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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Canceled summer courses present obstacles for students

Gordon Bates/ Arizona Daily Wildcat
Summer class cancelations are leaving students and professors with many questions as to what they are going to do over the summer. Under enrollment and budget issues are among the many causes of cancellations.
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Summer class cancelations are leaving students and professors with many questions as to what they are going to do over the summer. Under enrollment and budget issues are among the many causes of cancellations.

For some students, getting into summer courses can be crucial in order to graduate.

“”Contrary to belief, the campus is not dormant over the summer. There are many other programs happening each day,”” said Debbie Miller, program director of the Office of Summer and Winter Session.

This summer, 11,683 students are enrolled in summer courses at the UA.

So when a summer course is canceled, it can leave both students and professors in a bind.

Art history and Italian major Kate Callahan and John Guffey, an East Asian studies and general business major, both graduated with a deficit and enrolled in a summer session course to fulfill their remaining tier two NATS requirement. 

The course was canceled and the students were not notified until they went to the atmospheric sciences department and asked about the problem.

“”I was greatly, greatly inconvenienced by this cancellation,”” Guffey said.

This was Guffey’s first canceled course and Callahan’s second.

“”The first time, I was slated to take Italian during the summer before studying abroad in Orvieto, Italy. For that class I was given adequate notification, at least a few weeks, and I received an e-mail notifying me as well as seeing it adjusted in the system,”” Callahan said.

Callahan said she believed the biggest inconvenience was not that her class was canceled, but that she was not given any advance notice.

The lack of notice left Guffey with few options.

“”When I made an appointment with my adviser to ask for advice or other options, I was told to take a correspondence course at Pima which started a week ago, and costs $1,000. My only other option was to ‘keep checking UAccess,'”” Guffey said.

Discouraged, Guffey got into contact with other departments to try and find more options, with no success.

Studio art senior Kaeli Barrett was disappointed when her summer session course was canceled, but excited to have more time during the summer.

“”On one hand, it was inconvenient and disappointing when the class was canceled because now I don’t know when I can take the class again. On the other hand though, I’m pretty excited that I have the time off to enjoy summer now,”” Barrett said.

Barrett received more notice about her canceled class than both Callahan and Guffey.

“”I found out the class was canceled two weeks before it was supposed to start, which is a bummer because I could have signed up for a different class if I had been notified earlier. I also wasn’t told why the class was cancelled.””

Barrett said the university was very prompt in refunding her money.

Miller said when a course is canceled, students will receive an e-mail and their tuition will be refunded.

The summer session office was unable to give a number of summer courses that have been cancelled so far this summer.

Miller said, however, that she did not think students should worry about whether or not their course will be canceled.

“”The reason courses typically get canceled is usually due to low enrollment or unavailability to find an instructor to teach,”” said Miller.

Canceled courses aren’t a worry for everyone.

“”I have been teaching for four years and never had my class canceled, so I don’t really worry about it,”” said Lauren Lee, a summer session instructor and a UA psychology grad student.

For professors, the impact of a canceled course varies depending on the time and effort the course involves.

Susan Mentzer, a summer session instructor as well as a UA anthropology and geosciences graduate student, said she was originally concerned that her summer II class would not make it.

“”There is a significant difference between simply teaching an existing course and developing new content,”” Mentzer said.

This summer, Menzer taught a pre-session course she had previously taught. If the course had been canceled, she would not have invested a large amount of time in preparing course materials.

“”The (summer II) online course, however, is a new course. I have to put together the readings and assignments from scratch,”” Mentzer said. “”I was risking spending at least 50 hours on a course that wouldn’t even run. I am paid a small amount to develop the content, however this amount is only a fraction of what I would make to teach the course.””

Canceled classes have left some students with few options and a bad taste in their mouth.

“”So now what? With me paying out-of-state tuition, and the 20 percent tuition increase for me, I can’t help but be very skeptical about how much the UA actually wants me to graduate,”” Guffey said. ””I feel used and disposable now that I am on the brink of no longer paying tuition.””

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