College life: Being waitlisted

2015 redesigned Pioneer logo.

Tam Duong Jr.

2015 redesigned Pioneer logo.

Teleia Johnson,

It seems like it’s getting harder and harder to enroll in classes at CSU East Bay, whether you’ve just started or been here for some time. Once your registration date approaches, it feels like you’re racing against thousands of students for classes you need, not knowing if you’ve already lost out.

From there, the only option is to join the waitlist, where you can either be seat number two or seat number 35, and we all know seat number 35 is not getting in. At some point you’re stuck feeling helpless, especially if more than one class you need is waitlisted. And now you’re forced to reach out for some type of help only to be told to talk to someone else about your concerns.

You think about your work schedule and the babysitter, if you have a baby, and how there is never enough time in the day. You can give up on some hours at work and deal with a smaller check resulting in less money for the babysitter, if you have a baby, or you can cut back on the units and prolong your stay or even worse — risk the chance of losing your financial aid.

Danuta Sawka, our Communication Department secretary informed me that there are 15 core courses that are required in order to receive your degree in communication. On top of the core classes, students are also expected to complete the required classes for whichever option we choose to pursue: media production or professional, public and organizational communication. If students choose the media production option they will also be required to complete four workshop labs. Both options require at least three elective classes.

In addition, Sawka also stated, most if not all classes fill up fairly quickly, and most do get waitlisted. Her advice to students is to figure out what classes you want to take for the quarter approaching, place them in your cart, and once your enrollment date and time comes, enroll as soon as possible. Although there is a large number of students within the department, Sawka said, “we are doing everything that we can, me and the department, to make sure students can graduate before the conversion next fall, and to also prevent the department from becoming impacted.”

Sawka continued to explain there are some cases where students may only need a few classes in order to graduate but the class might be full. In this case the department class will make the decision to substitute the class for another that completes the class requirement in order to prevent keeping the student an extra quarter.

I asked Sawka if professors have the option of getting bigger classrooms. She explained, if a comm professor needs a bigger classroom they are to let her know. If she can find a classroom that can accommodate the class size within the communication department, she will let the facility manager know and have the classroom switched. If there are no empty classrooms she will swap out a smaller class currently taking place in the larger classroom to accommodate the larger class. If she can’t find a classroom within the communication department then she will look for a classroom outside the department that has the same student-to-class ratio issue, contact the facility manager and only if agreed upon by the other department will the classroom be switched.

The next question is will the professor let you in? Lisette Poole, a communication professor, explained her methods on letting students that are waitlisted into her classes. Poole states, “I prioritize the wait list, to any of the classes I teach, by admitting COMM juniors and seniors first, because they need to graduate.” She continues, “At times I have had to include more than the enrolled 20 students by offering to take them in, on condition they use their own laptop.” She feels this way everyone’s needs are met.

It’s great to know that the communication department is doing everything it can to help those ready to graduate. Although the enrollment process can be a pain, it helps to know that the world isn’t coming to an end every time you get waitlisted. I hope other students are as lucky in their departments as I am in mine. I have my fingers crossed to graduate in June.