Abhiram Rishi Prattipati
Foothill College and De Anza College have different class cancellation dates because of how class sizes are determined.
Lorrie Ranck, Vice President of Instruction, said the faculty associations for both colleges determine how the average class sizes.
“In determining class sizes, several things are taken into consideration, like effective teaching and learning within the discipline and student learning outcomes for each course,” she said.
Robert Stockwell, political science instructor, shared his experience on class cancellations.
“I have lots of other faculty from my department and colleagues whose classes were canceled,” Stockwell said. “[It’s] mainly due to the fact that they didn’t reach the minimum number required, which is 20 students.”
Ranck said the college tries to minimize the effect of class cancellations over the past several years. If a class is cancelled, there will be enough time for students to choose another class.
Huichan Chen, 19, computer science major, said she received a notification that her class was cancelled a day before the first class.
“[They] just said they will see if other instructors can take more students and will try to open more in the next quarter,” Chen said.
Chen said she thought cancelling class after the quarter has begun is detrimental.
“The school should have a solid plan for those who have registered such as switching them to another class or giving them very first priority in the next quarter,” Chen said.
Ranck said cancelling class is a complicated decision. The faculty association seek to minimize the impact on students by not canceling classes a week before each term and offer other options and classes if a class is cancelled.
Andrey Cheung, 19, civil engineering major, said her class’s instructor was changed on the first day of class.
“I was expecting the original instructor to start the lecture but then a new instructor came in and told us that the original instructor was sick and couldn’t teach this quarter,” Cheung said.
While Cheung said she thought the change of instructor was good for her, Orion Luo, 19, computer science major, said he felt shocked and frustrated.
“I need to postpone my schedule because I have taken a class of the new instructor before and do not think he is suitable for me, so I dropped the class,” Luo said.
Stockwell said having the same class cancellation date for both colleges in the district will greatly benefit the students.
“I think it would make sense to better coordinate between the campuses around the enrollment management. And they would agree to share the practices across the district,” he said.
Stockwell also thought the faculty association needs to do more about enrollment.
“We need to be a more prestigious planner around the issue of enrollment,” he said. “That needs to occur as the college and needs to occur as the district level across the colleges.”