Waitlisted for a class?

Students can ask chair to add another section


Sofia Martinez, Reporter

Many students have dealt with waiting for a waitlisted class to become available. Being on the waitlist and getting into the class is only possible if another student drops from the course section. What most students do not know is that they can petition for an additional class section to be made available. However, there is nothing that explains the process for petitioning to open an additional section of a waitlisted class on the CSU Bakersfield website.

According to David Gove, chair of the mathematics department, there is not a formal paper that students can fill out, but students can ask the department chair and they will consider the students’ needs. The department chair then consults with the dean to get approval for beginning that process.

Once the department chair has approval to a new class section, they analyze the number of students on the waitlist for that class. Then they nalyze why at specific course section is filled, and if it is are open to teach that specific course.

According to Doris Hall, chair of the criminal justice department, the waitlist is mostly to prioritize seniors into the classes they need in order to graduate on time. It is also difficult for Hall open a new section because her department only has 11 full-time staff members for around 700 criminal justice students. It can be difficult to find instructors to teach concentration-specific courses, unlike a general education course instructor.

After considering all these factors, if the department chair does open a new class section, they still will not know if that the new section will accommodate the students’ needs. When a new course section becomes available, an email is sent out to let enrolled and waitlisted students know.

Students enrolled into the course then have the option of either staying in that section or moving into the new section if it better suits their needs. Having students who are flexible and can swap into the new class time can give an opportunity to those who are waitlisted to get into the classes at the times they need.

Each major has a department chair who must gain approval from the dean to even start the process of getting another class section open. There’s only so much a department chair can do, but they are willing to help their students who are asking for help. There is no official way to petition to open a new section of a heavily waitlisted class, but students can ask their department chairs for assistance.