Over 140 seniors graduating in the spring have petitioned into School of Management (SOM) classes that they need in order to graduate, after the classes quickly filled up.
These required, or “capstone” classes, have an allotted number of sections and seats. Management 411, otherwise known as Global Strategic Management, is one of the classes that has filled up quickly, and SOM doesn’t have enough staff to add more sections.
Neha Krishnan, who works at the SOM academic advising office and is a senior majoring in business administration, said that a specific number of seats are reserved to accommodate students with extenuating circumstances, such as incoming transfers and graduating seniors. According to Krishnan, all seniors in need of a class to graduate are guaranteed a spot in that course.
“This allows the academic advisers to familiarize themselves with the student’s situation before making the ultimate decision to approve or deny a petition into a closed course,” Krishnan wrote in an email. “The School of Management will not force a student to delay their graduation an extra semester, therefore [avoiding] incurring additional costs, because they were unable to register for a course before it closed.”
Katherine Collette, an SOM academic adviser, said that she has received 155 active petitions in total — 145 from seniors — without including the most recent ones she has received.
“I have no idea how to predict who is going to walk through my door, so we’re trying to be proactive and make sure everybody gets what they need,” Collette said.
According to Collette, space for students has not been this much of a problem in the past. One of the reasons it has gotten so hectic this year is because SOM has been accepting more students in the recent years because of the University’s plan of 20,000 students by 2020. She also credits the surge in graduating students to the fact that the University has accepted more transfer students.
“We just might be having this perfect storm of all these things coming together,” Collette said. “I see this trend kind of continuing, we’re just going to have to get used to adding more sections.”
According to Collette, there have usually been 10 sections of Management 411. Her office has increased the number of sections to 12 and received permission from the General Education Committee to increase the seating from the typical 25 up to 27. Collette said she is already looking to add a 13th section, but is waiting on more information about the adjunct professor they have hired who has taught in SOM before.
“I don’t want to add that class until I know what time that instructor can teach,” Collette said. “Otherwise you create a class, register the students for it, and then you might have to move the time on them, which makes them even more frustrated.”
SOM is in the process of hiring in multiple areas including strategic management, management information systems and accounting. Collette said by next fall they should have another full-time professor to teach Management 411 both semesters.
Karen Walker, a senior majoring in business administration, said she has had to petition many classes throughout her academic career in SOM. She said that having required courses fill up immediately does not allow for much freedom in the scheduling of classes and the subsequent petitioning becomes an even more stressful process.
“It’s stressful to have to petition into classes that are required for everyone to take,” Walker said. “And leaving your schedule and semester up to advising puts a lot of unnecessary stress on students who are just trying to do what they need to do.”