Chico State online classes need to put Wildcats first

The Chico State Online Concurrent Enrollment program is experiencing a serious problem that needs to be combated immediately.

This program of online classes, which were offered to students from other California State University campuses, were supposed to relieve overcrowding in general education classes systemwide.

But it had the opposite effect.

editorial_11Only 99 Chico State students and 25 students from other California State University campuses are enrolled in these classes, which are supposed to serve hundreds of people statewide.

These classes are underenrolled because they weren’t available until August, which was way too late to fill seats.

Many students had already signed up for classes by August and were too booked up to consider adding a late-arriving course to their schedules.

The goal to expand access to so-called “bottleneck courses” is noble. But poor planning by CSU leaders caused under-enrollment in the very same classes that are usually so jam-packed that many students can’t get into.

Chico State students should have been informed that these courses were coming when they registered for classes in the spring.

And even if the classes had to be offered late, Chico State students should have been allowed to enroll in them first.

As it was, students from other CSU campuses were allowed to enroll in Chico State’s courses before our students could register.

To make the problem worse, our university didn’t do enough to tell students these classes were available.

Our registrar’s office only sent one email to students letting them know these classes were available.

The leaders of the California State University system need to change the registration date of these courses to line up with conventional registration or give fair warning to local students that want to sign up for these classes.

If the CSU system wants to keep these online courses, they need to fix basic problems with the registration guidelines, otherwise fewer students will take a chance on a new program riddled with obvious errors.


Illustration by Liz Coffee.