school you have two weeks to figure out everything,” Cameron said.

Cameron and Anderson said they have had to change their work schedules multiple times. Anderson said she feels bad for having to keep changing it with her boss.

It is not just seniors who are having trouble putting their schedules together this semester. Oliver Roveda, a sophomore music production major, had one of his four-credit classes cancelled a few weeks after registration. He said he had to “scramble for more credits to find alternative placements and backups.”

Sometimes the options available may not be a student’s first choice, but Dyer said from what she understands students are still meeting requirements. Dyer said that overall, the most important part is to make sure students are on track to graduate on time.

“If they end up in this office we will sit down with them and help them find a class… We will work with them to find that. It just may not be the perfect class,” Kohnke said.

Rosie Baker