Finding the best fit for classes at CSUB

Baylie Ruiz, Features Writer

Classroom K103 in DDH from front left perspective. 0 out of 4 desks behind nook wall are visible. Photo by Baylie Ruiz.

Brimming with excitement, thousands of students returned to the CSUB campus for in person classes this fall semester; however, a number were met with only standing room in classrooms that did not have enough seats for the number enrolled. One complication at the beginning of this fall semester for many was the classrooms and how they were being allocated and coordinated for classes.

One professor ran into this issue the first week of the semester and was accommodated. This associate professor is Dr. Carol Dell’Amico, who had one of her classes located in Dorothy Donahoe Hall (DDH) 103K.

Upon speaking with Dell’Amico, I asked her about her experience and the ease of the process when it came to her switching classrooms. Dell’Amico stated, “Once that class was over, I immediately sent an email because that classroom was not going to work.” After seeing the classroom and having one class session there, it was evident this classroom would not be beneficial for her or her students.

A row of desks were hidden behind a wall in a little nook making it very difficult for the students or professor to see one another. When reviewing the enrollment of the classroom, which was 39 students, and the capacity of the room, which was 45, it was a fair pairing; however, it was one that was not practical.

Once Dell’Amico had requested to move classes, she stated that she was accommodated, they were willing to help her, and the move was very easy and quick. At first, Dell’Amico was worried due to there being limited available classrooms, but once they notified her about the switch, she had felt fortunate to be able to move.

Dell’Amico was moved to the humanities building and placed in one of the lecture classrooms. This classroom is humanities (HUM) 1107. It is now much more spacious and beneficial for both her and her students.

I spoke with student Jennifer Serrano Ramirez, a second year English major with a credential emphasis, who was a student in Dell’Amico’s class that had been moved. Ramirez stated that “The classroom was so packed hat my seat was off in the corner in the room, with the board blocked off by a wall. I couldn’t see what was going on in class and barely had space to move around.”

The classroom setup in DDH 103K was proven to be less than suitable for this class, both by the professor and a student.

After speaking with Jennifer Self, Public Information Officer, about how rooms are determined for classes she advised me that the classrooms are “based on anticipated enrollment, Associate Deans determine all 45+ capacity, computer labs, and ITV.”

CSUB uses two processes when it comes to assigning classrooms. The larger classes and labs are hand selected by Associate Deans when matching courses to a classroom. The other process is an automated system where the remaining classrooms are then delegated upon enrollment of the class and the capacity in which a classroom can hold.

Point of view sitting in the second chair of the row of desks that are tucked behind nook wall in classroom K103 in DDH. Photo by Baylie Ruiz.

Upon speaking with Self about the process or guidelines that are put in place when determining classrooms, she explained that “all rooms remaining (not scheduled by Associate Deans) get scheduled through an automated process called classroom optimization based on designated predetermined partitions (subject location preferences).”

When this process occurs, the enrollment for each particular class is taken into consideration. The number of students enrolled will help in matching that course with a classroom that would best fit. With this process, there may be classrooms that do not fit the needs of the class. This can result in a request for accommodations to be made or for courses to be moved if possible.

Self stated that when this occurs, “all requests are taken in the order received and processed if space is available.”