Nearly half of Mesa State are classes 90% full

Classes are filling faster this year at Mesa State, but an analysis of wait-listed students found few are left pining for classes pertinent to their major.

Nearly half of Mesa State classes were more than 90 percent full at the beginning of this school year, with 27 percent of classes at capacity. In fall 2009, 23 percent of classes were at capacity, compared to 19 percent in fall 2008.

Classes filling faster than some upperclassmen are used to, growth in Mesa State enrollment and retention, and the resignation of six full-time faculty members in July and August led to more students placing their names on wait lists for classes that had reached capacity, according to Sonia Brandon, Mesa State director of institutional research. An analysis she performed on a list of those wait-listed students found many students waiting for other courses were enrolled in the same course offered at a different but less convenient time for them. Others had enrolled in a similar course but were waiting for a course they liked better that met the same requirement to open.

Brandon said a majority of seniors wait-listed for a class had changed their major in the last six months. Some of those seniors were on wait lists for classes they no longer needed because the classes were in the major they abandoned, said Carol Futhey, vice president of academic affairs at the college.

“We found no instances where a senior was in peril of not graduating” because they were waiting for a class to open, Brandon said.

The college increased class sizes for some sections, added rooms and sections and took other measures to make more room for classes. Between April and August, the college e-mailed 1,775 notices to students to let them know room had opened up for them in a class they had been waiting to enroll in.

Futhey said students’ best mode of ensuring a spot in a class was to enroll in the spring when class registration begins.


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